West Orange High School Lady Mountaineers Basketball to Face Top-Seeded East Orange Campus in County Quarters Today


WEST ORANGE, NJ - “Wow, in all my years in basketball, that was my first ever double-overtime game,” said third-year West Orange High School girls head hoops honcho Canience Montague, after her eighth-seeded Lady Mountaineers needed two extra sessions in order to edge Bloomfield, the ninth seed, 49-46, in an Essex County Tournament round of 16 tilt on Saturday, Feb. 13, at WOHS.

That outcome, coupled with a surprisingly close, 75-47, win by the locals' top-slotted crosstown competitor, East Orange Campus, over No. 16 Caldwell has set up a county quarterfinals clash between West Orange and East Orange at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 20, at East Orange Campus.

The survivor of that skirmish will advance to face either No. 4 Shabazz or No. 5 Nutley in an ECT semifinals showdown at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24, at Weequahic, while the tourney's title tilt is set for 3 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 27, at Essex County College.

Sign Up for E-News

Montague, a member of the Montclair High Class of 2005, who graduated from Bloomfield College in '09, knows what it takes to be a success at the high school level. After all, she was an integral part of one of the greatest Montclair High girls basketball teams in that school’s history when the Mounties reached the Group 4 state final vs. Absegami back in 2005, falling in a very competitive championship game at the Pine Belt Arena in Toms River.

One aspect of that particular top-shelf Montclair team she was a big part of as a key senior guard during the 2004-2005 campaign, was the ability to be consistent as a unit over the full 32 minutes of regulation, something her West Orange Mountaineers will have to do if they hope to upset the top-seeded East Orange Campus Lady Jaguars in this Saturday’s Essex County Tournament quarterfinals. Tip-off is 1 p.m.

 And, as the 42nd girls ECT now moves into the elite eight on Saturday, it will be the eighth-seeded Lady Mountaineers (8-13, 6-6) at East Orange Campus (15-3), fifth-seeded Nutley (15-6) at fourth-seeded Shabazz (13-6), seventh-seeded Newark Tech (11-10) at second-seeded Newark Academy (20-2) and 11th-seeded Millburn (11-9) at third-seeded University (15-5).

The Nutley v Shabazz matchup looms as possibly one of the best contests, with the Lady Raiders’ Maryland-bound star Blair Watson trying to help offset the overall athleticism of the Lady Bulldogs, in what will amount to a rubber match. The two teams met in their second Super Essex Conference-American Division game of the season on Tuesday, Feb. 15, with Nutley emerging a, 62-56, winner in a contest that was extended to two overtime periods. Shabazz had roared past the Maroon Raiders in their first meeting between the two, 57-35, back on Jan. 14.

On Thursday, the Bulldogs pulled off their biggest win of the 2015-2016 regular season, upsetting East Orange, 39-35, in SEC-American Division action.

Newark Tech, led by its standout sophomore guard Abbey Lawrence, has won seven in a row since a, 60-47, loss to state-ranked Middletown South on Jan. 17, and will now look to try and slow down Newark Academy’s outstanding 6-1 Virginia-bound standout Jocelyn Willoughby, who is a veritable ‘double-double’ machine in terms of points and rebounds in every game she plays.

The Lady Minutemen dropped their first game of the season on Wednesday, falling to Pennington, 46-36, in the NJISAA State Prep B Tournament title tilt, and then, with Willoughby sitting out to rest a sore ankle, the Livingston-based private school Newark Academy dropped a, 50-45, decision to Columbia on Thursday in SEC-Liberty Division action.

Millburn, an 11 seed, which upset sixth-seeded Montclair, 61-52, in the first round, has a well-rounded team led by Kelsea Brown, Paige Krikoria and Rachel Hubert, who combined for 43 points and 23 rebounds vs. the Mounties.

West Orange has been a bit of an enigma this season, with spurts of outstanding play and then periods when the consistency just wasn’t there; however, the flashes of brilliance give Montague much hope for a strong stretch run for her Lady Mountaineers.

“We simply need to play consistently well over four quarters, especially in games where you are playing top-level teams like East Orange,” she said. “We played well for the first half against them when we met earlier (trailing 28-27 at the intermission in their Jan. 28 Super Essex Conference crossover clash in West Orange) but then we had a bad third quarter (a 20-5 EOC edge in the stanza) and ended up losing by double digits (56-42).”

Eighth-seeded West Orange made the clutch points via the foul line to edge ninth-seeded Bloomfield, 49-46, in double overtime, in this past Saturday’s nip and tuck ECT first round game.

Candis Ferrell (16 rebounds, 4 blocks) hit two free throws and Jewel Burnett (12 points, 5 assists, 3 steals) had one as the locals were able to finally edge the persistent Lady Bengals in the second extra session. In addition, Mya Bembry led the way for West Orange with 25 points, 13 rebounds and 4 steals.

West Orange and Bloomfield will meet again in less than two weeks in the first round of the NJSIAA North 1, Group 4 state tournament, at 4:30 p.m., on Tuesday, March 1, with the 14th-seeded Mountaineers traveling to take on the third-seeded Lady Bengals.

