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Linden-John Essex basketball recaps

Varsity Boys: John Essex 66, Linden 57

John Essex scored the final nine points of the game to break a late tie and earn a hard-fought home victory over rival Linden Wednesday night.

The Hornets took an eight-point lead, 53-45, early in the fourth quarter only to see the Patriots storm back and tie the game at 57 on a Darnell Richardson basket with 1:58 to play.

But Keith Collier responded with a pair of free throws for Essex, and Darnell Edwards drained a three on the Hornets’ next possession to push the lead to five. Collier hit four free throws down the stretch to ice the game.

Collier finished with a game-high 21 points. The Hornets had three other players in double-figures: Demetrius Branch with 13, Suran Allen with 10, and Keniote Phillips with 10. Edwards added 9 and Chris Jones 3.

Richardson led the Patriot effort with 19 points off the bench. Gary Williams added 15, Sean Richardson 10, Jared Jackson with 6, Wesley Hodges with 4, Anthony Dodson with 2, and JaMarlin LeDuff with 1.

Varsity Girls: Linden 39, John Essex 26

The Lady Patriots outscored the homestanding Lady Hornets 18-4 in the second quarter, taking a commanding 28-12 halftime lead and cruising to a 39-26 win.

Linden’s Kerby Aldridge had 17 points to lead all scorers, while Keanna Tate scored 7.

Nyeshia Daniels scored 8 to lead the Lady Hornets.