Massasoit Captures Regional Championship In Triple Overtime Classic
March 2, 2014
BOSTON ----- The Massasoit Community College women's basketball team would not be denied its first-ever NJCAA Region XXI Championship, defeating Roxbury Community College, 98-95, in a triple-overtime instant classic contest on Sunday at Bunker Hill CC.
Massasoit (17-6), ranked eighth nationally in Division III, advances as one of eight teams to compete in the NJCAA National Tournament held in Rochester, Minn., from March 10-12.
"That was an out of body experience today because I don't even know how many overtimes we played," third year head coach Mark Brathwaite said. "This is huge for our program winning the first Region Championship. We got a total team effort, one through eight today."
After regulation the duo of Cynara Rustin (Brockton/Minutemen Regional) and Ashley Andrade (Randolph), both sophomores, took over for Massasoit, scoring 33 of the team's 43 points over the three overtime periods, including the last 14 points. Rustin scored 22 of her career-high 25 points after regulation.
"Cynara and Ashley took over in the third overtime," Brathwaite said. "Ashley is the is the heart and soul of the team and Cynara really came through for us with some big baskets late in the game."
The contest was close throughout its entirety between the top two teams in the region as neither squad would hold a lead by more than seven points and a total of 13 ties took place.
Down 55-53 in regulation, Fredi Lawson (Boston/J.E. Burke HS) buried a jumper with 13.7 seconds left to send the game into the first of three overtimes.
Lawson was not done, as she knocked down a deep 3-pointer from the wing with 31.2 seconds left to even the score at 66-all as the game would go to a second overtime.
In the second overtime, Massasoit was forced to play with four players as Lawson along with fellow starters Marina Palladino (Carver), Tiana McQueen (Mattapan/Boston English HS) and Tianna Johnson (Brockton/New Mission HS) all fouled out.
That would not stop the duo of Rustin and Andrade along with the assistance of Stephanie Goddard (Randolph) and Ari Gonsalves (Dorchester/Brighton HS). Andrade was the only remaining starter on the court for the Warriors.
Goddard stole a pass and went the length of the court and put in layup to give the Warriors a 78-76 lead with five seconds to go in the second overtime. On the ensuing Roxbury (10-10) possession, Massasoit was whistled for a foul and a technical foul. The Tigers had four free throw attempts, but only made two as the game would head to a third overtime knotted at 78.
Roxbury built up a 91-84 lead early in the third overtime, and appeared to have the game in hand. But, two Tigers fouled out creating a 4 (Massasoit players) vs. 3 (Roxbury players) situation in favor of the Warriors.
Andrade and Rustin put the team on their backs as the duo scored the team's final 14 points. Rustin put in a lay up to break a 93-all tie as the Warriors would eventually hold on, survive, and advance with a historic three-point win.
"I will never forget that game," Andrade said. "It was the game of my life. It was all about the energy we brought today and we just didn't give up. It was an emotional roller coaster. We left it all the court today and we just pulled through at the end."
Lawson finished with a game-high 27 points and 16 rebounds for her 11th straight double-double. She also added eight steals. Andrade also added a double-double, with 17 points and 19 rebounds, while Rustin poured in a career-high 25 points on 11-of-15 shooting.
Johnson chipped in with 14 points, 10 assists, six rebounds and six steals in the victory.
Massasoit Women's Basketball Advances To Region XXI Finals
March 2, 2014
BOSTON ---- The No. 1 seed Massasoit Community College women's basketball held off No. 4 Bunker Hill CC, winning 64-55 on Saturday afternoon to advance to the Region XXI Finals for the first time in 16 years.
Massasoit (15-6) built up a 13 point lead in the second half, its largest of the game, owning a 58-45 advantage after a Marina Palladino (Carver) runner with just over four minutes remaining in regulation.
It appeared the Warriors had the game in hand, but the fouls started to pile up for both teams in a physical contest throughout. Massasoit which only dressed eight players, had four individuals foul out and were forced to play the final two minutes or regulation with just four players on the court.
Bunker Hill (7-11) kept inching its way back into the ball game, making 16 free throws after halftime and pulled within five points, 60-55 with under one minute to play.
Tiana McQueen (Mattapan/Boston English) sank a pair of clutch free throws with 39.1 seconds left and Cynara Rustin (Brockton/Minutemen Regional) added a pair of insurance foul shots to ice the game in favor of the Warriors, 64-55.
"We survived," head coach Mark Brathwaite said with a grin. "We really had to hang on over the last couple of minutes. McQueen made some big time free throws for us and Cynara (Rustin) did a great job taking over the ball handling duties at the end."
Rustin was forced into the point guard position, as starting guards Ashley Andrade, Marina Palladino and Tianna Johnson all fouled out. Fredi Lawson also fouled out for the Warriors.
Massasoit led 26-22 at the half, behind the effort of Ashley Andrade (Randolph) who scored nine of her 12 points in the opening stanza.
In the second half, Fredi Lawson (Boston/J.E. Burke HS) took over, netting 17 of her 21 points in the game. In fact, Lawson scored 11 of Massasoit's first 20 points after halftime. Her 21 points were a game-high and she added 13 rebounds for her 10th straight double-double.
The Warriors also received a big game from another front court player in McQueen. She finished with 13 points, nine rebounds and three blocks along with her two late clutch free throws.
