Defending champion West Orange HS girls basketball team cools off Nutley to advance to ECT semifinals

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Tracey Ideris, a junior, had 10 points and five rebounds, senior Shylea Ryan had nine points and 12 rebounds, and senior Natalie Nevins had eight points, six assists and four steals to lead the fifth-seeded and defending champion West Orange High School girls basketball team to a 43-41 win over fourth-seeded Nutley in the quarterfinals of the 46th Essex County Tournament on Feb. 15 in Nutley.

Mackenzie Dover, a junior, had seven points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals, freshman Carla Jones had seven points and five rebounds and senior Davionna Phillips had two points and five rebounds for the Mountaineers, who improved to 9-13.

WOHS will face top-seeded University in the ECT semifinals doubleheader on Feb. 19 at Weequahic HS in Newark. The other semifinal pits second-seeded East Orange Campus against third-seeded Immaculate Conception of Montclair. Nutley entered the game on a 13-game winning streak and moved to 18-6.

In earlier action, Jones had 16 points, Dover had nine points and Ryan had eight points in the 46-25 win over Arts on 11 in Newark in a Super Essex Conference-American Division game. Sophomore Dylan Wilkes had seven points.

WOHS fell to Immaculate Conception, 46-40, Feb. 13, at home in a divisional game. Dover scored 20 points with 10 rebounds and four steals, Nevins had six points, five assists and four steals, Phillips had five points and six rebounds, Jones had four points and six rebounds and Ryan grabbed 11 rebounds. 

The Mountaineers lost to University in both divisional meetings this season. They lost, 52-38, Jan. 3 at home and 44-25 on Jan. 28 at University.

WOHS is the No. 16 seed in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association North Jersey Section 1, Group 4 tournament and will visit No. 1 seed Randolph on March 3. The Mountaineers won the North 1, Group 4 sectional tournament two seasons ago.

ECT quarterfinals

No. 1 University defeated No. 8 West Essex, 76-45

No. 2 East Orange Campus defeated No. 10 Columbia, 62-32

No. 3 Immaculate Conception defeated No. 6 Caldwell, 76-51

No. 5 West Orange defeated No. 4 Nutley, 43-41

ECT semifinals, Feb. 19, at Weequahic HS

No. 5 West Orange (9-13) vs. No. 1 University (20-2), 5 p.m.

No. 3 Immaculate Conception (15-7) vs. No. 2 East Orange Campus (17-3), 7 p.m.