Vikings advance to H/W/S semis

VERNON. Boys basketball team, seeded fifth, defeats fourth-seeded Hackettstown in the quarterfinal round.

Vernon /
| 06 Feb 2024 | 06:32

Junior Alex Fessel scored a game-high 13 points along with three steals, two rebounds and two assists and Michael Pecoraro added 10 points and seven rebounds to lift the fifth-seeded Vernon Township High School boys basketball team to a 46-35 victory in the quarterfinal round of the Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex Tournament.

The Vikings defeated fourth-seeded Hackettstown there Saturday evening, Feb. 3.

The team will play at top-seeded Phillipsburg in the tri-county semifinal round Saturday, Feb. 10. Delaware Valley, the second seed, will meet third-seeded Hunterdon Central in the other semifinal the same day.

Against Hackettstown, Vernon also was paced by Dylan Heykoop (eight points, three assists, two rebounds), Ben Jurewicz (eight points, five rebounds) and Dhamir Morfe-Chess (seven points, six rebounds, three assists, two blocks).

The Vikings began play in the H/W/S Tournament with a 74-47 victory over 12th-seeded Lenape Valley on Jan. 30 at home.

Fessel had a game-high 21 points with five rebounds, three steals and two assists; Morfe-Chess added 16 points, 15 rebounds and six assists; and Aden Karwoski had 11 points and two rebounds to fuel the decision.

Fessel is averaging 17.6 points to lead the team in scoring, followed by Morfe-Chess, a senior, who is averaging 13.7 points.

Here is how other Vernon sports teams fared last week:

Ice hockey

Senior Luke Zabriskie struck for a career-high six goals along with three assists as the Vikings ran their winning streak to four straight with an 11-6 decision over Newton/Lenape Valley on Feb. 3 at Skylands Ice World in Stockholm.

Zabriskie, who had four goals and two assists in a 7-2 decision over Paramus on Jan. 28, has 31 goals and 16 assists this season.

Also contributing against Newton/Lenape Valley were Jake Chromcik (two goals, two assists), Christopher Gay (one goal, four assists), Rick Bennett (one goal, one assist), Drew Shawgo (one goal) and Nate Kouretas (one assist).

Brady Hendricks made 25 saves to anchor the defense.

Vernon (11-6) is scheduled to play Clifton at 4 p.m. Feb. 10 at Skylands Ice World.

Girls basketball

Despite receiving 11 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks from Grace Dobrzynski, the 11th-seeded Vikings bowed to sixth-seeded Sparta, 49-35, in the second round of the Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex Tournament there Jan. 30.

Grace Duffy added 11 points, eight rebounds and two assists; Jonnah Castillo had four points, six rebounds and two assists; and Monica Curry added six points and four assists for Vernon.

Vernon (11-7) owns a 7-2 mark in the North Jersey Athletic Conference’s Colonial Division with a final league game Tuesday, Feb. 6 at Hopatcong.


Vernon (3-16) came up just short in a 42-40 loss to Dover on Feb. 1 at home.

The Vikings received pin fall victories from Dominic Cimaglia (138 pounds), Zachary Ezzo (157), Daniel Rendon (175), True DiGuiseppe (190) and Alexander Savage (215) and a major decision from Gavin Pych (150) in the defeat.

The Vikings’ regular season finale is scheduled at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8 against Indian Hills at home.