WEST ORANGE, NJ – In a nail-biter against Sussex County's High Point Regional High School, the West Orange girls basketball team stood its ground to beat the Wildcats, 44-40, and remain undefeated at 16-0.
Mya Bembry and Nahtali Simpson were top scorers for the Mountaineers with 14 and 10 points each, respectively. Margo Peterson was the top scorer for the Wildcats with 16 points.
The teams were evenly matched from the beginning. A technical foul against West Orange started the game as High Point gained two points before play even started. Three-pointers by Wildcats Emma Cawley and Tyra Wingle kept their momentum going until Simpson scored a three-pointer and put the Mountaineers ahead 20-18 after the first.
The second quarter saw a series of missed foul shots and baskets for the Mountaineers who struggled to retain control of the ball against High Point’s strong defense. They held on to the lead at half 25-20, though West Orange only scored five points in the second and High Point, two.
High Point came back strong in the third and took the lead over West Orange thanks to three-pointers by Peterson, Cawley and Wingle.
A series of back-and-forth baskets kept flip-flopping the lead heading into the fourth but renewed energy on the part of the Mountaineers and two-point foul shots by Bembry put West Orange ahead, 42-40 with 40 seconds left in the fourth.
A missed shot by High Point and another two foul points for Bembry sealed the deal with nine seconds left in the game, bringing e game to a final score of 44-40.
West Orange remains undefeated at 16-0 and High Point goes to 12-3. The girls will take on Queen of Peace in an away game on Thursday beginning at 4:00 p.m.