IRVINGTON – The Irvington High School boys’ basketball team demonstrated its resolve.
The Blue Knights entered last week with a nine-game losing streak for a 2-11 record.
But they won all three games during the week, capped by a victory against Cedar Grove in the Essex County Tournament.
The Blue Knights then won their fourth straight game by beating Newark Tech for the second time in a week in the ECT.
Ijah Jones scored 18 points and dished out five assists and Talik Lee had 16 points to lead the Blue Knights to a 62-59 comeback victory over neighbor Columbia on Feb. 2 at IHS.
Nasir Johnson had 11 points and Othniel Nyameke grabbed 13 points for the Blue Knights, who erased a 34-24 halftime deficit.
The Blue Knights avenged a 58-41 loss to Columbia in the second game of the season on Dec. 22 at Columbia in Maplewood.
Jakylin Shuford and Jones each had 13 points and Dashaun Daniels and Asad Lawrence each had nine points in the 65-53 home win over Newark Tech on Feb 4. Leading 29-23 at the half, the Blue Knights broke the game open with a 23-15 third quarter to extend their advantage to 52-38.
IHS then began play in the ECT, defeating Cedar Grove, 46-44, Feb. 6 in the second preliminary round. The Blue Knights are seeded 20th. Cedar Grove was the No. 25 seed.
The Blue Knights upset No. 13 seed Newark Tech, 59-57, in the third preliminary round on Feb. 8 at Newark Tech. Nyamake had 15 points and 15 rebounds; Shuford had 13 points and six assists; Lee had eight points and eight assists; Jones had 12 points and Daniels and Johnson each had five points. IHS improved to a 6-11 record.
The Blue Knights will visit No. 4 seed Central in the first round on Feb. 13 at 1 p.m.
Essex County Tournament
Second preliminary round
17-Verona defeated 28-Belleville, 56-34
12-West Orange defeated 33-Montclair Kimberley Academy, 62-40
21-Livingston defeated 24-Christ the King, 60-45
13-Newark Tech defeated 32-Technology, 61-31
20-Irvington defeated 25-Cedar Grove, 46-44
15-Barringer defeated 30-Newark Academy, 90-59
18-Orange defeated 27-Shabazz, 84-44
11-Columbia defeated 35-Science, 84-29
23-West Essex defeated 22-Nutley, 54-38
14-Bloomfield defeated 31-Newark Collegiate, 56-33
19-North 13th Street Tech defeated 25-Arts, 75-39
Third preliminary round, on or by Feb. 11
17-Verona at 16-Millburn
21-Livingston at 12-West Orange
20-Irvington defeated 13-Newark Tech, 59-57
18-Orange at 15-Barringer
23-West Essex at 11-Columbia
19-North 13th Street Tech at 14-Bloomfield
First round, Feb. 13
winner of Verona-Millburn at 1-Seton Hall Prep
9-Immaculate Conception at 8-American History
winner of Livingston-West Orange at 5-West Side
20-Irvington at 4-Central
winner of Orange-Barringer at 2-East Side
10-Montclair at 7-Bloomfield Tech
winner West Essex-Columbia at 6-East Orange Campus
winner of North 13th Street Tech-Bloomfield at 3-University