MORRISTOWN - John Marshall and Union Local renewed their girls' basketball rivalry after more than a decade Wednesday night in Morristown.The Monarchs stayed unblemished against the homestanding Jets with a 74-68 victory inside 'The Hangar.'
John Marshall (3-0) led wire-to-wire in sending Union Local to its third loss in seven games.
Senior Kylie Howard and freshman Torie Derrow evenly divided a dozen points and Morgan Watson added five in the opening quarter as the Monarchs roared to a 22-14 lead before the Jets tallied the final three points.
''Our first two gamed the competition was so-so,'' McCormick offered. ''I scouted Union Local twice and I knew they have a nice team, but we played really well at times.
"This was the first real adversity that we have faced this season and I thought the girls responded very well. We pulled through despite our foul problems.''
The Monarchs slowly, but surely, extended their margin as the Jets couldn't buy a bucket in the second quarter. They were only able to tickle the twine twice in a dozen attempts as JM led, 40-27.
''In the first half we, as coaches, were wondering what was going on,'' Union Local coach Drew Greenwood said. ''We created a lot of problems for ourselves.''
Things didn't get any better for Union Local in the third as it turned the ball over 11 times in watching the Monarchs build a 22-point lead twice, the last being at 55-33 with 2:52 left.
The Jets sliced the deficit to 14 by the end of the quarter and got to within seven, 70-63, at the 1:55 mark of the final quarter by cashing in at the free-throw line. Dallas Montag (6-for-6) and Kayla Doty (4-for-4) sparked the comeback.
However, the Monarchs had an answer as Derrow and Emily Winters connected for baskets down the stretch.
''The second half was a test for us,'' Greenwood added. ''I felt good after the game because our girls never quit playing and battled until the final horn. That's what good teams do. They never quit.
"We had some girls step up in the second half tonight and did some things that we know they are capable of.''
Derrow, a smooth-looking freshman, led all scorers with 23 points. She also completed her double-double with 10 rebounds, while swatting away five shots. Kristin Lewicki, a cat-quick point guard, netted 18 points and charted four steals and four assists.
Howard finished with 15 points before fouling out with nearly five minutes to play.
''I like where we are headed as a team,'' McCormick said.
Doty and Montag each scored 21 points, while Cori Medley added 16.
Doty, despite playing with a torn ACL and wearing a bulky brace, tied Derrow for game honors off the glass with 10 of Union Local's 31 boards. Medley charted seven caroms and five assists.
''Kayla Doty is a good basketball player,'' Greenwood said. ''She'll do whatever has to be done in order to help the team.''