Orange HS boys’ basketball team nearly stuns No. 1 seed Seton Hall Prep in ECT

Henry Jean-Baptiste drives with the ball against West Orange in a game this season. Photo by Steve Ellmore.

ORANGE, NJ – The Orange High School boys’ varsity basketball team nearly stunned top-seeded Seton Hall Prep in the first round of the Essex County Tournament, falling, 60-57, Feb. 10, at SHP in West Orange.

The Tornadoes, seeded 17th, led 28-23 at halftime, but SHP rallied in the second half to avoid the upset.

Henry Jean-Baptiste had 24 points, Armand Jacques had 18 points; D’Angelo Blackmand and Hassan Hester had 10 for the Tornadoes, who moved to a 9-10 record. SHP improved to 19-1.

The Tornadoes defeated No. 16 seed University, 57-56, in the preliminary third round on Feb. 9 in Newark. Jacques scored 12 points and Blackmand had 11 points and 14 rebounds. Hester had nine points and Jean-Baptiste and Mischael Noelvil each had six points.

Jacques scored 24 points and added five steals; Jean-Baptiste scored 15 points and grabbed eight rebounds and Blackmand had 12 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks to lead the Tornadoes to a 56-46 home win over a good Bloomfield team on Feb. 6 in a Super Essex Conference game. Bloomfield fell to 15-5 with the loss.

Orange, seeded 15th, will visit second-seeded Chatham in the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2, Group 3 state tournament on Feb. 26.