It couldn’t have been more dramatic or emotional.
With six seconds left and Morristown-Beard trailing defending champion Chatham, 33-32, in the Morris County championship game, Bridget Monaghan hurled a cross-court pass to a wide-open Christina DeMattheis, who sank a long-range shot from the corner as time expired. The last-second shot made history, lifting the Morristown-Beard girls basketball team to its first-ever Morris County championship.
“When I first got the ball, my intention was to put my head down and drive all the way to the basket,” said Monaghan. “But then I saw three girls coming my way. I also saw Christina wide open and I knew she could hit that shot all day every day. It was the right play to make and I had no doubt that shot was going in from the moment it left her fingers.”
DeMattheis, however, had her doubts.
“At first, I didn’t think it was going in because it was off a little to the right, but it hit the rim and dropped in. I was just shocked and I froze. Once I realized we won, I started crying and then everyone came down and stormed the court.”
The Crimson kept it close throughout the game, trailing 18-14 at halftime of the defensive battle. MBS didn’t take its first lead until the fourth quarter when Erin Martin sank a pair of free throws to put the Crimson ahead, 25-24. From there, it was a roller coaster ride that saw Morristown-Beard take a 32-30 lead with two minutes left, only to have Chatham pull ahead with 6 seconds remaining.
“It was back-and-forth late, but we practice end of game scenarios, and we were ready,” said Head Coach Mike Sturgeon. “Christina came up clutch all year and she did it again here tonight. A lot kids would try to win it on their own, but Bridget saw the double team, she hit Christina and the rest was history.”
Congratulations to Coach Sturgeon and the entire MBS girls basketball team.
The girls basketball team followed their County title with an opening round 72-31 win over Montclair Kimberley Academy in the NJSIAA Non-Public, North B Tournament on Wednesday. The 3rd-seeded Crimson will now face 6th-seeded Lodi Immaculate in the quarterfinals on Friday, March 1st at 4 p.m. at home. Go Crimson!