SOMERSET, N.J. -- The Warriors are moving on.
Tuesday, the Franklin High School boys and girls basketball teams each won their first round games of the NJSIAA North Jersey, Section 2, Group 4 state tournament.
The third-seeded girls, ranked No. 19 in the latest NJ.com Top 20, thumped 14th-seeded Newark East Side, 65-15, while the eighth-seeded boys edged ninth-seeded Franklin 66-60. Both games were at home.
The Lady Warriors (20-5) held East Side (14-10) scoreless in the entire first half before taking their foot off the gas some after the break.
Kennady Schenck led all scorers with 14 points with nine coming on three 3-pointers. Onoseta Ufuah added 12 points, Kyierah Dempsey-Toney had 11, Keona Schenck scored eight, and Morgan Jones chipped in with six. Gissell Gamble and Alyssa Pecorella both contributed four points apiece while Erica Jackson, Alexandra Hajdu-Nemeth, and Viktoria Pitka all had two points.
Dalismar Berrios made three 3-pointers for nine points for East Side.
With the win, Franklin, which is striving for its fourth sectional title in a row and sixth in the last seven years, will host 11th-seeded Hunterdon Central on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. after the Red Devils won on the road at sixth-seeded Piscataway. The winner of Franklin-Hunterdon Central will take on either second-seeded and No. 12 Bayonne or 10th-seeded Bridgewater-Raritan in the semifinals on Saturday.
The Lady Warriors beat the Red Devils this past January by 28 points.
For the boys, which have won three straight games and four of five, Franklin (14-13) and Edison (19-7) exploded out of the gates offensively, scoring 26 and 21 points, respectively, and Franklin led by seven at the half, 38-31.
The Warriors held a 10-point, 54-44 lead after three quarters.
Tracy Brown netted 21 points, including 15 on five 3-pointers for Franklin while teammate Joshua Guroda-Grauer added 11. Edward Turay also scored nine points, Anthony Milligan bucketed eight, Isaiah Cotten produced seven, Anthony Edmunson had six, and Cameron Snowden chipped in with four.
Edison’s Emanuel Davila also deposited 21 points with six rebounds, two assists, and two steals. Malachi White and Nasir McLean scored 13 and 12 more points, respectively, as well. White also recorded five boards and three assists and McLean had six rebounds and a block.
With the win, Franklin will take on a familiar opponent in top-seeded and No. 20 Watchung Hills on Thursday at 7:00 p.m.
Watchung Hills, which beat 16th-seeded Barringer in the opening round, has won the previous three matchups between the two programs, including both this year by scores of 88-41 and 68-48. The key for Franklin is going to be not allowing Watchung Hills, which is also nicknamed the Warriors, to get out to strong starts. In the two games this year, Watchung has led 20-10 and 24-10 after the first quarter.
Follow Chris Nalwasky on Twitter @ChrisWasky.
TAPinto Franklin/Somerset is independently owned and operated by Malik A. Lyons FHS Class of 93’ Graduate.
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