Wardlaw to Play in OSC Give Back Classic

Saleem Ibraheem

Rams to Represent GMC Versus Columbia on Final Day of Showcase

NORTH EDISON, NJ—Earlier this week, GMC Hoops learned that Wardlaw-Hartridge will be playing in a basketball showcase this weekend. The Rams will take part in the OSC Give Back Classic at East Orange Campus on its final day, Sunday, January 19th at 2:00 PM.

Wardlaw, which started the season at 2-2 after losses to Dunellen on December 21st (63-44) and David Brearley of Kenilworth in the Championship Game of the 2019 Hopatcong Holiday Tournament on December 28th, has won its last five games, all in the GMC Gold Division including a 59-49 win over Piscataway Tech on January 3rd, a 79-52 decision over South Amboy on January 6th, and an 81-62 victory over East Brunswick Tech on Wednesday, January 15th.

With its five game winning streak, Wardlaw-Hartridge has already surpassed last year’s win total of 5 (5-17) with a 7-2 record including a 6-1 mark in GMC Gold play. The Rams and Timothy Christian, which has also won 6 straight since beginning the season at 0-3, have stepped up their games in the Gold. The Tigers even defeated division leading and 8th ranked Dunellen (66-63) a week ago.

In the showcase, Wardlaw will take on Columbia of Maplewood, which has been a long time power in Essex County, and the Super Essex Conference. The Cougars entered play on Friday with a record of 5-6 after losing three straight games against West Orange (50-38) on January 11th, Montclair Immaculate (96-52) on January 14th, and Seton Hall Prep (57-35) on Thursday night.

The Cougars have been an up and down, and streaky team with losses in three of its first four games followed by a four game winning streak, and then, most recently, a three game losing streak. Columbia has played a very tough schedule that has included the likes of Montclair, Union, Willingboro, Newark East Side, and Newark West Side in addition to its three opponents in the past week.

Wardlaw is led by the likes of backcourt duo Saivon Pressley and Mehkai Huey along with wings Alvari Myha and Brandon McCall, and big man, Saleem Ibraheem. Through 9 games, Pressley, who transferred in from St. Thomas Aquinas this past off-season, has averaged 21.9 points, 6.0 steals, 3.9 rebounds, and 3.8 assists according to nj.com. In the win over EB Tech two days ago, Pressley scored a game high 28 points while handing out 7 assists, and swiping 6 steals.

Meanwhile, Huey, a transfer from Patrick School this off-season, is averaging 13.8 points, 5.9 assists, 5.0 rebounds, and 4.6 steals through 9 games including a 19 point, 5 rebound, 5 assist, and 5 steal performance in the victory over South Amboy eleven days ago. Mhya, the younger brother of Timothy Christian alum, A.J. Mhya, is currently averaging 9.7 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.9 steals per contest. Ibrhaeem is averaging a double-double of 10.1 points and 10.9 rebounds per game.

The OSC Give Back Classic will take place three days at East Orange Campus starting Friday, January 17th and concluding on Sunday afternoon, January 19th. Wardlaw and Columbia will play the first of two games on Sunday. Other notable schools involved in the event include: Patrick School, Hudson Catholic, McEachern (GA), Teaneck, Newark Tech, West Orange, Newark West Side, East Orange, University, Montclair Immaculate, Irvington, and American History. Below is the schedule for all three days:

OCS Give Back Classic—East Orange Campus—Day One—January 17th

  • Newark Tech vs. Teaneck, 4:45 PM
  • Hudson Catholic vs. Bayonne, 6:30 PM
  • Patrick School vs. McEachern (GA), 8:15 PM

OCS Give Back Classic—East Orange Campus—Day Two—January 18th

  • Payne Tech vs. North Star Academy, 11:30 AM
  • West Orange vs. Newark West Side, 1:15 PM
  • Orange vs. Barringer, 3:00 PM
  • East Orange vs. University, 4:45 PM
  • Newark Central vs. Taft, 6:30 PM
  • Montclair Immaculate vs. McEachern (GA), 8:15 PM

OCS Give Back Classic—East Orange Campus—Day Three—January 19th

  • Wardlaw-Hartridge vs. Columbia, 2:00 PM
  • Irvington vs. American History, 3:45 PM

GMC Hoops plans to be at East Orange Campus on Sunday afternoon to cover Wardlaw’s game versus Columbia.