Columbia HS boys’ basketball team rallies past Verona to advance to ECT quarterfinals

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MAPLEWOOD, NJ – Junior Stephan Gabriel had 15 points and eight rebounds; junior Breizh Askew had 12 points and junior Brandon Askew had 10 points and six steals to lead the sixth-seeded Columbia HIgh School boys’ varsity basketball team to a 54-51 comeback win over 11th-seeded Verona in the first round of the Essex County Tournament on Saturday, Feb. 11, at CHS.

Junior guard Nashiem Harte had six points, five rebounds and four assists; sophomore Russell Ayala, junior Justin Bobbitt and junior Darius Plummer each had three points; and senior Malachi Smythe added two points for the Cougars, who rallied from a 35-23 halftime deficit.

The Cougars, who improved to a 13-8 record, will visit third-seeded Seton Hall Prep in the quarterfinals on Saturday, Feb. 18.

In earlier action, Harte hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to lift the Cougars to a thrilling 52-51 win over Barringer on Feb. 7 in a Super Essex Conference-Liberty Division game in Newark. Harte finished with eight points; Gabriel had 12 points; Plummer had 11 points; and Brandon Askew contributed nine points.

The Cougars received the No. 8 seed in the North Jersey Section 2, Group4 state tournament and will host No. 9 seed Dickinson in the first round on Feb. 27. The winner will face the winner between No. 16 seed Perth Amboy and top-seeded and defending champion Linden in the quarterfinals.


One Response to "Columbia HS boys’ basketball team rallies past Verona to advance to ECT quarterfinals"

  1. YveNigma   February 17, 2017 at 11:27 am

    Great season! The team competed well this season. Great job coaching staff!!!