West Side High School Boys’ Basketball Team Wins Group 2 NJSIAA Championship; Set to Represent Newark in Tournament of Champions

West Side guard Quayon Williams-King (2) celebrates a win over Camden in the NJSIAA Group 2 final on March 12, 2017, at Rutgers Athletic Center in Piscataway, New Jersey. Picture Courtesy of NJ.com: (Matt Smith | For NJ Advance Media)

The West Side High School boys’ basketball team won the Group 2 NJSIAA championships. On March 12th, the Rough Riders defeated Camden High School 51-49 to win the Group 2 NJSIAA championship. They are now set to tip off at 7:30pm on Friday, March 17th at Pine Belt Arena in Tom’s River at the NJ Tournament of Champions in a first round matchup with Teaneck.See below for a round-up of local coverage:

Boys Basketball: T of C Rd. 1 preview – No. 16 Teaneck vs. No. 14 West Side
“Fifth-seeded West Side took out Parsippany, 73-20, in the first round of the North Jersey, Section 2, Group 2 tournament, with Quaion Taylor going for 17 points and 10 rebounds. They were dominant against Fort Lee in the next round with a 71-43 triumph, then beat Hackettstown, 35-23 in the semifinals… then they romped against Hanover Park for a 63-37 victory in the final. Quayon Williams-King paced West Side with 20 points in a 58-35 victory over Newton in the Group 2 semifinals. Yasim Hooker had 13 points and nine rebounds while Quayon Williams-King had 13 points, four rebounds and eight assists in a 51-49 victory over Camden in the Group 2 final. WEST SIDE WINS IF: Quaion Taylor owns the paint, Quayon Williams-King plays within himself and the offense doesn’t go cold while the defense gives Teaneck’s guards fits.” (NJ.com, 03/14/17)

No. 14 West Side repeats as Group 2 champion versus Camden
“West Side coach Akbar Cook said in the lead-up to Sunday’s Group 2 final that Camden is tough, but Newark is tougher.  And when the two teams took the court in a rematch of last year’s title game, his statement proved true: Camden was tough, but West Side was tougher. The Rough Riders, No. 14 in the NJ.com Top 20, won their second straight title with a physical, bruising and sometimes sloppy 51-49 victory over Camden in the NJSIAA Group 2 championship game at the Louis Brown Athletic Center.” (NJ.com, 03/12/17)

Newark’s West Side HS is a special champ to Morristown-Beard coach who is fighting cancer
“The Newark basketball team wearing pink socks, sneakers and T-shirts had Coach Eddie Franz on edge, as he nervously watched to see if they could close out the championship game on Sunday… The team was wearing its pink ensemble in his honor.  Franz, 60, has lung cancer. He appeared to be calm as the Rough Riders were clinging to a two point lead with 1:13 remaining in the Group 2 NJSIAA final against Camden High School.  Internally, though, he was rooting hard because the team has been helping him through a tough period in his life.  Although pink is the color usually used to denote breast cancer, kids don’t make a color distinction, they just see cancer and they wanted to do something for Franz, who has been a part of Newark basketball for 13 years…The socks and sneakers are plain as day, but the T-shirts they wore on the layup line and on the bench crystalized their thoughts. ‘Pray for Franz’ was written on the back. ‘Another Day. Another Chance’ was on the front. The logo belongs to Fam Eternal, a Newark apparel company that made the shirts and whose co-owner knows Franz, too. Since the coach’s diagnosis in January, pink has become the teams lucky color for an unlucky disease. West Side has gone 9-0, but it needed one more victory to claim its second consecutive Group 2 title and to win for Franz… They defeated Camden 51-49, and did their small part in helping a man who means so much to them cope with cancer.” (NJ.com, 03/12/17)