RANDOLPH – The eighth-seeded Hanover Park boys basketball team is headed to the Morris County Tournament semifinals.
The Hornets (17-5) defeated No. 16 Mountain Lakes 67-61 to earn a date with No. 4 Mendham next Saturday at the County College of Morris.
“Since the beginning of the year we really thought we could make it all the way, and it’s still our goal,” Hanover Park junior forward Donny Dattolo said. “It’s not that far out of reach.”
Mountain Lakes (10-9) trailed 30-26 to start the third quarter and Hanover Park went up 33-28 with 5:42 to play. A 4-1 run brought the Lakers to within two, 34-32, with 4:56 to go, but four-straight free throws from Dattolo gave the Hornets a 37-32 advantage.
Mountain Lakes then went to the line three times and sank 5-of-6 free throws to tie the game 37-37 with 2:54 left. Senior guard Brad Daugherty put the Hornets back in front 39-37, but an 8-0 run from the Lakers that included 3s from senior forward Noah Marshall and junior guard Chris Boyhan, put Mountain Lakes back up 45-39. Hanover Park closed out the quarter on a 5-0 run to cut the lead to 45-44.
The Hornets kept rolling to start the fourth, opening on a 6-0 run to take a 52-45 lead. The Lakers tried to get close, but Hanover Park maintained the lead the rest of the way for the 67-61 final.
“John (ByDook) is such a good coach, he prepares his kids, he always has a new wrinkle and we just tried to take away the stuff that we knew hurt us in the past,” Hanover Park coach Todd Hartman said. “Luckily we were able to battle inside and get our share of the rebounds, which is being a smaller team is something that we have to concentrate on.”
Boyhan finished with a game-high 30 points for the Lakers. Dattolo scored 22 for the Hornets while Daugherty finished with 16.
Morristown 54, Roxbury 53
Trailing 46-45 with 3:27 to play in the fourth quarter, senior guard Jack Mongey hit two free throws to give the seventh-seeded Colonials a 47-46 lead less than 40 seconds later. The Colonials then went on a 7-0 run to take a 54-50 lead with 12.6 seconds remaining. For second-seeded Roxbury, senior guard Chris Pooler sent up a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer as the Colonials held on for a 54-53 victory.
The Gaels (14-5) led 15-6 after the first quarter and opened a 25-13 with 3:36 left in the second before the Colonials (11-8) finished the first half on a 11-2 run to get within 25-24. Morristown took its first lead of the game on a 3-pointer from junior guard Collin Brunnock with 7:35 left in the third, and held on to hold a 39-35 lead after three.
“We just had to stick together, I felt like in the first quarter we kind of fell apart and as they started to go on a little bit of a run we just had to stick together and get back to our offense and execute,” Morristown sophomore guard Kevin Hoehn said.
After taking a 43-35 lead to start the fourth, the Gaels went on a 6-0 run to get within 43-41. A basket from Hoehn gave Morristown some breathing room, 45-41 with 4:49 left, but five-straight points brought Roxbury back 46-45 with 3:27 to go.
Kevin Hoehn scored a game-high 19 points to lead Morristown, advances to the semifinals for the third-straight year. The Colonials will face No. 3 Chatham in the semifinals next Saturday at the County College of Morris.
“The experience is really an advantage that we were able to take out of last year, going back to CCM is going to be a lot of fun,” Hoehn said.
Junior guard Rohan Walker scored 14 points and Mongey finished with 12. For the Gaels, senior forward Doug Alexander had 14 points and six rebounds. Junior forward Grant Dixon finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Senior guard Anthony McMyne chipped in 12 points.
Chatham 43, Pequannock 38
Junior forward Colin McKenna scored 15 points to help lead the third-seeded Cougars (16-4) back to the MCT semifinals.
Chatham led 9-8 after the first quarter, but after McKenna gave the Cougars an 11-8 lead to open the second quarter, a 3-pointer from senior guard James Hitchcock tied the game 11-11 for the 11th-seeded Panthers (12-7). A basket from junior forward Jamie Morella gave Pequannock the 13-11 lead, but Chatham quickly tied it up on another basket from McKenna. From there, the Cougars finished the first half on a 6-3 run to take a 19-16 lead.
“They definitely gave us a tough test, we knew they were going to shoot threes,” McKenna said. “They gave us a battle, it was a dog fight the whole way, in the end it just came down to who made less mistakes and I think that we made less.”
Pequannock tried to keep it close in the third quarter, getting within 28-24 with 2:56 to play, but another 6-2 run gave Chatham a 34-26 lead after three. In the fourth, the Panthers outscored Chatham 13-9 and got to within 41-38 with 16.5 seconds to play on two free throws from senior guard Bryan Peters, but two free throws from Chatham senior guard Graham Delaney sealed the 43-38 victory for the Cougars.
Graham Delaney finished with 12 points for Chatham. For the Panthers, Peters led with 15 points.
Mendham 47, Montville 41
Fourth-seeded Mendham had to work to earn its berth in the semifinals. Fifth-seeded Montville (13-5) started strong, leading 8-4 after the first quarter and 17-14 at the half. In the third quarter, the Minutemen (14-5) came back.
After the Mustangs opened a 21-16 lead with 5:44 left in the third, Mendham went on a 6-2 run to get within 23-22 with 3:25 left. Senior guard Jacob Kaplan then hit the back end of two free throws for a 24-22 Montville lead, but a basket by senior guard Brendan O’Donnell tied the game 24-24 with 1:37 to play.
Montville gained the lead back, going ahead 27-24 on a free throw and a field goal, but a basket from senior foward Robert Annen kept Mendham close, 27-26, to end the third. Junior guard Jamie Conklin then hit back-to-back 3s to open the fourth quarter, Mendham’s only 3-pointers of the game until that point, to give the Minutemen its first lead of the game, 32-27.
“We were kind of flat the whole game, we knew we needed some spark so I just needed to get something going and I just knew that if I could hit a shot we’d start playing better,” Conklin said of his 3-pointers. “Once I hit that shot, we had the momentum going so I knew once we got ahead we’d stay ahead.”
Mendham kept rolling from there, taking a 36-27 lead on baskets from freshman forward Brad Bundschuh and Conklin with 4:31 to go. The Minutemen closed out the fourth quarter sinking 11-of-14 free throws, while Montville scored 14 points for the 47-41 final.
Senior guard Brian Kenez led Mendham with 14 points and four assists. Robert Annen finished with nine points and six rebounds. Junior forward Anthony Signorelli had eight points and seven rebounds. For the Mustangs, Kaplan led all scorers with 17 points. Senior forward Jacob Coleman scored 11 points.
Staff Writer Lauren Knego: 973-428-6674; firstname.lastname@example.org