Balanced Monroe easily defeats Westchester CC, 90-71

Kenny Johnson (Courtesy of Monroe Community College Athletics)

By Paul Gotham

ROCHESTER, NY — Jahvari Josiah (Brooklyn, NY) and Greg Williams (Cincinnati, OH) led a dozen Tribunes in the scoring column as Monroe Community College defeated the Westchester Community College Vikings, 90-71 in the Pete Pavia Memorial Scholarship Basketball Tournament on George Monagan Court, Friday night.

Josiah scored all of his team-high 13 points after the break as the Tribunes raced to 20-point advantage and never looked back. The 6-4, sophomore guard sent home a thunderous windmill jam early in the second stanza. Moments later he finished a reverse layup in transition from Tashawn Desir. By the time, Josiah nailed a three from the top and cashed two free throws on the next possession, MCC led 63-42.

But the night was about more than one player.

Reuben Berry (Bronx, NY) scored six of Monroe’s first eight in the second stanza.  After finishing at the rim, the 6-7 sophomore forward deflected a pass in the post, sprinted the floor and received a return feed from Dallas Gary (Buffalo, NY) for a layup. One trip later, Berry grabbed an offensive and finished with  a baby hook in the lane.

“It was a good team effort,” Monroe head coach Jerry Burns said. “The kids did a good job sharing the ball.”

Arnold Fripp, Jr. (Brooklyn, NY) keyed a 14-2 surge as the Tribunes grabbed a double-digit lead midway through the first half.  The 6-7 forward sandwiched a Malcolm McNair (Jacksonville, FL) three with a pair of free throw-line jumpers. By the time Fripp connected for two charity tosses, Monroe led 26-15.

MCC stretched the lead from there.

Kenny Johnson (Philadelphia, PA) grabbed a rebound on the defensive end and led Edward Hector (Atlanta, GA) with a diagonal pass for a spectacular reverse layup.  One Hector free throw later gave Monroe a 29-15 advantage.

“You get out on the fast breaks you got to give the ball up,” Burns added when talking about the pace created by Monroe’s defensive pressure. “That’s what led to the balanced scoring.”

Damien Davis (Bronx, NY) kept the Vikings close with three buckets from the right right block. The 6-7 forward used a drop step to pull WCC within a dozen.

Ta-Quan Zimmerman (Waterbury, CT) and William led the Black and Gold into the break.  Zimmerman finished a rebound and putback. After a Tashawn Desir (Brooklyn, NY) reverse layup, Williams connected from the free throw line for a 36-23 lead. Zimmerman scored in traffic. Williams drilled a jumper from the left corner and followed his own miss on the next possession with a putback.

Jonathan Velez-Rivera (Bayamon, PR) hit one of two free throws for the 43-27 halftime score.

Josiah went five-of-seven from the floor and two-of-two from the free throw line.

Williams had 12 points going four-of-eight from the floor and one-of-three behind the arc.

Gary and Velez-Rivera led the Tribs with seven rebounds apiece. Velez-Rivera added nine points.

The Tribunes shot 35-for-73 from the floor.

“We spread people out and try to go back door, dribble penetrate and kick and always make the extra pass. We’ll catch the ball on the left wing. We’ll dribble penetrate in the middle and kick to the corner. On that kick to the corner we’re looking for that guy at the top of the key for the extra pass and shot. Our goal is to really spread people out

Johnson had a game-high six assists. The sophomore point guard added six rebounds and seven points.

Davis led all scorers with 20.

“He’s got decent skill,” Burns said of Davis. “He’s got a strong body. He’s hard to front. If he gets you on his shoulder, he can hold you off with his strength.”

Jamell Walker (Mt. Vernon, NY) corralled a game-high eight rebounds.

With the win, Monroe improves to 9-1. The Tribunes host Herkimer Community College on Sunday. The Generals enter play this weekend with a record of 10-1.

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