East Orange Campus HS boys basketball team rallies past Central to reach ECT semifinals

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EAST ORANGE, NJ — Senior forward Justin Singh-Smith had 18 points and 13 rebounds and senior guard Nasir Owens had 16 points and nine rebounds to lead the fourth-seeded East Orange Campus High School boys basketball team to a 62-58 come-from-behind win over fifth-seeded Newark Central on Feb. 15 in the quarterfinals of the 74th Essex County Tournament at EOCHS.

The Jaguars, who improved to 21-2 on the season, were scheduled to face top-seeded Immaculate Conception of Montclair in the ECT semifinals doubleheader on Feb. 18 at West Orange HS. The other semifinal pitted No. 2 seed Irvington against No. 3 seed Seton Hall Prep.

Junior guard Jalen Hammonds had 11 points, five assists and three steals and senior guard Izaiah Poole had eight points and four assists for the Jaguars, who outscored Central, 28-15, in the fourth quarter. Sophomore guard Kaleb Harmon, senior guard Daveon Davis and junior guard Darren Cote each had three points.

In earlier action, Hammonds had 15 points, four rebounds and four steals and Poole had nine points in the 49-38 home win over North Star Academy on Feb. 11 in a Super Essex Conference-Colonial Division game.

Coote scored seven points and grabbed six rebounds, Singh-Smith had five points and 10 rebounds and Owens had five points and three rebounds. Senior guard Xavier Stamps hit a three-pointer.

Hammonds scored 19 points and collected five assists and five steals in the 64-45 win at Nutley on Feb. 13 in a divisional game. Poole had 15 points, Harmon had 14 points, Owens and Davis each had six and Coote had four points and four rebounds.

The Jaguars are the No. 2 seed in the North Jersey Section 1, Group 4 state tournament and will host No. 15 seed Morristown in the first round on March 3. The top seed is Paterson Kennedy.

ECT quarterfinals

No. 1 Immaculate Conception defeated No. 8 Payne Tech, 76-69

No. 2 Irvingon defeated No. 7 East Side, 68-58

No. 3 Seton Hall Prep defeated No. 6 Columbia, 67-3

No. 4 East Orange Campus defeated No. 5 Central, 62-58

ECT semifinals, Feb. 18, at West Orange HS

No. 4 East Orange Campus vs. No. 1 Immaculate Conception

No. 3 Seton Hall Prep vs. No. 2 Irvington

Photos by Steve Ellmore

East Orange Campus vs. Nutley, Feb. 13