Palladino chipped in with nine points, including a pair of 3s, and Tianna Johnson registered six assists, four steals and three rebounds in the victory.
A total of 57 fouls were called in the game with seven players fouling out.
Top seeded Massasoit will battle No. 2 Roxbury CC on Sunday at 1 p.m. on Bunker Hill's campus. It marks the Warriors first appearance in a regional final since the 1997-98 season. Massasoit is in search of its first ever regional championship in program history.
Things Come Full Circle In Stapleton's 200th Victory
February 12, 2014
BROCKTON, Mass. ---- Back in 2001, then first-year head coach Jim Stapleton picked up his first win leading the Massasoit men's basketball team. Little did he know that 13 years later things would come full circle when he earned his 200th victory.
That first win for Stapleton came at home against rival Dean College, claiming the contest 64-46 on November 15, 2001. Last week, Stapleton earned his 200th victory, as guard Chris Green hit a jump shot with three seconds left to upset the 5th-ranked Dean Bulldogs, 73-72 in Franklin.
"Jim has been a great coach for us for a long time," Athletics Director Julie Mulvey said. "He is fiery and very passionate and tries to get the best and the most out of the kids. We are very proud of Jim for reaching this milestone and wish him continued success coaching our men's basketball program."
Stapleton currently owns a record of 200-123 as head man of the Warriors, which are the most wins in program history. In fact, Stapleton is only the second Massasoit men's basketball coach to eclipse 100 wins, let alone 200, the other being Warriors' Hall of Famer Rico Cabral who totaled 105 wins from 1987-1992.
In his first year at Massasoit, Stapleton's team posted a 9-14 record. Since then, the Warriors have been one of the strongest teams in the region, capturing the Massachusetts Community College Athletic Conference Championship four times. Three of those state championships came in a row from 2003-04 to 2005-06. The Warriors also won the state championship in 2010-11 and went on to capture the Region XXI Championship for the first time in program lore.
Stapleton has shown great consistency at Massasoit, posting a record of .500 or better in 11 of 12 years, reaching 17 or more wins seven times and twice had 20 win seasons.
Massasoit is currently 10-9 in 2013-14 and fighting for one of four spots to compete in the MCCAC State Tournament with three regular season games left on the season.
Johnson's Triple-Double Leads No. 10 Massasoit WBB To Win
January 28, 2014
BROCKTON, Mass. ---- Tianna Johnson (Brockton/New Mission HS) posted her second triple-double of the season as the 10th-ranked Massasoit women's basketball team defeated Navy Prep, 91-81, on Monday night.
Massasoit (9-4) had been off since a victory over Bristol CC on Jan. 14, during which time the Warriors moved up to the No. 10 spot in the NJCAA Division III National Poll.
Despite the double-digit victory and ninth win in the last 10 games, head coach Mark Brathwaite felt the team still has areas to improve upon.
"We were rusty out there tonight," head coach Mark Brathwaite said. "We have been practicing and scrimmaging, but we had not been in a real game situation in almost two weeks. Even being rusty, I was happy at times with our play. We need to continue to get better down the final stretch of the season."
Johnson finished with 13 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds for her second career triple-double with the Warriors. It marked her sixth game of 10-plus assists on the season. Johnson also shot and efficient 5-of-7 from the floor.
Other strong contributions came from Marina Palladino (Carver/Carver HS) who poured in a team-high 25 points and Fredi Lawson (Boston/J.E. Burke) and Ashley Andrade (Randolph/Randolph HS) each tallied double-doubles. Palladino made 8-of-13 shots, including 4-of-7 from downtown.
Lawson finished with 18 points and 12 boards, while Andrade added 17 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.
Massasoit jumped out to an early 9-2 lead to start the game and saw that lead expand to double figures in the first half. Navy Prep stayed within striking distance behind the strong shooting of Ashanti Curry and Taylor Dunham.
At the half, the Warriors held a five-point cushion, 44-39.
Massasoit started to pull away in the second half and receiving balanced scoring up and down the roster. Five players scored eight or more points in the second half, including Cynara Rustin's (Brockton/Minutemen Regional) eight.
The lead would reach as much as 18, but foul trouble allowed Navy Prep to hang around as the visitors shot 18-for-22 from the line in the second stanza.
However, the Warriors would hold on for the 10-point victory.
Navy Prep was led by Curry and Dunham, who each scored 35 points in the loss, accounting for 70 of the team's 81 points.
Massasoit returns to the court on Saturday, Feb. 1, with a road contest at Quinsigamond. Game time is set for Noon.
Bristol CC Bests Massasoit Men's Basketball, 87-67
January 15, 2014
Chris Green netted a team-high 21 points
BROCKTON, Mass. ---- Bristol CC used a big second half run to defeat the Massasoit CC men's basketball team, 87-67, on Tuesday night.
Massasoit (5-6) trailed the visiting Bees, 42-37 at half. However, Bristol would break away holding the Warriors without a field goal in the first five-plus minutes of the second half.
Chris Green (Taunton/Bridgton Academy) finished with a team-best 21 points, including four 3-pointers. Antonio Ferreira (Stoughton/Stoughton HS) added 13 points, all in the first half, while Trey Jones (Mattapan/Reading HS) chipped in with 10.
The Warriors return to the hardwood on Thursday with a road game at Roxbury CC. The contest is set for 6 p.m.