The Brookdale Jersey Blues men’s and women’s basketball teams claimed Region XIX supremacy on March 5, earning their spot in the NJCAA Division III National Championship tournament later this month.
The men’s team defeated the Camden Cougars 72-69 in a thrilling conclusion to the Region XIX tournament, which was held at Brookdale’s Collins Arena in Lincroft. Kerry Kirkwood shined in the win, scoring 14 points while grabbing five rebounds. The sophomore guard also dished out two assists on his way to earning MVP honors for the tournament. Blues Head Coach Paul Cisek was named Region XIX Coach of the Year.
The Cougars led the Blues 31-26 at halftime, and held on well into the second half. Brookdale found themselves in foul trouble halfway into the second half. They didn’t falter, as they fought back from a 12-point deficit. Sophomore guard James Wright led the second-half charge, getting to the line 12 times and converting eight foul shots on his way to a 15-point game. Brookdale took the lead on a Wright tip-in with 40 seconds remaining in the contest and didn’t look back.
Cougars freshman forward Ja’vier Worthy lead all scorers with 17 points and four rebounds. Freshman guard Rahiem Burnett and sophomore forward Dewey Johnson also eclipsed double-digits for the Cougars, scoring 13 and 11 points respectively in the loss.
The Jersey Blues move on to represent Region XIX in the NJCAA Division III Men’s National Championship. The tournament will take place on March 16th-18th in Rochester, MN at the UCR Regional Sports Center.
The Brookdale women’s team outlasted the Northampton Spartans 58-51 to capture the Region XIX Division III Championship. Freshman point guard Che’Kasha Andrews shined in the win, earning MVP honors.
The Long Branch native was the heart of the Jersey Blues offense, pouring in 33 points while also snatching six steals on the defensive end. Head Coach Rich Brunson was named Region XIX Coach of the Year after the victory.
Although the Jersey Blues held the lead for most of the game, the Spartans didn’t make it easy. Freshman guard Dom Moser looked like a star, playing all 40 minutes for the Spartans. Moser notched her second double-double of the weekend, collecting 12 points to go along with 14 rebounds. Fellow freshman Katie Alvarez also had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds in the loss.
Sophomore guard Hermione Bankole was the second-leading scorer for the Jersey Blues with nine points to go along with 12 boards. Sophomore forward Jackie Lingo added four clutch points in crunch time for Brookdale.
Brookdale will move on to the NJCAA Division III Women’s Basketball National Championship Tournament which will take place from March 16th to March 18th at Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica, NY.
Learn more about Brookdale Athletics here.
– Article by James King for Brookdale Athletics.