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***In a T of C final which lacked much flow, Roselle Catholic knew it was in fine shape thanks to fact it boasts the state's best player to lead the charge to coveted crown!

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***Whatever pressure there was to have to win the T of C title this season, Roselle Catholic was able to answer the bell. Find out more on the final in "Feature Articles"

***Marina Mabrey of Manasquan is a scholastic All-American for very good reasons as she showed once again for all to see in fourth quarter of the T of C final while leading her team to title over its Shore Conference rival St. Rose. Read much more in "The Buzz"

East Orange's Kyiarah English (3) was a senior leader and top player for a Lady Jaguars edition that was Essex County's No. 1 team this past winter. (Photo by Glenn

East Orange Was The Team Of The Year
During Solid Run To ECT & N1G4 Titles
By Steve Tober

To give further testament to just how resilient the East Orange girls basketball team was during a historic season, take a look back at the Lady Jaguars’ toughest moment, a loss to Franklin in the Group 4 state semifinals; however, the contest was no typical setback when it comes to guts, guile and persistence.

East Orange trailed Franklin, 58-45, with 3:36 remaining in regulation before going on a terrific run spurred by the strong play of center Nyasia Franklin (team-high 19 points) and guard Marvellous Osagie-Erese whose basket with 24 seconds left gave the Lady Jags a brief 62-61 lead.

Franklin made a big bucket in the closing seconds to close out the win and go on to win the overall Group 4 title; however, the epilogue on an outstanding EO season was the fact the team was simply magnificent while copping both Essex County Tournament and North 1, Group 4 state sectional championships in the process of putting together a memorable 24-3 campaign.

The Lady Jaguars are the Sideline Chatter Essex County ‘Team of the Year.’

Coach Derrick Johnson’s EO squad was the county’s best from start to finish, led by the 6-foot senior center Franklin (14 points and 8.2 rebounds per game), and dynamic Bucknell University-bound senior point guard Kyiarah English (17.3 ppg). The Osagie-Erese sisters Marvellous (10.9 ppg) and Angel (6.0 ppg, 7.7 rpg) were superb all-around contributors who also triggered the Lady Jaguars’ turnover inducing pressure defense.

Among the other top stories during an Essex girls hoops campaign was Nutley’s improbable run to a North 2, Group 3 state sectional title led by Maryland commit, junior sharpshooter Blair Watson, and Newark Tech’s North 2, Group 2 state sectional title before running into a very good Westwood team in the Group 2 semifinals.

Montclair, which down the stretch of the season frequently had only five or six healthy bodies, still won 20 games behind the superb guidance of coach Bianca Brown, reached the ECT final for a second straight year, and then gave EO a definite run for its money in the fourth meeting between the two local rivals in the North 1, Group 4 semifinals as the Lady Jaguars survived and advanced with a narrow 28-26 triumph over the Mounties, who had also fallen to EO in the ECT final and in two regular-season Super Essex Conference-American Division contests; however, were clearly the county’s second-best unit.

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