WEST ORANGE, NJ – The West Orange High School girls basketball team defeated the Millburn Millers, 66-39, at home on Tuesday to clinch the Liberty Division title for the first time in West Orange High School history.

Sophomore Mountaineer Mya Bembry was the top scorer with 26 points and seniors Jewel Burnett and Dawn Flood chipped in 11 and 10 points, respectively, to put West Orange on top.

The Millers’ Rachel Hubertus had eight points and Leila Dean Stansberry and Kayla Wolf each had seven.

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A series of full-court presses and strong defense kept the Mountaineers in the lead throughout the game.

The Mountaineers also took the time to recognize the 31st annual National Girls and Women in Sports initiative, celebrated on Feb. 1. Girls from Rec and Mountain Top teams, along with Liberty and Roosevelt Middle School players, stood to cheers from the crowd—many of whom were wearing National Girls and Women in Sports T-shirts.

This year’s theme was “Expanding Opportunity,” and according to the NGWS website, “recognizes the extraordinary progress sparked by Title IX and the ongoing effort to ensure access to sports for girls and women.” Despite the legislation’s impact, only 40 percent of high school girls are currently playing sports, according to the website, leaving three out of five girls without the opportunity to compete.

“Research demonstrates that girls who play sports have better health, higher self-esteem, stronger leadership skills, greater academic achievement and economic opportunity,” the website also states. “Let’s work together through NGWSD to get these three-in-five girls in the game and expand their opportunities both in sports and in life.”

The Mountaineers are now 17-1 and are currently ranked number five in Region 4 competition and number two in the Super Essex Conference.

SEC tournament play begins on Feb. 11 in a home game, with the time and opponent to be determined.

West Orange plays Bloomfield on Feb. 14 in an away game beginning at 4 p.m.

See more photos by Buzz1441 here