South Orange resident Ben Otner shines for Montclair Kimberley Academy boys basketball team

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SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — South Orange resident Ben Otner, a junior at Montclair Kimberley Academy, has provided a strong boost to the success of the Cougars basketball team while averaging 7.8 points per game for the Cougars who entered recent action with an 11-4 record and a 7-1 mark in the Super Essex Conference’s Freedom Division.

Otner, who has been coming up big lately for the Cougars, hit two free throws with 6.4 seconds left to seal 27th-seeded MKA’s 48-43 victory over 22nd-seeded Verona in the second preliminary round of the 76th Essex County Tournament on Monday, Jan. 23, at Verona.

The 6-foot-1 backcourt standout then sank a career-high 18 points in MKA’s 68-56 setback at 11th-seeded Newark Tech in the third and final ECT prelim round on Thursday, Jan. 26, preceding the Round of 16, first round of the county hoops tourney.

The Cougars’ loss to the Terriers ended a nine-game win streak for the Montclair private school. 

“Ben is an excellent perimeter shooter and his entire game has continued to improve this season,” said veteran MKA coach Tony Jones. “He’s one of our up-and-coming juniors who has given us a big boost this season.”        

Photos Courtesy of Gene Nann