|VIDEO: West Milford hangs on to eliminate Wayne Valley|
Wayne Valley had the higher seed and the home-court advantage for its state tournament game with West Milford. But the Highlanders had the Indians' number.
Hanging on in the final seconds, West Milford defeated Wayne Valley 51-49 in the quarterfinal round of the North 1, Group III sectional playoffs. It's the third win of the season for the Highlanders over their league and county rivals.
Mike Otero scored 20 points to lead fifth-seeded West Milford, while grabbing seven rebounds and making three steals. Sam Yuhas made a major contribution as well, with 12 points, six assists and five rebounds.
Tom Pegel had nine points and seven boards, while Noah Basket scored eight points and dished out five assists for the Highlanders.
Fourth seed Wayne Valley took an 18-11 lead early in the second quarter, but did not score again for the rest of the half. West Milford ran off 12 straight points to end the quarter.
In the second half, West Milford three times extended its lead to eight points only to see Wayne Valley rally back. The final time, the Highlanders went up 51-43 with two minutes left, but the Indians hit back-to-back three-pointers to reduce the margin to two.
Wayne Valley got the ball back with plenty of time to set up a shot, but ended up trying a long three-pointer that was off the mark, and West Milford was able to close out the win.
Kyle Greve led Wayne Valley with 19 points, including five treys. Nick Goodwin had 10 points and 10 rebounds, while Alex Kokos scored eight points and added seven assists. The Indians finish the season 19-8.
West Milford is now 21-7. The Highlanders have to turn around and play Saturday, but at least they will be at home, hosting eighth seed Teaneck in the sectional semifinals.
For sports video highlights of this New Jersey high school boys' basketball state tournament game, click play in the box at left.