WEST ORANGE – The West Orange High School girls’ varsity basketball team, despite finishing with a losing record, made good strides this season.
The Lady Mountaineers defeated a good Bloomfield team twice in the Essex County Tournament and in the state North Jersey Section 1, Group 4 tournament. Both times, the WOHS prevailed in overtime in which the wins propelled the team to the quarterfinals of both tournaments. WOHS fell to East Orange Campus in the ECT quarterfinals and lost to Paterson Eastside in the sectional tournament quarterfinals to finish the season with a 10-14 record.
This season, the Mountaineers were led by Mya Bembry, Sidney Gordon and Jewel Burnett, who have earned Worrall Media All-Area honors. Bemby and Gordon made first team All-Area, while Burnett made All-Area second team.
Bembry, a freshman guard, averaged 9.7 points and 6.2 rebounds a game, both team-highs. Bembry also made the second team on the All-Super Essex Conference-Liberty Division.
Gordon, a senior guard, was the team’s second-leading scorer at 8.2 points a game. She also averaged two steals and 1.7 assists per game. Burnett, a junior guard, averaged 6.5 points and 2.1 assists per game.
Gordon and Burnett also made All-SEC-Liberty Division honorable mention.
Along with Gordon, the other key seniors on the team were guards Kayx Lewis, Dominique Lewis, and Chyna Chitty, and forwards Candis Ferrell and Amoyah Gilliam.
In all, third-year head coach Caniece Williams was encouraged by her team’s play this season.
“This year we made it to the (quarterfinal) round of states which is the furthest we have been since I have coached here,” said Williams. “Unfortunately we had trouble putting together a 32-minute game. If we can learn to do that, we will be going in the right direction. We are losing six seniors, so there are a lot of roles to fill offensively and defensively next season. I hope to be able to win the (Super Essex Conference-Liberty Division) next year, have a winning record, and go further in counties and in states.”