BY BRETT FRIEDENSOHN
The winter weather is waning as both basketball teams are closing out their seasons at the County College of Morris.
The men’s basketball team made adjustments after the resignation of its head coach and adjustment to an assistant coach taking over, while the women’s basketball team nearly made a run to the playoffs.
“They’ve been playing amazing,” said Brenda Denure, head coach of women’s basketball. “If all five of them play their game, we can beat anybody. We can beat Harcum, who’s number one.”
That did not happen, however as the team’s chances of making the playoffs ended on Saturday, Feb.13 with a 91-40 loss to Harcum College.
DeNure said that due to a concussion and knee injury to two of her players, her team lost the game.
“Some of these girls are going to some great schools when they leave here,” said DeNure. “Not just basketball, but education-wise. They do well. Every single one of my girls except two is over a 3.0. I have two 3.7’s, 3.5. These girls are really great. Not just great athletes, but they’re great students.”
The players themselves said they were pleased with the season’s progress.
“We’re doing pretty well,” said Michaela Piserchia, women’s basketball player and hospitality management major. “Better than we did last year actually.”
DeNure said that before this season, she refused to take the head coaching position that Athletic Director Jack Sullivan offered her, unless Jill Scully, with whom she coached children’s recreational basketball in Roxbury, was also hired to coach.
“(Scully) calms me and when she gets frantic; I calm her,” DeNure said. “We just have a nice, rolling relationship. We get it.”
Earlier this season, Anthony Obery replaced Eric Powe as Head Coach of
men’s basketball after Powe resigned.
“I feel pretty good; I feel confident,” Obery said. “Good group of guys, respectful.
They show leadership with their adjustment. They didn’t think no different of Coach Powe on his retirement, but they be moving forward pretty well.”
While his team did not make the playoffs this year, Obery said that he
hoped his team can make the playoffs next season, and in order to do
that, it must improve on defense.
“I’m looking to push the pressure and tempo up a little bit,” Obery said. “Nobody wants to play defense; let’s put it that way. But I want those guys to understand that defense in this game means championships.”
Basketball player Quentin Pharis had nothing but praise for Obery.
“It’s great,” Pharis said. “We had him at the beginning of the season, and he was working for us, and now, we have him solo, so it works out better.”
Both teams will try to make a playoff push come the end of the next fall semester, when the winter season begins.