WEST ORANGE, NJ - In a closely-fought matchup, West Orange edged out North 13th Street Tech, 45-41, in the preliminary round of Essex County Tournament (ETC) basketball play in the West Orange High School Tarnoff gym on Saturday night.
The 28th seeded North 13th Street Tech Cougars were evenly matched against the 17th seeded West Orange Mountaineers. With quick speed, the Cougars held the lead throughout the game, leading 20-19 at the end of the half and 31-30 at the end of the third period.
The Cougars’ fast-paced action put them ahead early in the fourth period by 7 points. Late in the fourth period, Coach Greg Tynes of West Orange called a time-out and the Mountaineers switched from a zone to a man-to-man defense. The defensive changes forced turnovers by the Cougars and it quickly became a one-possession game. The Mountaineers led 41-39 with 2:10 left in the fourth.
Several fouls by the Cougars gave West Orange a series of free-throw opportunities, pulling the game out of reach. The final score was 45-41.
Coach Greg Tynes of West Orange said, “One of our starters was missing tonight, but we played hard and dug in at the end.”
West Orange’s Tacai Dryden had a high score of 13 points for the Mountaineers, with 8 points scored in the fourth period alone. Jeremiah Boone Alexander and Andy Fleuratin scored 9 points, while Morgan Garrison contributed 7.
The Cougars’ Anthony King was the high scorer for North 13th Street Tech with 14 points and Omari Dill-Pettiford socred 11 points.
West Orange faces Orange on Monday, Jan. 27.