Morris Knolls advances in MCT

Morris Knolls advances in MCT

News

Morris Knolls advances in MCT

By

DENVILLE

The 14th-seeded Morris Knolls girls basketball team earned a spot in the next round of the Morris County Tournament with a 34-18 victory over No. 19 Butler on Thursday.

“This is definitely a big game for us because last year (Butler) beat us in the first round of counties,” senior forward Courtney Meola said. “So coming in now we really wanted to redeem ourselves and we just wanted to get up and down the floor as quick as we can and play solid defense.”

The Golden Eagles (10-5) did just that in the first quarter, outscoring the Bulldogs 11-0. In the second quarter Butler (6-6) started to climb back into the game and held Morris Knolls to only eight points, as the Golden Eagles took a 19-7 lead at the half.

“We wanted to play our own game, our game is really quick, up the floor, get the fast breaks, don’t let them take too much time off the clock,” Meola said. “I think we played well, I think we did what we’re supposed to do.”

Morris Knolls went into the third quarter a little flat, as the Golden Eagles only scored five points, all by junior guard Jacie Cooper. Butler also only scored five, and Morris Knolls led 24-12 at the end of three. Cooper scored another five points in the fourth quarter as the Golden Eagles tacked on another 10 points. Butler managed six points on two 3-pointers from sophomore forward Marlene Arabia.

Cooper scored a game-high 12 points for the Golden Eagles, and junior Brianna Mott had eight points. Arabia and freshman Cielle Avena each had six points for the Bulldogs.

The Golden Eagles will travel to No. 3 Morris Catholic in the next round.

“I think we need some improvements in some areas, but overall I think we played well,” Meola said. “A lot of technical stuff, we need to run the floor more, we have to focus more on making foul shots, that’s a big part of it, but I think a lot of it comes from within and I think it’s going to be a good game next time. We have to just bring our heart out.”

Also on Thursday night, the Golden Eagles participated in Shoot for the Cure, which helps raise funds for cancer research. The team wore pink shirts designed by a fellow student and the coaches and players wore pink shoelaces. Meola said the team also sells pink paper basketballs for $1, with all the proceeds going to cancer research.

“We do it every year,” Meola said. “I think we’ve been doing it for awhile but I know our coaches really care about it, a lot of us have cancer survivors in our family so it’s a big deal for us to be able to give back.”

Latest

More USA TODAY High School Sports