Genevieve Okoro collected 28 points, 12 rebounds and 6 blocks to lead No. 1 Eastern to a 45-39 victory over No. 2 Cherokee Friday in an Olympic American girls' basketball game.
It was the season opener for both teams. They will meet again in division play and could face off for the third time in the South Jersey Group 4 playoffs.
Okoro, a 6-foot-1 senior who has signed with the University of Richmond, was 14 for 16 from the foul line.
Cherokee's defense was limited late in the game by foul trouble.
"She has so many weapons," Cherokee coach Shannon Bretz said of Okoro. "She can be unorthodoxed, and that can get you in foul trouble."
Okoro scored nine of her points in the fourth quarter as the Vikings seized command of a close game.
"That's an amazing team," Okoro said of Cherokee. "They are so hard to play against."
Senior Courtney Escudero led Cherokee with 13 points but fouled out with 5 minutes, 12 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.
Cherokee's Tiffany Turner (11 points), who has signed with Cincinnati, and Tiara Mosely (5 points) also were limited by foul trouble.
Cherokee's Monica Roeder, who has signed with Manhattan, scored seven points.
"It was a knock-down, drag-out heavyweight fight," Bretz said. "I wouldn't expected anything less when these two teams get together."
Cherokee 7 14 9 9 - 39
Eastern 11 16 5 13 - 45
C: Amanda Franks 3, Tiara Mosely 5, Monica Roeder 7, Courtney Escudero 13, Tiffany Turner 11.
E: Genevieve Okoro 28, Kerri Aiken 1, Nia Blevins 5, Darian Graziano 4, Michelle Dixon 2, Marlense Pratt 5.