RANDOLPH, NJ---The RHS boys basketball team upped its record to 6-4 with a dominating win over Pope John by the score of 69-48 on Jan. 14. Both teams came flying out of the gate with an aggressive start, quickly racking up points on each side of the court.  

By the end of the first quarter, the score was 20-18, with Pope John in the lead. 

However, the game took a huge turn in the second quarter as the Rams played solid defense, letting up only three points in the quarter. Randolph junior Justin Lawler led the team with five blocks and snagged 10 rebounds. The Rams ran away and entered half with a big lead after managing to notch 17 points in the second quarter.

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“[Our] strategy was to pressure their guards which caused a bunch of turnovers and easy baskets for us,” RHS head coach Nick Lavender explained.

The strategy seemed to work, since the Rams were subsequently able to expand the lead in the third quarter, constantly assaulting Pope John’s offense with a smothering defense.

Randolph’s top scorers for the game, senior captain Brian Eames and senior Ryan Martin, scored a combined 15 points in the third quarter alone, and 15 points each throughout the game.  

“I felt as if the team played fairly well. We were able to find opening in their zone and knock down shots,” Eames said.   

The team made it rain from the three-point line, collectively hitting 11 three pointers in the face of Pope John’s defense.

The hot streak continued into the fourth quarter, with Randolph once more outscoring Pope John and securing the victory. 

Head Coach Nick Lavender called the game, “a great bounce-back win for us after dropping two straight games to our conference rivals.” 

“We’ve all been playing together since we were young and or chemistry is really coming along these past few games,” said senior Ryan Ross, the other team captain. 

In all, the Rams managed to scrape up 69 points, 41 rebounds, 22 assists, 5 blocks and 9 steals. Eames and Martin scored 15 points each to lead the way. 

Randolph played Morristown next, taking a 75-36 victory.  A story will follow shortly on that game.

Editor’s Note: Cole Mateo and Fitsum Seleshi are students at Randolph High School participating in a journalism program with Tap into Randolph.