Boys Basketball: 1/5 – 1/17 Recapped

Boys Basketball: 1/5 - 1/17 Recapped

Ben Colao, Staff Writer

Over the course of the past two weeks, the Dodgers have continued to engage in a number of intense match-ups, most being nail-biters to the very end. The emergent wave of COVID-19 has unfortunately brought an end to the triumphant return of the student section, but fortunate enough, my press pass still works! So, for as long as it does, in-depth analyses of each and every Madison contest will continue to be found right here. So, without further ado, here is your MHS Ball Recap, two weeks in the making.  

Varsity Dodgers pull a hard-fought win from Pope John

On January 5th, the Varsity and Freshman teams both faced off against Pope John at home.  Coming off of a bitter loss by just one point against Chatham the previous day, Pope John was eager to crush their new opponents quickly; but, as always, the Dodgers were far from ready to let them get the easy victory they had hoped for. On both sides of the court, the teams remained neck and neck – both masterful performances from seniors Drew Stack (Twenty six points, four three-pointers, eight rebounds) and Daniel Oyederian – who recently celebrated his commitment to Hartwick College – (Twenty points) created a gaping thirteen point lead by the end of the 3rd quarter that Pope John wasn’t able to return from. The final score was 62 to 57, Madison. 

In an unfortunate contrast, however, the freshman team was unsuccessful in defeating their opponent; suffering a 40-29 loss next door in the auxiliary gym. JV did not play Pope John.

Pequannock hands Varsity frustrating loss, Freshman follows, but JV breaks through.

On January 11th, all three Madison teams battled Pequannock at home. The Dodgers led off extremely strong – scoring eight points and drawing two charges (each by junior Sean Mariani) in just the first four minutes of competition. By the end of the first quarter, Madison largely retained its lead with a score of 17-12. However, while they were slow to start, Pequannock quickly began to ratchet up their offense to an insufferable pace. While Madison continued to score, Pequannock did so far more consistently, and by the half the score was tied at 23-23. It was anybody’s game, and Coach Reel knew it, telling his team at halftime: “Great work guys, listen. We got this. We have to continue this situation we’re in right now… we gotta be patient, and find those wide-open looks.” Laying out a clear game-plan to seize the third quarter, Reel was quick to reassure and pump up his team; but unfortunately, the third quarter can only be described as a complete collapse of the Madison offense in the most frustrating way possible. The Dodgers failed over nine possessions, missing shot after shot, while Pequannock’s outside shooters went on fire – scoring twenty points and creating a twelve point lead for themselves. It is often remarked that who wins the third quarter wins the game, and in this case, the saying would ring true. Left frustrated by their failure to execute on offense and exhausted by an extremely poor job to rotate and substitute players to give the core five much needed rest, the Dodgers were, throughout the fourth quarter, incapable of stopping the Pequannock advance. They would score just twenty points in the entire second half to Pequonnack’s forty one, and would ultimately suffer an embarrassing loss to a team that, in reality, were far from their superiors. The final score was 64-43, Pequonnack.


The freshman team was unfortunately not too far behind either, losing 53-58. However, the JV team would find much greater success. Madison’s offense in this match-up consistently out-performed their opponents, who really had no answer for the driving abilities of sophomore Greg Randall (eight points) and freshman Evan Colao (twelve points). At least in this match-up, Madison would win handily.


Madison Steamrolls Dover, Earns large Victories Across all Levels

Coming off a defeat that even still enrages me, the reporter, Madison’s Varsity team was more than hungry for a win the next day when they faced off against a confident Dover team at home on January 6th. And thankfully, what would follow is Madison’s best performance as a team to date: the Dodger offense operated with exacting efficiency and largely denied any Dover retaliation on the other end of the court. Some lucky shots towards the end of the fourth quarter cut Madison’s lead to seven points, but from the beginning it was clear that Dover was completely outmatched. The second quarter would begin with senior Daniel Oyederian swatting a ball so hard I had to catch it so that it wouldn’t nail me in the face: Which is a fitting analogy for the Dodger defense this quarter, as they completely froze Dover’s offensive momentum and held them to just six points. By contrast, Madison’s offense would continue to work relentlessly with Senior Daniel Oyederian earning an incredible twenty two points for himself by the end of the second quarter. The air was euphoric as the buzzer sounded for the end of the first half, the scoreboard reading 41-18 Madison. All they needed was to continue this momentum in the third quarter, and this was done easily. Dover, to my surprise, emerged from halftime a more passive team than before; defeat seemingly already accepted by those playing on the court. Madison would continue to execute highly, and Dover would continue to do the opposite, the Dodgers widening their lead to twenty five points by the end of the third quarter. Victory was at this point a clear inevitability, and to provide any real description of the fourth quarter would do little, given Dover’s embarrassing apathy towards the end of the game. The final score was 65-36, Madison.

The freshman team would also score a heartening victory against Dover, winning 55-27 against their adversary in the aux gym. The most trouble would be given to JV, who would ultimately need to fight much harder to secure victory. However, thanks to the incredible outside shooting of sophomore Marco Roselli (Four three-pointers, fourteen points), coupled with an unbreakable sense of composure and team synergy throughout the game, The JV Dodgers would come out on top with a final score of 63 – 55.

Varsity emerges victorious against Hanover Park, JV misses mark

This past saturday, January 15th, the Varsity and JV teams traveled to Hanover Park and faced one of their fiercest rivals, the Hornets. With both teams eager to make a streak off of their wins earlier in the week (Madison against Dover, HP against MoBeard), the match was set to be, yet again, a close one. Seniors Daniel Oyederian, Drew Stack, and Tommasso Maher all performed well; scoring twenty one, seventeen, and thirteen points, respectively, but the end was never clear. While Madison would lead 31-22 by halftime, HP rallied in the third quarter – routinely making stops and capitalizing on their offensive opportunities, and finished with a point lead over the Dodgers 46-45 by the buzzer. Who wins the third quarter often wins the game… but in this case, the saying would be disproven. In a herculean final effort, remaining composed and efficient in the face of an increasingly desperate HP team, the Dodgers managed to pull off the victory by just two points. The final score was 61-59, Madison. 

I was not able to stay for the JV game, but after speaking with players on the team it appears the match was similar to Pequonnock in that the loss was a frustrating one, based on factors outside of the true abilities of either team. JV would ultimately lose by eight points. The freshman team did not play Hanover Park.

*As of Saturday, 1/22/22, spectators are welcome again at Madison Basketball games.