PATERSON, NJ - Eastside High School's varsity boys basketball team already held a victory over crosstown rival John F. Kennedy this season.
On Tuesday night, the Knights took on Eastside a second time, and this time, without their top scorer. Sophomore guard Alphonso Gee missed the rematch after sustaining a cut above his eye in a game over the weekend.
Asem Johnson scored 18 points and Eastside built a 14-point lead by halftime en route to a 51-40 victory over JFK on Tuesday.
Without Gee, who is averaging close to 24 points a game, the Knights lacked enough offensive firepower to stay with their highly ranked rivals. Ahmad Dauda added 11 points for Eastside, which raised its record to 12-1.
Guard Aalim Jones led JFK with 14 points and Charles Powell dropped in 10 in a losing cause. The defeat left JFK with a 9-7 record.
The two Paterson schools have been seeded first and second for the upcoming Passaic County Tournament. Both top-seeded Eastside and second-seeded JFK will receive byes in each of the first two rounds of the tournament, which begins with preliminaries this weekend and concludes the final weekend in February.