The winner will meet the survivor of the first round encounter between 11th-seeded Morris Knolls and sixth-seeded Paterson Eastside in the sectional quarterfinals on Wednesday, March. 3.

West Orange, which lost to University on Thursday night in SEC-Liberty Division action, has played a strong independent schedule to help prepare it for this important juncture of the campaign, having faced top-shelf teams, such as: Bayonne, Secaucus and Morristown. Even though they’ve lost to all three, the experience should help bolster the resolve of the Mountaineers as they attempt to pull an upset or two in the next couple of weeks beginning with a stern test against the defending champion EOC Lady Jaguars on Saturday.

“We’re going to play hard and try to be solid at both ends of the court,” said Montague. “Hopefully, we do that over the course of a full game.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

West Orange

One Free Class at Cycle Bar Livingston

April 23, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Get a free ride at Cycle Bar Livingston. Livingston’s premium indoor cycling facility invites the public to sign up for their first ride free.

Click HERE to see the full class schedule.

During this week only, Cycle Bar is also participating in the Livingston Fitness Crawl, offering five days of free classes through Friday.  

Cycle Bar ...

Livingston Fitness Crawl: Five Days of Free Classes at 12 Livingston Businesses

LIVINGSTON, NJ — The public is invited to enjoy one free class at as many of Livingston’s fitness businesses as they would like during this week’s Livingston Fitness Crawl, a Livingston Business Improvement District event, beginning on April 23 and continuing through April 27.

For five days, no purchase is necessary at the following locations:

BARRE3 ...

Full Pet Grooming Service 25% OFF

LITTLE FALLS, NJ - Cloud Canine Grooming Salon & Spa in Little Falls is open for business and owner and pet stylist Melissa DiRoma is offering 25% off a FULL GROOMING SERVICE for all new customers. Call (973) 837-8884 or visit to schedule your appointment. Mention promo code TAP DOG for discount. 

About Cloud ...

Free Wellness Event at The Joint Chiropractic

WEST CALDWELL, NJ — The public is invited to a "Wellness Event to Remember" at The Joint Chiropractic in West Caldwell on Thursday, April 19 from 7 p.m. to  9 p.m.

Guests will include:

Michael Piercy, owner of The Lab
Justyna Debski, owner of Revive Mind Body
Karen Caplan, owner of Nutrition Transitions

Join the ...

Luxury Facial Services 50% OFF

MILLBURN, NJ - DeAmour Salon & Spa is proud to announce its newest team member, Renee Rudikh, formerly of the famous Georgette Klinger Spa at the Short Hills Mall.

Rudikh has extensive experience and specializes in a plethora of facial styles including: deep pore cleansing/European, microdermabrasion with collagen, teenage, men's, back, LED and customized European ...

YMCA $0 Enrollment in April

LIVINGSTON, NJ - For the month of April, the West Essex YMCA is offer $0 enrollment. 

Take advantage of all that your local Y has to offer for the whole family!

Personal Training
Group Classes
Low monthly membership
And much much more!...

Check out all that the Y has to offer HERE

About the West Essex YMCA:
The West Essex YMCA has ...

Women Need Better Treatment Behind Bars, Lawmakers Say

April 24, 2018

NEWARK, NJ - Middlesex County Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez and U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) held a roundtable discussion on Monday with criminal justice reform advocates and formally incarcerated women to discuss legislation Lopez and Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle are introducing, modeled after legislation Booker introduced in the Senate, to reform the way women are treated behind ...

Upcoming Events


Thu, April 26, 5:30 PM

West Orange High School - Cafeteria, West Orange

Annual Spaghetti Dinner

Food & Drink

Sun, April 29, 3:30 PM

Codey Arena, West Orange

Girls Try Hockey Free Clinic


Letter to the Editor: Lions Club of West Orange Spaghetti Dinner

April 16, 2018

Dear Editor,

Since 1953, the Lions Club of West Orange has been recognized throughout the township for our service to the blind and visually impaired. A majority of the world’s eye banks, clinics, and eye research centers are established and supported by all Lions Clubs throughout the world.

We are men and women committed to helping provide quality eye care, eye ...

Register for the New Senior Gardening Program in West Orange

April 25, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ — West Orange residents 60 years or older are invited to register for a new gardening program at the Orange/West Orange UNICO Chapter Nicholas Vecchio Garden in Degnan Park.

Beginning on May 10 and continuing every Thursday afternoon, seniors will be able to prep, plant and harvest their own garden beds.

For more information or to register for this new program, ...

Lock Down Initiated After Stray Bullet Found at Morristown High School

April 24, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ -  Morristown High School was on a school-wide lock down as of 1 p.m. on Tuesday after a stray bullet was discovered on the athletic fields of the school. 

Police were on the scene and currently investigating the incident. The school initiated a "shelter in place," which means instruction continued as students stayed in their ...

Cluelessly Clueless

I teenaged my way through high school under the assumption that my parents had no idea what I was doing.  I like to think I was pretty good at withholding information and presenting situations in ways that were other than they really were.


Still, sometimes they found things out.  Like the time my friends plopped me on our front door step at one o'clock in the morning ...

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse


MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...