BLOOMFIELD, NJ – It’s not the way Bloomfield High School Boys Varsity Basketball Coach Michael Passero would have liked to start the 2018-19 season, as the Bengals fell short against American History High School of Newark 63-50 in the season opener Friday night at Bloomfield High School.
Passero, taking over the helm from Pat Brunner, faced a tough task against high-powered AHHS as the season tipped off at home before a packed house.
The Bengals enjoyed their only lead of the game, 8-7, with 3-minutes to go in the first quarter. Four consecutive Bloomfield turnovers enabled AHHS to pull in front 16-8 at the end of the quarter.
Bloomfield scored 6 consecutive points to start the second quarter to get within striking distance at 16-14, before AHHS connected on four consecutive 3-pointers to build a 32-22 halftime lead.
Bloomfield found their stride in the second half and cut the deficit to 42-35 after three quarters of play.
Two Bloomfield buckets to begin the fourth quarter saw them inch closer, trailing 42-39.
American History turned on the afterburners, led by Emmanuel and Sean Bell, and scored 10 unanswered points to pull away with a 13-point victory in the non-division matchup.
Will Robinson, who returns as the only varsity starter from last season, finished with 13 points. Senior Tochi Anyanwu had 15 points, Isiah McCallum had 6 points, and Basheer Saleem and Vernon Lee had 5 points apiece.
Bloomfield (0-1) continues with their three-game home stand to start the season against Science Park High School on Saturday at 1 pm and Orange High School on Tuesday, December 18 at 4 pm.
After the homestand, two consecutive road games see them travel to East Orange High School on Thursday, December 20 at 4 pm, and Clifton High School on Saturday, December 22 at 11:30 am.
During the Christmas week break, the boys participate in the Glen Ridge Holiday Tournament on Thursday, December 27 and Friday, December 28. Their first-round opponent on the 27th is People’s Preparatory Charter.
The boys are in the Super Essex Conference – Liberty Division along with Newark Central, East Orange, University Phoenix of Newark, Newark Tech, Orange and West Orange.
Last season, the Bengals finished 22-7 and made it to the semifinals of the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 1, Group 4 State Tournament.