CCBC Essex Women’s Basketball Wins Division II Region 20 Championship

Tyler Gray

Photo Credit: Brandon Brown

*This is the second article in a series about The Essex Women’s Basketball Team and their quest to win the first National Championship in program history.

On Tuesday, March 7, The CCBC Essex Knights started their journey attempting to become three-time NJCAA Region 20 Division II Women’s basketball champions. The knights played CCBC Catonsville in the quarterfinals of the tournament.

Both teams came out smiling in anticipation of the matchup and yet only one team’s season would be ending that day. The teams both came out with high energy. However, early in the game it was apparent that The Knights were going to control the contest. The first quarter ended, and they led Catonsville 36 - 18.

The Cardinals fought back every chance they could, but The Knights continued to apply pressure and celebrate every play in the process. The Knights’ gym was electric the whole game as the team really looked to enjoy every moment. In the end The CCBC Essex Knights won the game 119 - 55.

The Knights once again showed that every person on the team can contribute just as well as the starting five. Eight of The Knights finished in double digits as they advanced to the semifinals.

“The theme of the day is fighting through adversity in the hopes of victory,” Head Coach Mike Seney said. “The only time is now. Every game is a championship and I believe we are the best no matter what we go through. From here on out it is us against the world.”

The Knights’ next game was against Howard Community College. Both teams seemed excited and energized about the game during warmups. As the game began, it became apparent early on that the crowd would be cheering against CCBC Essex something they have experienced before.

The Knights ended up dancing their way to the championship with a 95-52 semifinal win over Howard Community College. They again asserted their dominance and silenced the crowd.

Three of The Knights had big games as Tiffany Hammond scored 20 points, Heather Middleton scored 15 points, and Faith Blackstone scored 21 points.

Middleton, the highest percentage shooter on the team said, “It feels great. Being able to come off the bench and knock down 3’s to bring me and my teammates energy is the best feeling. Our coaches depend on me to come in the game and shoot the ball with confidence.”

The championship took place on Saturday, March 11. The CCBC Essex Knights faced off against the # 2 seed in The Division II NJCAA Region 20 Conference Montgomery College who lost to The Knights 96-59 in their last meeting.

The game started out with high energy from both sides. The teams in the first half seemed very evenly matched as Montgomery College was causing The Knights to turn over the ball and take bad shots. The Knights were playing with a fast, electric pace as the game came down to endurance which seemed to go in The Knights’ favor.

In the end CCBC Essex dominated the game amounting 106 points to their opponent’s 65. Four of The Knights ended in double digits as they won the championship.

This made The Knights the three-time champions of The NJCAA Division II Region 20 and Mid-Atlantic District Tournament. It also solidified their spot in the NJCAA Division II National tournament.

Faith Blackstone was named tournament MVP and Tyler Gray was named all tournament team at the end of the tournament.

Blackstone, the leading scorer for CCBC Essex said, “I just played as the game came to me. I am willing to do whatever the team needs me to do and think if I continue to play like that it will help.”

As The Knights continue this path and try to make history their next stop was Port Huron, Michigan for The National Championship.

The next article will summarize The Knights’ championship run in Michigan.

Leave a reply