Jersey Blues win third GSAC title in four years

first_img BY TIM MORRISStaff Writer With the Region XIX playoffs just two weeks away, the Brookdale women’s college basketball team can turn its complete attention to the first step toward the junior college national championships. That’s because the Jersey Blues have wrapped up another Garden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) championship. On Feb. 15 in Lincroft, Brookdale beat Gloucester, 72-61, to clinch the outright GSAC crown. The Blues, ranked No. 10 in the country, improved to 15-8 overall, but 10-1 in conference. Brookdale’s GSAC record is 22-1 over the last two years, including a perfect 12-0 last year. They’ve won three of the last four conference championships. Marianne Campacci, co-head coach of the Blues with Joanne Cobb, pointed out that what is most rewarding for Brookdale is that while it has been winning these championships, the league hasn’t stood still. It has been getting better each year. “It’s very satisfying,” she said. “This was a goal from the start of the season, and they worked really hard for it. The league is a little more difficult this year. “We felt all along we could win it if we came together as a team and we have,” Campacci added. “Anyone can be ‘the one’ for us in a game.” Against Gloucester, it was sophomore forward Tammy Wood who was “the one.” The South River graduate poured in 27 points and pulled down 20 rebounds, both career highs. Guards Becky Piper (Colts Neck) and Danielle Vitalone (Middletown South) scored 14 and 11 points respectively. Center Amy Gaudious (Long Branch) added six points, seven assists and nine rebounds. Gaudious’ passing from the center position has brought an added dimension to the Brookdale attack. The interplay between Wood and Gaudious has become so good that they instinctively know where each other is. “They’re on the same wavelength,” Campacci said. “It’s been a big plus for us. Tammy has her positioning and timing down, and Amy knows where to get the ball to her.” The Brookdale backcourt has been solid too, with Vitalone and Piper bringing the 3-pointer into play, and freshman Stephanie Brady (Ocean Township) is stepping up and playing well at point guard. The regular season is likened to a marathon because of its length, but the playoffs are always different. Campacci pointed out that the Jersey Blues will have to change their frame of mind to the “one and done” nature of tournament play. Tomorrow night, the Jersey Blues will play their final home game of the season against Bergen in a GSAC and Region game. Tip-off is 5 p.m. The Region XIX tournament will be held March 3 and 5 at Salem Community College in Carney’s Point. The National Junior College Athletic Association’s Division III Championship is Mary 17-19 in Delhi, N.Y. BY TIM MORRIS Staff Writer last_img

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