NUTLEY – Eli Acosta, a 6-foot-5 senior forward, scored 30 points and senior guard Marty Higgins had 27 points as the Nutley High School boys varsity basketball team, seeded No. 26, stunned 10th-seeded West Orange, 70-51, in the preliminary third round of the Essex County Tournament, Feb. 7, in West Orange.
Jason Nazurek had six points and Jordan Swann had five points as the Raiders won their seventh straight game.
NHS then fell at seventh-seeded Irvington, 77-61, in the first round (round of 16) Feb. 9 to move to a 9-11 record. Higgins had a game-high 25 points; Acosta had 15 points; Swann had eight points; Aiden Ozdemir had five points; and Christopher Kruse also had four points.
The Raiders were 2-10 before embarking on the seven-game winning streak.