UPDATED: Irvington HS boys basketball team has unfinished business in state tournament

Photo by Steve Ellmore.
Dameer Vital puts up a shot in win over Glen Ridge.

IRVINGTON, NJ – The Irvington High School boys basketball team has some unfinished business.

The Blue Knights, under head coach and IHS alum Elias Brantley, are the No. 2 seed in the North Jersey Section 2, Group 3 state tournament and will host No. 15 seed Roxbury in the first round Feb. 26. The winner will face either No. 7 Summit or No. 10 Mendham in the quarterfinals Feb. 28. The top seed is Rahway.

After losing in the North 2, Group 3 championship game last season, the Blue Knights hope to get back to the title game and win it this time.

The Blue Knights, seeded seventh, lost at second-seeded Immaculate Conception of Montclair, 75-53, in the quarterfinals of the Essex County Tournament, Feb. 16. Kymani Dunbar and fellow junior Karriem Thomas each had 12 points; junior Moses Pierre had 11 points; senior Dameer Vital had six points; junior Kyle Benson and junior Dezyln Sebastien each had five points and junior Taiyon Battle added two points for the Blue Knights.

IHS defeated Nutley, 80-61, Friday, Feb. 22 at home. Vital scored 33 points; Pierre had 18 points and 10 rebounds; Nazamier Brooks had 10 points; Thomas had eight points and Sebastien had six points.

The next day, the Blue Knights defeated Delbarton, 69-50, at home in the final regular-season game to improve to 20-5 overall. Thomas had 20 points; Pierre had 14 points; Sebastien had 13 points; Dunbar had 10 points, 10 rebounds and five assists; and Brooks had 10 points and five rebounds.

In earlier action, Thomas scored 25 points with five 3-pointers in the 74-69 win at Newark Tech, Feb. 14, in a Super Essex Conference-Colonial Division game. Pierre had 17 points and 12 rebounds; Dunbar had 12 points, nine rebounds and four blocks; Dameer Vital had nine points and Sebastien had seven points with four rebounds and four assists. Brooks also added three points.