No. 2 seed Irvington HS boys basketball team advances to ECT semifinals

Kymani Dunbar dribbles ahead for the Blue Knights during the win over University this season. To see more photos, visit IHS.NJ.

IRVINGTON, NJ — The second-seeded Irvington High School boys basketball team defeated the three-time defending champion and seventh-seeded Newark East Side, 68-58, in the quarterfinals of the 74th Essex County Tournament on Feb. 15 at IHS.

The Blue Knights, under head coach Elias Brantley, improved to 20-2 on the season. They were scheduled to face third-seeded Seton Hall Prep in the ECT semifinals doubleheader at West Orange HS on Feb. 18. The other semifinal pitted top-seeded Immaculate Conception of Montclair against fourth-seeded East Orange Campus. The final will be held Feb. 22 at West Orange HS at 1 p.m.

The Blue Knights have reached the ECT semifinals for the 20th time.

Irvington defeated Newark Tech, 88-57, at home in a Super Essex Conference-Liberty Division game on Feb. 11. Senior guard Karriem Thomas had 30 points and four assists, senior forward Moses Pierre had 19 points and seven rebounds, senior guard Nazameir Brooks had 13 points, senior guard Kymani Dunbar had six points and six assists, senior guard Dezlyn Sebastien had eight points and four assists and senior forward Kyle Benson had six points and five rebounds. Senior forward Shawn Bessellieu had three rebounds, junior guard JhaZaire Head had two points and three rebounds, Kyle McIntosh had four points, Malcaijah Smith had one steal and sophomore Zaheem Crawford had two rebounds and two blocks.

The Blue Knights avenged a 66-60 overtime loss to Newark Tech for their first loss of the season on Jan. 14.

IHS lost at University, 77-75, in Newark in a divisional game on Feb. 13. The loss ended the Blue Knights’ 11-game winning streak.

The Blue Knights are seeded No. 2 in the North Jersey Section 2, Group 3 state tournament and will host No. 15 seed Orange on March 2 at 7 p.m. The top seed is West Morris.

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