The second-seeded Brookdale Community College men’s basketball team edged the top seeded Northampton Community College Spartans in an intense, 90-84, battle in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region 19 Championships.
What seemed like smooth sailing for the Jersey Blues as they led Northampton by 17 points in the first half, quickly turned to rough seas when the score was cut to eight, then to a one point deficit by the relentless Spartans. Brookdale truly played their heart out, every possession was crucial.
Leading the way for the Blues crew was freshman forward, Darnell Askew, who was unstoppable on all points of the game. Askew scored 26 points, pulled 14 rebounds (nine offensive), blocked four shots, went 6-6 from the foul line, and had three steals. To no surprise, Askew, was awarded the Joseph A. Papiano Championship MVP.
Freshman guard and playmaker, Nick Williams, scored 22 points, and sophomore point guard, Kevin Mateo, hustled 20 points, shot 11-11 from the foul line, and added four steals. Head Coach, Paul Cisek, was named Region XIX Coach of the Year for the 8th time in his Brookdale coaching career.
The 2023 Region 19 Champs will now wait for their next seeding as they advance to the NJCAA National Tournament in Herkimer, NY, from March 15th-18th.