Monroe @ North Brunswick–January 15, 2008

Raiders Bounce Back Against Monroe, 55-50

NORTH BRUNSWICK, NJ–After their worst loss in 3 years to J.P. Stevens on Saturday night, the North Brunswick Raiders would not let it deter them from continuing their stretch run towards the state playoffs.

    Senior Jeff Ashamole finished with 16 points and C.J. Brathwaite totaled 11 en route to a 55-50 win over Monroe, giving the Raiders their sixth win in their last 7 games.

    Behind the strength of senior Michael Cole (9 points, 12 rebounds) and freshman Tait Pirkle (8 points, 4 rebounds, 4 steals), North Brunswick took a 14-9 lead after one quarter, and then scored another 5 points – including a Pirkle three with 6:10 before half, and led, 19-9. That’s when the Falcons fought back, and went on an 8-2 run throughout the quarter, led by senior guard Ivan Barretto. At that point, the game started to take on a hectic pace, with teams fastbreaking at will. As a result, there were baskets traded back and forth, as well as turnovers on both sides. So, neither team would have a decisive edge for the remainder of the half, as North Brunswick held a 26-21 edge at halftime.

    Quarter number three saw Monroe outscore the home team, 18-12, as Steven Blish (10 points) would tie the game at 39 with 2 free throws late in the period, as that’s how the fourth would start. Once again, the fast pace would pick up with both teams, and while Monroe gained the lead temporarily, 47-46 on a long two-pointer from senior Justin Mitchell, the Raiders retook the lead for good, and with 15 seconds remaining, and a 53-50 lead, Brathwaite hoisted two free throws into the net, with both teams over the foul limit, for the game’s final points.

Team 1 2 3 4 Total
North Brunswick (7-4) 14 12 13 16 55
Monroe (7-5) 9 12 18 11 50

High scores: Monroe – Ivan Barretto (16 points); Steven Blish (10 points)

Norh Brunswick: Jeff Ashamole (16 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks); C.J. Brathwaite (11 points, 4 rebounds, 5 steals, 2 assists, and a block) 

   Nice job by Jeff Ashamole to come up with a big offensive game, after a slow start. He is the centerpiece in the paint, mainly defensively, but he can also put the ball in the net with a good short range jump shot.  

    A terrific all-around game from C.J. Brathwaite, as well as Michael Cole, Tait Pirkle, and Kunyepa Alley (8 points). Just a very solid team effort, enough said. Next up: 9-3 Sayreville at NBTHS.