DENVILLE, NJ- The No. 3 seed Randolph Girls basketball team held serve against No. 6 seed St. Elizabeth in the Morris County Tournament quarterfinals, as they toughed out a 43-37 victory on Saturday Feb. 15.
Angeleen Mulero was the star of the game for the Lady Rams, pouring in 20 points on the afternoon to lead her team to victory.
Randolph jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead in the opening minute and looked ready to roll on offense. However, both teams dug in their heels defensively for the next five minutes and neither team was able to score.
The final minute of the first quarter saw a flurry of points, ending with a buzzer beater from Sarah Bona that left Randolph ahead 10-4. Having a clear height advantage, St. Elizabeth started feeding their two ‘big’s’ in the paint, picking up some momentum with consistent scoring. That forced the Rams to mix up their game plan a bit.
“We changed to a 3-2 zone in the third quarter to make them shoot from the outside,” said coach Pete Torres. “It worked for a while but then They started hitting some 3’s so we started changing from the 3-2 back to our man.”
With the game neck and neck late in the third, Mulero stepped up to hit a clutch shot as the quarter was winding down.
“Angeleen was awesome today, she made so many big-time shots and we needed each and every one,” said Torres. “Her 3-pointer at the end of the 3rd quarter was a key one as it gave us a 4-point lead going into the fourth. A tremendous shift and overall game for her.”
The Rams clung to that four-point lead in the fourth and continued to hold St. Elizabeth at bay with their changes on defense and key scoring from Mulero. They would ultimately hold on and pull out the six-point win. Bona finished with 11 points while Ellie Sciancalepore added 6.
Now they prepare to face No. 2 seed Chatham in the semifinals on Friday Feb. 21 at CCM.
“Chatham will be a very Tough test,” said Torres. “They are well coached, have good players, and they have final four experience- winning it all 2 years ago and losing at the buzzer last year in the final. We will be prepared, and I am optimistic about our chances.”