EAST ORANGE – The East Orange Campus High School girls’ varsity basketball team was blessed with outstanding players who helped in producing another banner season.
The Jaguars, who repeated as Essex County Tournament champions and won a state sectional title for the second year in a row, were led by senior guard Marvellous Osagie-Erese, sophomore center Moriyah Jordan, senior forward Jessica Woods, senior forward Barbara Jackson, freshman guard Brianna Mills and senior guard Sahara Crawford, who all have earned Worrall Media All-Area first team honors.
In addition, EOCHS head coach Derrick Johnson is the All-Area Coach of the Year.
Osagie-Erese and Jordan made All-Super Essex Conference-American Division first team; Mills and Jackson made second team; and Woods and Crawford made honorable mention.
The team won the county, conference and state North Jersey Section 1, Group 4 tournament title in 2015. The Jaguars returned this season and won the county title again, as well as the state North Jersey Section 2, Group 4 tournament title, despite Woods missing the rest of the season after suffering an injury in early February. EOCHS lost to Paterson Kennedy, 51-47, in the state Group 4 semifinals to finish the season with a stellar 24-4 record.
“We had some momentum from last year and the young girls that we brought in, they bought into our system,” said Johnson, who completed his 13th year at the helm. “We had some unfortunate injuries, (but) Barbara Jackson and Sahara Crawford really stepped up for us to help us come through.”
Osagie-Erese was the leader of the team. She finished her career with more than 1,000 points and averaged 14.2 points a game this season. “She is great,” Johnson said. “It’s been a pleasure to have her. She’s probably one of the best players I have ever had. On the court, off the court, she is a great person. She is a good person. She is a good teammate and a great leader. She is the best person to ever be around.”
Though they will miss the seniors, the Jaguars hope to have another great season and make it to Toms River, the site of the state championship, next year.
“We’re going to have some bumps in the road, but I think by the time the counties and states comes around, we should be ready to contend,” said Johnson. “I have never been to Toms River, and Marvellous and Sahara were very upset that we didn’t make it there. But we had a great season. I really appreciate them. We’re going to be back at it again.”