Basketball, Dylan Harper

Fessel, Jurewicz lead Vernon to historic quarterfinal win

The Vernon Vikings are headed to the NJSIAA Section 1 Group 2 semifinals after a dominant 66-44 win over High Point on Monday night. The Vikings were led by junior guard Alex Fessel, who tallied 27 points on the night. 

Vernon's "Big 3" of Fessel, Ben Jurewicz, and Dhamir Morfe-Chess were too much for the Wildcats on both ends of the floor. Jurewicz finished with a double-double on the night, putting up 17 points and ten rebounds, while Dhamir exploded for seven points in the second quarter to jolt the Vikings into halftime.

High Point could not get any shots to fall against the Vikings, who came out playing man-defense instead of their usual 2-3 zone. The Wildcats started the second quarter on an 8-0 run, but Vernon quickly responded with a 5-0 run to keep their distance.

Vernon put the game away in the third behind Fessel and Jurewicz, combining for 17 of the 21 points the Vikings scored in the quarter. Coach Connor Healy was able to rest his starters for most of the fourth quarter as the Vikings cruised into the Semifinals.

Vikings Continue Historic Season

This is the first time the Vikings have won more than one state playoff game in school history. Vernon started the season 0-3 before turning things around and going on this magical run.

Fessel is approaching 1,000 points in his high school career. After Monday's 27-point performance, the junior is now only 13 points away and has a chance to surpass the 1K mark on Wednesday. 

Up Next For Vernon

Vernon is set to take on the two-seed Glen Rock on Wednesday night after the Panthers held off seventh-seeded Jefferson 64-61 on Monday night. Glen Rock junior Mason Mangione leads the Panthers in both points and blocks on the year. There will be some "must-watch" basketball here in the Garden State on Wednesday night. Buckle up!