RANDOLPH, NJ- On Friday, December 20, the Randolph High School Boys Basketball team played their first game of the 2019-20 season against Morris Catholic.  In a game that was expected to be a lot closer than the result, Randolph jumped out to a lead and never looked back, treating themselves to a satisfying 52-31 win.

“The start of the game gave us a lot of energy and it was contagious which lasted the whole game,” said Junior Dylan Haun, who scored two points in the win.

Just moments after the opening tip-off, the Rams' offense started to click behind captain Ryan Ross. “We got the ball up quick in transition and brought a lot of energy on defense which created a lot of opportunities,” the Senior Co-Captain Ross commented.

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Randolph’s star point guard Brian Eames scored eleven points, including a three ball from behind the arc, while leading the Rams on both ends of the floor.

Morris Catholic kept fighting despite trailing the whole game, but the Crusaders could not generate any momentum in the second quarter. The Rams went on a 15-2 run in that second quarter, forcing the Crusaders to enter the locker room at halftime facing a twenty-point deficit.  

For most of the 2018-19 season the Rams weak spot was managing the lead in the third quarter, but last year’s Achilles heel turned into a strength for them in this game.  By the end of the third quarter, the Rams lead ballooned to twenty-six points and the game was all but over.  The Crusaders outscored the Rams 12-7 in the 4th quarter, but it was nowhere near enough to complete the comeback.

Junior guard Jamal Santana and Ross used their length, agility, and basketball IQs to anchor the defensive effort for the Rams. 

“I told the team to push the pace and run the floor as fast as we could in order to get transition buckets.” said Coach Lavender. “We were energetic, active and caused deflections which helped us out on both sides of the court.”

Rams sophomore Sean Lawler filled the stat sheet with eight rebounds, four points and two ferocious blocks in his varsity debut, while his brother Justin chipped in with six points and eight boards of his own.  Daquan Hendrickson led the effort off the bench by scoring six points, while grabbing three rebounds and threading three impressive assists.

“I think the energy I bring to the team mixes in well with the energy my teammates bring, and we build off it,” Hendrickson said. “I am very proud of how I played and it is a stepping stone for the team and me.”

“As a team we are looking forward to getting into conference play. Our goals in the future are to win twenty games and the County Tournament.” said senior captain Brian Eames.  “I am excited to see what the team does in the future.”

On Saturday, Dec. 21 the Rams took on Vorhees, and dominated from start to finish in a 68-27 blowout victory. Thirteen kids showed up on the stat sheet in one form or another, led by Ross with 13 points and 7 rebounds.  Hendrickson, Santana, Eames, and Matia Clement all added 8 points each.

Ryan Martin added 7 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists, while Justin Lawler pulled down 10 rebounds.  The Rams play next on Dec. 26, away at Mendham.

Editors Note: Matthew Blutig is a sophomore at Randolph High School who is participating in a Journalism program with TAP into Randolph