SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD — History was made at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School Monday afternoon, although it wasn’t quite beneficial to the home Raiders.
Joey Meyers, a junior on West Morris-Mendham, erupted for 27 points and scored the 1,000th point of her career during a President’s Day matinee in Scotch Plains. Meyers’ stellar display of scoring came at the Raiders expense, as Mendham cruised to a 55-38 victory.
Despite 10 points and five rebounds from Abbe-Gayle Burton, eight points from Brenna McNamara, and a strong opening quarter, Scotch Plains-Fanwood had a hard time solving Mendham’s full-court trap and couldn’t stop Meyers, who is averaging over 18 points per game this year. The Raiders fall to 13-10 as they embark on the last week of the regular season.
Jessica Hall added seven points, while Mackenzie Conroy, Marissa Spletter, and Paige Kaplan chipped in six apiece for Mendham, which never trailed during the game's final 23 minutes.
With Scotch Plains-Fanwood ahead, 12-8, late in the first quarter, Meyers drilled a deep three-pointer that sparked a game deciding 18-0 West Morris-Medham run. The stretch spanned from the 39 second mark in the first quarter until the 2:56 in the second, and Meyers drained two three balls and a conventional field goal while accounting for eight of Mendham’s 18 points.
Often times, Mendham’s scores would come seconds apart, because its full court trap caused Raiders turnovers and equaled chip in transition layups.
By the time Abbe-Gayle Burton converted a three point “and one” play on a fourth chance putback to end Mendham’s tear, the Raiders were already down 11 points. Burton’s traditional three point play was all the scoring Scotch Plains-Fanwood received during the decisive second quarter, in which the Raiders were outscored, 17-3.
Burton went on to have a strong afternoon — just another notch in what’s been a dominant senior campaign for the forward — shooting six-of-seven from the free throw line while adding a pair of field goals. She is now averaging 8.2 points and 4.2 rebounds per game.
Scotch Plains-Fanwood's final push to reclaim the lead came during the minutes coming out of halftime. Burton sent home a putback and Corinne Lyght notched a layup off of a halfcourt steal, which cut the Raiders’ deficit to single digits (28-19) just a minute removed from the break.
However, Mendham would immediately respond with a 13-2 run to make it a 20 point game.
The Raiders did open up the game strong, as well. Brianna O’Brien scored the game’s first points on a wide open three pointer, then added a field goal to help her team jump out to a 9-4 lead. Kaysia Minor, who finished with six total points, also popped a three and two pointer, and the Raiders’ owned a 12-11 advantage after the opening eight minutes.
Mendham rode its scintillating 18-0 run to victory, and didn’t let up the gas pedal. Meyers went off for an additional 13 points in the third quarter alone, and hit her history making basket on a fadeaway floater seconds into the fourth. At the time, her 1,000th career point gave Mendham a 49-27 advantage.
The Minutemen’s lead once grew to as large as 25 points, which was attained on a Spletter bucket with six minutes left to play.
Looking to return to their winning ways, the Raiders will host Oak Knoll on Friday before embarking on the state tournament, which begins a week from Tuesday.