WEST ORANGE, NJ – The fourth-seeded Seton Hall Prep basketball team defeated American History, 68-50, in the quarterfinal round of the 73rd Essex County Tournament, Saturday, Feb. 16, at Frank J. Tracey Gymnasium at SHP.
The Pirates won their 10th straight game and improved to 17-6.
Ashton Miller led the Pirates in scoring with 22 points along with four rebounds and six assists. Mike Curran scored 19 points, four rebounds, and three assists, and Geordan Walker scored 15 points with 10 rebounds. After the game, Curran said, “Early in the season we struggled through some inexperience and now our team chemistry is continuing to build plus our experience is growing. We’ve been playing much better and the results show that.”
Leading 32-28 at the half after dominating the first quarter 22-11, Miller said, “We just wanted to come out and play a lot better in the third quarter after we let them back into the game in the second quarter.”
SHP head coach Kevin Williams commented on the winning streak. “Our focus before this win streak was to get better every day and we saw signs of that defensively early on. What has also helped us is that guys who were inexperienced now have over 20 games under their belt and we are playing well at a time of the season when you definitely want to be playing some of your best basketball.”
The Pirates will face top-seeded Newark East Side in the first game of the ECT semifinals doubleheader at West Orange High School, Feb. 19 at 5 p.m. SHP split its two meetings with East Side this season. The other semifinal pits No. 2 seed Immaculate Conception of Montclair against No. 3 seed West Side.
In their previous game, the Pirates traveled to West Side in Newark and won, 84-71, Feb. 12. Miller led the offense with 23 points, nine rebounds, seven assists, to go along with six steals; Curran had 19 points, four rebounds, four assists, and four steals and Walker scored 17 points with six rebounds and five assists. After the game, Miller said, “We came out hard. We came out with the mentality that we needed to get this win. we wanted to play together, and I think we executed real well doing that.” Curran added, “I think as the guys all get more comfortable, it is all coming together as a team.” Williams commented on his team’s play. “It’s kind of old school Seton Hall Prep basketball. Move the ball, get them all moving, move it in the air, cut hard, screen for each other. This team has really bought into the team aspect of it.”
The NJSIAA also announced last week the seeding for the upcoming State Tournament. In Non-Public “A” North, Seton Hall earned the seventh seed and will host 10th seed Pingry on Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. at Frank J. Tracey Gymnasium.