IRVINGTON, NJ –The Irvington High School girls varsity basketball team was one of the hottest teams in the area.
The Blue Knights, under first-year head coach Noel Segarra, had just one loss in the their last 20 games going into their semifinal matchup with Chatham in the semifinals of the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2, Group 3 state tournament. That one loss in the stretch was to eventual champion West Orange in the Essex County Tournament round of 16.
But the fifth-seeded Blue Knights’ amazing run ended as they fell at top-seeded Chatham, 56-41, Saturday night, March 2.
The Blue Knights, who had their seven-game winning streak snapped, finished the season with a stellar 22-5 record, including winning the Super Essex Conference-Freedom Division title with a 14-0 divisional mark.
In their final games of their careers, senior sensations Tiara Mahorn had 21 points and Briana Lee had eight points. Junior center Aniyah Massey had nine points.
The Blue trailed 19-8 at the end of the first quarter and 42-17 at halftime, but made a spirited comeback in the second half. However, they ran out of gas.
Nevertheless, the Blue Knights enjoyed their best season in recent memory.
Lee scored 33 points and had 22 rebounds as the Blue Knights rallied past 12th-seeded Millburn, 65-61, in the first round Feb. 26. Tied 41-41, the Blue Knights outscored Millburn, 24-20, in the fourth quarter to win the game. Mahorn had 17 points, five assists and four steals and Massey had 10 points and five rebounds.
The Blue Knights defeated fourth-seeded Carteret, 54-48, in the quarterfinals Feb.28 at Carteret. Lee had 13 points, 10 rebounds, 10 steals and six assists; Mahorn had 21 points with five rebounds, two assists and two steals; Massey had 12 points and seven rebounds; senior forward Herbina Exume had four points, four rebounds and two blocks; and junior guard Celine Ceasar had four points, three steals and two assists.
The Blue Knights jumped out to an 18-3 lead at the end of the first quarter, which proved pivotal to the victory.
Editor’s note: This aricle was corrected. The Blue Knights finished with a 22-5 record, not 21-5.