She’s followed in the footsteps of her brother and sister, both outstanding basketball players at Morristown-Beard.
But Morgan Bartner has forged her own identity.
A 6-foot-2 senior center who has led the Crimson to a 15-7 mark this season, Bartner recently became the school’s all-time leader in points, assists and blocks.
Her 1,388 points eclipsed the 1,226 compiled by 2012 graduate Tatiana Johnson. Bartner has also collected 1,103 rebounds to overtake the 1,045 by Shanice Johnson, who graduated from Morristown-Beard in 2010.
“It’s been a goal of mine since freshman year,” Bartner said. “My sister, Stephanie, played at Beard and scored 1,000 points and my brother, Brian, played here too. It’s a great accomplishment and it’s even more satisfying because the team is winning.
“It was one of my far-fetched goals and it’s a far-fetched accomplishment. At the end of last year, I thought that I could do it. My teammates really helped me a lot.”
More than a dominant player on the floor, Bartner sees herself as a mentor to the younger players, paying forward the guidance that she received as a neophyte varsity player.
“I am always trying to teach the younger players to stay positive,” Bartner, who will play at Marist next season, said. “ I was in their situation once and now I need to help them. I remember Tati (Johnson) pushed on me a lot in practice. The little freshman guarding the senior. She definitely pushed me around, but it helped me a lot.”
Bartner also received a lot of support from her family, practicing and training with her brother and sister.
“They used to help me all the time and they still do, even though they’re both away at college,” she said. “The still give me advice now. They tell me to keep my head up if I’ve had a bad game. They help me through everything. Basketball is an important thing in my family.”
While Bartner’s accomplishments have established her as among the best to play for Morristown-Beard, she’s still striving to have her team create its own legacy. The Crimson defeated Pennington to win the Prep B title on Wednesday night.
“What I’ve done is a great accomplishment, but I want the program to keep growing,” she said. “I want to have people look up to me and have someone hopefully to break my records one day.”
Morris County Tournament
The Morris County semifinal round is set for Friday at the County College of Morris with second-seeded Morristown taking on third-seeded Mendham at 5 p.m. and top-seeded and two-time defending champion Morris Catholic facing West Morris, the No. 5 seed at 6:30.
The Morris Catholic-West Morris contest is a rematch of last year’s title game, won by Morris Catholic, 62-47. Both teams enter the matchup with reverence of their opponent.
“It’s a pretty even matchup that can be won by either team, it’s just a matter of who plays best that day,” Morris Catholic coach Rich Fachet said. “We’re a little different than last year in that any one of our players can step up and be the high scorer. It’s probably going to be a fast tempo, but we’re okay with that. Both teams defend well, so it’s going to be a matter taking advantage of what the defense gives us.”
West Morris coach Fran Gavin is equally respectful of Morris Catholic.
“Morris Catholic has a very good starting five that’s focused, athletic , skilled and experienced,” Gavin said. “They present difficult matchups for everybody. Our approach will be to rely on what we are. We play aggressive defense and we look to run the basketball.
Mendham and Morristown met on Jan. 31, with the Minutemen earning a 52-40 decision.
“We’re a team that plays hard, tough defense and we’ve been very consistent all season,” Mendham coach Mark Ganpp said. We play as a team which is a big factor for us. Morristown has one of the better players in Morris County (Abby Schubiger). We did a good job on her the first time we played, but we know that we’re going to have to help out on her.”
Morristown coach Jim Pisciotto is well aware of the challenge Mendham presents.
“They present some problem,” Pisciotto said. “They’re a solid team, they’re well coached and they don’t have many holes. Defense is going to be out key. They’re a little more experienced than us, but if we don’t get caught up in the moment and play our game, we should be okay.”
1. Morris Catholic …18-2
2. Morristown …14-4
3. Mendham …14-5
4. West Morris …13-6
5. Chatham …13-9
6. Morris Knolls …11-10
7. Montville …10-10
8. Hanover Park …14-5
9. Morristown-Beard …15-7
10. Jefferson …14-6
(Records through Tuesday)