BLOOMFIELD, NJ – The Bloomfield High School girls’ varsity basketball team’s stellar season came to an end with a heartbreaking 53-49 loss to East Orange Campus in the quarterfinals of the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 1, Group 4 state tournament on March 1 at BHS.
The Bengals, under head coach Dana Morton, finished the season with an impressive 19-5 record.
Senior Grace Cannon ended her brilliant career in fine fashion, netting 21 points with eight rebounds, two steals and two blocks. Senior guard Genesis Collins also had a strong performance in her final game as she poured in 15 points with six rebounds and seven assists. Senior forward Kasey Coury was impressive as well with six rebounds and a free throw.
Junior Aicha Naouia had six points and six rebounds; sophomore Toni Blandford had four points and four rebounds; sophomore Sarah Edmond had six rebounds; and junior Raquel Plata had two points and two rebounds for the third-seeded Bengals.
After trailing 23-13 at the end of the first quarter, the Bengals outscored East Orange, 10-5, in the second quarter to cut it to 28-23 at the half. BHS continued its momentum in the third quarter by outscoring EO, 15-4, to take a 38-32 lead. The Bengals had a nine-point lead with three minutes left, but 11th-seeded East Orange rallied in the fourth quarter to win. East Orange has section titles in each of the last two seasons, winning Section 1 two years ago and Section 2 last season.
Of the Bengals’ five losses this season, three came against East Orange. BHS lost to East Orange, 53-38, Jan. 3, in a Super Essex Conference non-division game at BHS. The teams met in the Essex County Tournament quarterfinals on Feb. 18 in East Orange. East Orange, seeded fourth, beat fifth-seeded Bloomfield, 61-48.
Cannon finished her BHS career with 1,520 points.