No one on Morris Catholic’s Girls’ basketball team or coaching staff really gets caught up in its current winning streak. Head Coach Billy Lovett has his girls playing one game at a time, letting their hardwood performance do the talking in each tilt.
And the second-seeded Crusaders had a lot to say, as they went out and defeated No. 7 Villa Walsh, 78-36, in the quarterfinal round of the North Jersey, Non-Public B Tournament Friday night at home.
As for the streak, Morris Catholic’s victory made it 24 in a row.
“We’re on a 24-game winning streak,” Lovett said after the game. “We’re ranked sixth in the state, and we’ve earned everything we gotten. We won the Morris County Tournament. But right now, we’re trying to make a run in the state tournament.”
Tonight, was the start for the Crusaders.
Morris Catholic (24-1) jumped out to a 34-12 lead in the first quarter, with a total team effort contributing to the scoring output while it played solid, relentless defense.
The Crusaders went up, 56-22, at the end of the first half. After freshman Daniella Matus sank two free throws near the end of the third quarter, Lovett inserted his backups into the tilt, as the Crusaders crd to victory the rest of the way.
Morris Catholic’s starting lineup consists of four freshmen, many of which made their mark in the contest. Plus, a total of seven freshmen on its roster.
Freshman Mya Pauldo led the charge for the Crusaders with 21 points and Matus followed with 19 points and seven rebounds. Junior Natalie Stoupakis contributed 15 points and five assists while freshman Mya Sampong posted 10 points and freshman Mia Pauldo played a fantastic overall game, contributing nine points, nine rebounds, eight assists, and seven steals.
Senior Maggie Crimmins scored a team-best seven points for the Vikings (9-16).
Morris Catholic will host third-seeded Montclair Immaculate in the semifinals on Monday.
— Jerry Del Priore