WEST ORANGE – Senior guard T.J. Gibbs scored 17 points and dished out five assists and senior guard Stephen Feraro had 12 points and five steals to lead the top-seeded and defending champion Seton Hall Prep varsity basketball team to a 75-39 win over No. 17 seed Verona High School in the first round of the 70th Essex County Tournament on Saturday, Feb. 13 at SHP.
Senior forward Ryan Toohers had eight points and five rebounds for the Pirates, who won their 16th straight game to improve to a 21-1 record.
The Pirates will host No. 8 seed American History in the quarterfinals on Feb. 20 at 1 p.m. The winner will face the winner between No. 5 seed Newark West Side and No. 4 seed Newark Central in the semifinals doubleheader at West Orange High School on Feb. 23.
Earlier in the week, the Pirates hosted University HS and defeated them, 67-42, Feb. 9. Gibbs had 25 points, four rebounds, four assists and four steals; Ferraro had nine points and seven rebounds; senior guard J.J. Jenkins had nine points and five assists; Toohers had seven points and five rebounds and senior forward Zach Keller recorded nine rebounds and five assists.
The Pirates defeated Irvington HS, 74-38, Feb. 11 at Irvington HS. Gibbs had 23 points and five assists and Keller had 14 points and seven rebounds.
The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association last week announced selections for the New Jersey Scholastic Coaches Association Senior North/South Basketball All-Star Game to be held Sunday, March 20, at Rider University in Lawrenceville at noon. Gibbs and Keller have been selected to the North roster.
The NJSIAA also announced the Basketball State Tournament pairings. SHP was seeded No. 2 and will play on March 4 at 7 p.m. against the winner of No. 10 seed Delbarton and No. 7 seed Pope John. Don Bosco Prep is the No. 1 seed.
Essex County Tournament
1-Seton Hall Prep defeated 16-Caldwell, 75-39
8-American History defeated 9-Montclair Immaculate Conception, 75-64
5-Newark West Side defeated 12-West Orange, 68-51
4-Newark Central defeated 20-Irvington, 67-60
2-Newark East Side defeated 15-Barringer, 73-54
10-Montclair defeated 7-Bloomfield Tech, 70-51
6-East Orange Campus defeated 11-Columbia, 59-45
3-University defeated 19-North 13th Street Tech, 75-56
Quarterfinals, Feb. 20
8-American History at 1-Seton Hall Prep
5-Newark West Side at 4-Newark Central
10-Montclair at 2-Newark East Side
6-East Orange Campus at 3-University
North Jersey Non-Public A tournament
9-Oratory at 8-St. Peter’s Prep
11-DePaul at 6-Paramus Catholic, 7
10-Delbarton at 7-Pope John
2-Seton Hall Prep
5-St. Joseph (Metuchen)