EAST ORANGE – In the past few years, the East Orange Campus High School and Orange High School boys’ varsity basketball teams have engaged in nail-biters in the OHS Martin Luther King Jr. Classic.
But the EOCHS Jaguars made sure this year’s game didn’t go down to the wire, as they defeated the OHS Tornadoes, 80-63, in the seventh annual OHS Martin Luther King Jr. Classic on Monday, Jan. 18.
Senior guard Marquise Kindel scored 28 points to lead the Jaguars. Senior guard Jordan Taylor had 15 points with three 3-pointers; senior forward Arthur Mitchell had 14 points and junior forward Randy Joseph posted 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Jaguars, who won their third straight and fourth in the past five games since the return of head coach Billy Lovett, improving to a 7-4 record. Sophomore forward Dwight Pressley also had seven points for EOCHS.
For the Tornadoes, sophomore forward Henry Jean-Baptiste had 17 points and 15 rebounds; junior forward Rasheed Boyd had 13 points and 10 rebounds; sophomore guard Richie Guillaume scored 12; junior forward Latrell Wilson had seven points and eight rebounds; junior point guard Zahier Childs had seven points and sophomore forward Quasean Waithe had five points. OHS, under head coach Jamaal Cooper, moved to 4-9. The game was the final of four games on the day.
EOCHS led 51-26 at the half, but the Tornadoes outscored the Jaguars,
It marked the third straight year the Jaguars have beaten the Tornadoes in the OHS MLK Classic. EOCHS defeated OHS, 47-45, in 2014, and 57-54 last season.
Lovett was suspended by the school prior to the start of the season as the state investigated a complaint.
In earlier action, Kindel had 17 points; and Taylor and junior point guard Anton Lawrence each had 10 in the 74-30 win at Montclair Kimberley Academy on Jan. 14.
Junior forward Andre Pete scored 26 of his career-high 36 points in the first half to lead the Tornadoes to an 88-35 home win over METS Charter on Jan. 12. Wilson had 10 points and 17 rebounds; Childs had seven points and eight steals; and senior guard Papouch Demonsthenes had five points, eight rebounds and five steals for OHS, which led 22-3 at the end of the first quarter.
The Tornadoes lost to powerhouse Seton Hall Prep, 77-40, at home on Jan. 14. Senior guard Treyvon Bleasdell had 14 points and Pete had 11.