RANDOLPH, NJ- All six seniors played significant roles for the Randolph boys basketball team on Thursday, Feb. 6, as the Rams avenged an early season loss to Sparta with a 72-53 blowout win. Senior captains Brian Eames and Ryan Ross, along with fellow senior Ryan Martin, lit up the stat sheet on a night when the Rams honored their soon to be graduated twelfth graders.
“It felt great to finally play in my own senior night,” said Eames. After 4 years of dedication to the program and a lifetime of basketball memories, senior night was truly an amazing event. Watching and playing along with my teammates since 4th grade was an experience I will never forget.”
The Rams stormed out of the gate, racing to an 11-0 lead behind hot shooting from Martin, who drained three from downtown to power that early lead. Martin would finish the first quarter with 15 points to help his team grab a commanding 25-12 lead.
Senior Matt Karl ran the point for most of the first quarter, dishing out 4 assists while grabbing 4 points in the game. Senior Nick Mantone sent the crowd into a frenzy with a monster block from behind in the opening minutes, before grabbing 2 rebounds and a steal in the opening quarter.
Eames came in to play his usual point guard position to start the second quarter, and picked up where Martin left off by draining three 3-pointers of his own. Combined with another 3-ball from senior DQ Hendrickson (8 points and 3 assists in the game) the two helped expand the Rams lead to 17 at half, by the score of 41-24.
”Our team chemistry and motivation to make a statement in a major conference game allowed us to thrive against a tough opponent,” said Eames. “My teammates came out with great intensity, and we got out to a quick lead, which we were able to hold onto for the rest of the game.”
Sparta managed to trim three points off the lead in the third to bring it back down to 14, but the Rams poured it back on in the fourth to run away with the 19-point victory.
“This year's group of seniors have made a huge impact on our program as a whole,” said coach Nick Lavender. “They have been an extremely dedicated bunch and have pushed all of our younger guys throughout the year to be the best versions of themselves, on and off the court.”
When the night was over, Ross may have had the best all around game of all, registering a triple double by putting up 11 points, to go along with 13 rebounds and 10 assists.
Eames finished with 14 points and 10 assists, while sophomore Dylan Haun added 11 points.
“These seniors all have high character and a lot of passion for pushing themselves to be better,” said Lavender. “Those Qualities that have helped them through their four years as players will certainly help them in their futures. My biggest piece of advice to them would be to continue to chase after their goals in life.”
The Rams record now stands at 12-5, as they prepare to play a Morris County Tournament first round game against Dover on Saturday, Feb 8 at home 7 PM