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Former Weequahic star Dennis 'Mo' Layton (left) is part of a rich history of Essex County boys basketball history brought to mind in summertime quiz put together by Columbia High School graduate and former longtime North Jersey high school coach Mike Reilly. (File photo by Greg

Retired North Jersey high school coach Mike Reilly (left) enjoys taking in some hoops at the Dunn Center in Elizabeth on an Ash Wednesday with his brother, Sean, who was longtime sportswriter and now works with NJSIAA. (Photo by Jason Bernstein)

Trivia Time For Essex Sports Fans
With Emphasis On Hoops History

By Steve Tober

The dog days of August are a final precursor to the upcoming fall season and before turning full attentions to the autumn high school happenings here is a brief trivia test for Essex County sports fans with a strong leaning toward basketball put together by retired hoops coach Mike Reilly, who grew up in Livingston and moved to South Orange where he graduated from Columbia High School in 1966.

Also, a graduate of St. Anselm’s College, Reilly coached soccer, basketball and baseball at Oratory Prep, hoops and soccer at Dickinson of Jersey City and soccer, basketball and tennis at McNair Academic.

He has more than 100 wins in four sports – soccer, basketball, baseball and tennis and is a member of the NJ Scholastic Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

At the time of his retirement as a head coach several years ago he was second in Hudson County hoops coaching seniority to St. Anthony’s legendary coach Bob Hurley.   

Here we go:  

1-Name two Essex High Schools called the Jaguars.
2-Name two high schools, one Essex, one Union County, with rural based nicknames.  Hint: they have similar colors

3-Before Shabazz was the Bulldogs, they were the South Side........

4- In the 1960's, a school named College High did pretty good.  College High was part of (a) Seton Hall (b) Upsala (c) Newark State (d) Montclair State

5-New Jersey Public TV aired many state championship basketball games in the 1970s.  The play by play voice was (a) Steve Adubato (b) Jim Hague (c) Dick Landis (d) Art Polakowski

6-In the sixties Newark Central won two state hoops championships. What Union County team lost both times? (a) Plainfield (b) Westfield (c) Roselle (d) Hillside

7-This high school that no longer exists, lost an ECT hoops final in the late sixties (a) Mountain (b) Valley (c)Irvington Tech (d) Vailsburg

8-Name two Essex legends who played key roles for the great Rutgers Mens' Final four team in 1976.

9-What Essex high school was an original member of the Iron Hills Conference?

10-Which school was the only non-Essex County member of the old Big Ten Conference?


1- East Orange Campus and Arts
2- Verona Hillbillies and the Union Farmers
3- South Side Streaks
4- Montclair State
5- Dick Landis
6 -Hillside
7- Vailsburg
8- Mike Dabney and Abdel Anderson
9- Livingston
10- Kearny      

Follow Steve Tober on Twitter @Chattermeister

The late Essex County great Bob "Whitey" Dukiet launches jump shot for the Livingston Lancers long before his high school alma mater became an original member of old Iron Hills Conference. (photo courtesy of Livingston athletics)

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