This week, the Men's basketball team eagerly watched the NJCAA Region XIX Twitter livestream as the seeds for the 2019 regional playoffs. After watching the seedings for the Division II teams, the Mustangs knew that their time was approaching.
As the seedings went by, the Mustangs found themselves waiting until the very last matchup to find out their seeding. When the matchup between the 8th and 9th seed came across the screen, the Mustangs were surprised and ecstatic to find out that they had received the 8th seed in the region and would be hosting a playoff game for the first time in program history!
But obviously, the show had just started for the Mustangs, who would need to bring their A-game in order to take down a Camden County College team who had finished 12-12 in the region. Head Coach Nyere Miller requested that nothing special be done for the game. His team was treating this game like any other, which proved to be an effective strategy in the past. They came in ready to go on gameday.
The first half began as a back and forth affair, with both teams grabbing the lead for a little bit, before the other team would take it back. The team's leader in points, freshman Cameron Reid (Spring-Ford), continued to dominate the paint. Reid would eventually finish with 25 points and 10 rebounds, leading the team in both categories. Despite Reid's inside presence, Camden pulled ahead late in the half to take a 6 point lead.
But the Mustangs wouldn't be discouraged. They continued to fight back. Freshman Seth Compas (Wissahickon) had made a position change late in the season from starting small forward to point guard and had even come off the bench late in the season. Compas got the start at point guard for this game and proved his worth by leading the team in steals (4) and assists (5).
However, the Mustangs' second-string point guard would prove to be the hero of the game. The Mustangs managed to tie the game up at 68 and made a big defensive stop with 8 seconds to go. Freshman Brandon Hooks (PA Cyber Charter) was in the game at point guard and brought the ball down the court.
Hooks had to make a decision and fast. He came off a screen and drove the lane, but rather than going for the layup, he pulled back and shot a floater over two of Camden's big men. With 1.6 seconds left, the crowd watched as the ball sailed through the rim and gave the Mustangs a two-point lead! The Cougars got one more hail mary attempt but couldn't get it to go and the Mustangs took the win in their first home regional playoff game ever!
Now, the team will have an even more daunting task, as they head to #1 in the region and #5 in the country Rowan College at Gloucester County. When the two teams met earlier in the season, the Mustangs built a 10 point lead in the first half before ultimately losing by 10 points. That game will be held on Tuesday at 7:30 pm.