Vikings lose in sectional final

VERNON. Boys basketball team falls to Ramsey, 42-38, in championship game.

Vernon /
| 04 Mar 2024 | 08:50

The Vernon Township High School boys basketball team fell just short of winning its first sectional title when the third-seeded Vikings bowed to top-seeded Ramsey, 42-38, in the championship game of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) North Jersey, Section 1, Group 2 tournament there Friday, March 1.

Alex Fessel scored a game-high 20 points; Ben Jurewicz totaled seven points and five rebounds; and Dhamir Morfe-Chess added five points, 10 rebounds and three assists for Vernon, which trailed, 27-19, after three quarters.

The Vikings closed with a 19-15 fourth quarter showing, but Ramsey was able to stave off the rally and win its fourth straight sectional title.

Vernon began play last week with a 66-44 victory over sixth-seeded High Point in a sectional quarterfinal Monday, Feb. 26 powered by Fessel (27 points) and Jurewicz (17 points, 12 rebounds).

The Vikings then eliminated second-seeded Glen Rock, 60-55, in overtime in the semifinal round Thursday, Feb. 28.

Fessel matched his season- and career-high with a 29-point effort, including the 1,000th point of his career. He added six rebounds and three assists and will begin his senior campaign next season with 1,036 career points.

Jurewicz added 14 points and 12 rebounds, and Morfe-Chess totaled 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Vernon, which won its first Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex Tournament championship this season under head coach Connor Healy, was led by Fessel (18.4 points per game), Morfe-Chess (12.4 ppg, 7.8 rebounds), Jurewicz (10.4 ppg, 10.1 rebounds), Dylan Heykoop (5.9 ppg) and Aden Karwoski (5.7 ppg).

Girls wrestling

Caitlin Hart, a junior, qualified for the NJSIAA state tournament and placed fourth at 185 pounds at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City during the weekend.

After Hart, seeded third, lost to second-seeded Naylani DelValle of North Plainfield in the semifinal round, she was able to record a fall over Nataly Torres-Miron of Jackson Memorial in 4:35 in the wrestleback semifinal round before being pinned by Gateway’s Shaelie Young in 3:00 in the third-place match.

Hart, who was third in the state at 185 pounds last winter, had captured the 185-pound championship at the NJSIAA North Region 1 tournament Feb. 25.

Two other Vikings took part in the state tournament, with Natalie Tucker placing sixth at 132 pounds and Lily Henderson finishing eighth at 107.

Indoor track

Senior Zack Mountain placed 21st in the long jump with a leap of 19-10.50 at the NJSIAA Meet of Champions on Sunday afternoon, March 3 at the Ocean Breeze Track and Field Facility in Staten Island, N.Y.