PATERSON, NJ - It will be an all-Paterson championship game in the Passaic County Tournament, but that game will not be played in the city.
Eastside and John F. Kennedy High Schools each won their PCT semifinal round boys basketball games on Saturday to set up the all-city title matchup next weekend, but that championship game will take place at Wayne Valley High School outside the city, at 12 noon on March 1.
Top-seeded Eastside struggled but eventually outlasted heavy underdog DePaul in one semifinal, 50-44. Second-seeded JFK also had a lot of trouble with its opponent, previously undefeated Hawthorne Christian, before eventually prevailing, 38-36.
Eastside (18-1) took a 28-20 halftime lead, but DePaul hung around and never allowed the Ghosts to get comfortable. Shakur Juiston led Eastside with 20 points, 15 rebounds, four blocks and four assists. Nazir Smith finished with 10 points in the victory.
Alphonso Gee scored 16 points to pace JFK (15-9), which was behind, 20-14, at halftime before rallying. Charles Powell led the Knights on the boards with eight rebounds.