CHESTER – It was a special night for the West Morris boys basketball team on Tuesday.
Senior guard Conor Barron scored his 1,000th career point as the Wolfpack celebrated Senior Night with a 59-53 victory over Delbarton.
Barron, who became the seventh boys player to score 1,000 points, entered the game needing 19 points and hit the milestone with 4:33 to play in the fourth quarter on a layup that put West Morris up 51-40.
“It’s pretty special, there’s seven guys up there on the banner so I’m in good company,” Barron said. “I knew how many points I needed coming into the year, obviously the goal is to win games but I knew it was a personal goal of mine. …It’s a real special night, we beat Delbarton last year on Senior Night so we saw how special it was for the seniors last year and we knew we wanted to do it and it was just a really cool experience tonight.”
West Morris (10-11) had a 25-24 lead over the Green Wave (9-11) at halftime and Delbarton opened the third quarter with four-straight points to take a 28-25 lead with 6:41 left. The Wolfpack then went on a 6-2 run, with all six points coming from senior guard Sean McElwaine, to put West Morris ahead for good, 31-30, with 4:34 to go.
The Wolfpack outscored Delbarton 11-4 the rest of the way to close out the third quarter with a 42-34 advantage.
“I think what was big for us, we switched to man, and Kevin Leonard who’s been our defensive stopper all year, their player Steven Clapp is a heck of a scorer and (Leonard) really clamped down on him,” West Morris coach Mark Schartner said of the turning point for his team in third quarter. “Sean Roehrich did a great job on Robbie Price, to really kind of hold them down. You can’t stop them, but if you can hold them down a little bit you have a chance to beat Delbarton.”
Delbarton then opened the fourth quarter on a 5-2 run of its own to pull to within 44-39 with 6:24 left, but Barron sank two free throws and then hit a 3 to stretch West Morris’ lead to 49-39 with 5:58 left.
Senior guard Zach Lamb then hit the first of two free throws to cut the lead to nine over a minute later, but Barron scored his 1,000th point to put West Morris up 51-40 with 4:33 left. The Green Wave then went on a 6-0 run to get within 51-46 with 3:02 to go, but senior guard Billy Froetscher hit a 3-pointer to put the Wolfpack up 54-46.
Junior guard Steve Clapp finished out the fourth quarter scoring Delbarton’s last seven points, but a three-point play from Barron and a basket by Froetscher kept the game out of reach for the 59-53 final.
“We’ve played them and we knew they had a lot of good shooters, Price and Steve Clapp, they’re very good shooters, they lit us up earlier in the year at the JP Flynn Tournament so we knew that we had to stop them,” Barron said. “They have other good role players, Tyler Bell and Ryan Murphy, we knew they were going to score a lot of points. We held them to 53 so that was good, but we knew we had to slow down their offense.”
The Green Wave led 15-10 after the first quarter, and to start the second West Morris opened on a 5-0 run to tie the game 15-15 with 5:28 left. Two free throws from Price put Delbarton back up 17-15, but it was short lived as Barron scored to retie the game 17-17 with 4:15 to go.
A 3-pointer from Murphy put Delbarton back in front 20-17, but five-straight points gave the Wolfpack a 22-20 advantage with 2:30 remaining. Price struck again 41 seconds later for another tie game, 22-22, and West Morris and the Green Wave traded baskets as time expired and the Wolfpack took a 25-24 lead into halftime.
Barron led all scorers with 23 points and now has 1,004 points for his career. Froetscher finished with 14 points.
“He just finds ways to get the ball in the basket and he plays with his team, he’s not selfish in the way he does it,” Schartner said of Barron. “He takes smart shots and he’s just a great player, a hard worker, just a good kid to be around.”
For the Green Wave, Price led with 18 points and Clapp had 16. Murphy chipped in 11 points.
Staff Writer Lauren Knego: 973-428-6674; email@example.com