WEST ORANGE, NJ – The Mountaineers got off to a fast start at home Monday evening, scoring 27 first quarter points on the way to an 86-20 victory over Central Jersey College Prep.

West Orange’s Nashiem Harte led all scorers with a game-high 15 points. Senior Andy Fleurantin scored 13 points, freshman Justin Winston contributed 11 points including a couple of dunks, and junior guard Patrick Jamison scored nine points.

Central Jersey Prep was led by Jose Vargas, who scored seven points.

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West Orange improves to 15-5, maintaining its first place position in the Colonial Division of the Super Essex Conference. The Mountaineers have earned the ninth seed in the upcoming playoffs and will play on the road against Livingston on Monday, March 2. However, the team still has two regular season games to play before the playoffs come, and “these games can’t be overlooked,” said Coach Greg Tynes.

“We got a tough matchup with Bridgewater-Raritan first, and then we have East Orange, who is the second best team in the county and the number one seed in our section, so we’re really preparing for them—we’re not preparing for Livingston yet,” said Tynes.

The Mountaineers will play Bridgewater-Raritan at home on Tuesday, Feb. 24.  The game has a 7:00 p.m. start time and will be a challenge for West Orange because the Panthers “always have a strong program,” said Tynes. The 11-10 Panthers team is fourth in its division and has challenged 20-3 Rutgers Prep in both of its matchups.

East Orange boasts a 19-3 record and will play Seton Hall Saturday evening for the Essex County Tournament Championship. The Jaguars, led by senior Denzel Banks’ 14.1 points per game, lead the Liberty Division of the Super Essex Conference and present another tough challenge before the playoffs for the Mountaineers.

Coach Tynes said he sees room for improvement in his team, but is pleased with its play. He also said that the team is gaining chemistry and getting healthy at the right time.

Evan Easterling is a student at West Orange High School participating in a journalism program with TAP into West Orange.