Morris Hills wins Morris County Tournament

ROCKAWAY – It was eerily quiet at Rockaway Lanes as Sam Engel stepped up to the approach. Morris Hills was trying to earn the Morris County Tournament bowling title, and Engel felt the pressure.

With just the 10 pin between him and a spare on the final frame of the first game of the finals, Engel stepped back and took a breath. Then he made the spare.

In the second game, Engel doubled in the 10th frame – two strikes – to give the Scarlet Knights the title on Thursday afternoon.

They defeated Montville 202-193 and 180-173 in the final round of the 11th annual MCT, conducted in the Baker format where every bowler rolled two frames.

It is the Scarlet Knights’ first MCT title since 2011.

Sam Engel holds up the trophy as the Morris Hills Bowling Team celebrates a win at the Morris County bowling tournament at Rockaway Lanes on Thursday Jan.  27, 2021.

The victory was even more improbable because the Mustangs had broken the MCT record for team pins – twice – just a few hours earlier. Montville had only dropped a single game this season, to Morris Tech.

Morris Hills captain Alex Furman rattled off all those stats as his teammates celebrated nearby.

“We wanted to take out Montville,” said Furman, a Scarlet Knights senior. “I knew I couldn’t let the rest of the team down. But I missed in the ninth (frame of the second game) to give them an opening. Same was clutch. He was able to take it home.”

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