Mike Kinney | News 12 Varsity | Follow on Twitter
When 6-9 Justin Jones broke a bone in his foot just before the postseason began and 6-4 Javonne Jones followed him to the sidelines several games later with a broken finger, Cook’s Roughriders were suddenly without their size for the stretch run of the Group 2 state tournament.
At least that’s true if measuring with a ruler. Cook’s three teams at West Side and six before that at Newark Vocational have always been defined by their scrap, indefatigable will and sense of unity inspired by the big, bearded man those kids call Coach. Despite those injuries–and the almost countless other obstacles facing an inner city team like West Side–the Roughriders (25-7) repeated as Group 2 state champion, and fell in overtime to Teaneck in the Tournament of Champions quarterfinals.