Kareem Brewton’s 25 Points Propel Titans To Region VIII Men’s Basketball Title Game

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BATTLE OF THE TITANS IN REGION VIII FINALS

ABOVE VIDEO: EFSC Head coach Jeremy Shulman talks with Michael Parsons about his teams big win. 

OCALA, FLORIDA – Heading into Friday night’s game, Eastern Florida State College (27-4) was ranked as the No. 2 in the state and 11th overall in the NJCAA Division I poll.

Their opponent in last night’s Region VIII semifinal, the Northwest Florida Raiders, were the top ranked team in the state of Florida and the No.3 overall team in the NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Poll.

It’s worth noting the Titans defeated NWF back in December, 85-72 in their the only meeting but since then, the Raiders reeled off 15 straight wins to close the season with just two losses in 28 games—make that three losses in 29 contests.

While Friday night’s final score was different with just four points separating the teams, the outcome was not, as EFSC prevailed 83-79 in a down to the last minute thriller.

EFSC will now face another group of Titans in the Region VIII finals tonight taking on St. Petersburg College.

Led by sophomore sensation Kareem Brewton, who had a game-high 25 points, the Titans were on fire shooting the ball Friday night.

EFSC hit 12 three points shots and had four players score in double figures.

ABOVE VIDEO: Kareem Brewton drops two shots from the charity stripe to seal the Titans win.

Titans freshman Michael Nuga was big again for EFSC. The Toronto native scored 14 points in the first half and finished with a second straight career-high performance, finishing with 19 points.

He drilled five 3-pointers on the evening. Joan Duran and former Mel-High alum, Austin Awad each hit double digits with 11 points apiece.

While the Titans won by 13 in December, last night’s contest was much tougher.

The No. 3 team in the country and defending champions led for most of the second half, but the Titans stayed within striking distance and with two minutes remaining in the contest, the Titans made their move.

Another former Mike Solivan product and Melbourne Bulldog, Noah Horchler hit a 3-pointer to give the Titans a one-point lead with 120 tics left on the clock.

Northwest Florida would answer with a basket but so did EFSC as Kareem Brewton gave the Titans the lead again with a steal and layup.

Trying desperately to hold off the Titans late game comeback, NWF hit another basket but it would their final one, as another bucket by Brewton put the Titans up 80-79.

Led by sophomore sensation Kareem Brewton, who had a game-high 25 points, the Titans hit 12 three points shots and had four players score in double figures. (Michael Parsons image)

Needing just two points to take the lead, NWF instead opted for a 24 foot three point attempt and missed.

The rebound turned into a scramble for the loose ball and who else, Kareem Brewton grabbed it and was fouled in the process.

The foul was called intentional and Brewton drained both shots from the charity stripe to seal the Titans win.

“That is why we call ourselves Team 7,  said head coach Jeremy Shulman.

“This is the team that can get it and we are here,” Brewton said.

“We just have to produce. We have been working so hard since beach workouts over the summer, we just have to go out and win it now.”

A win tonight night would be the first Region VIII title for the Titans under Jeremy Shulman and an automatic bid to the NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship in Hutchinson, Kansas beginning March 20.

St. Petersburg advanced to the championship game with a victory against Daytona State as Tristan Owens hit a 3-pointer to send the game to overtime and the Titans went on to win 80-76.

A win tonight night would be the first Region VIII title for the Titans under Jeremy Shulman and an automatic bid to the NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship in Hutchinson, Kansas beginning March 20. (EFSC image)

The two teams met in the semifinals in 2015 with EFSC picking up the 92-85 win in overtime.

The Titans subsequently lost to Northwest Florida in the championship game that season. Owens and Jason Burnell each had 21 points in the game.

It is St. Petersburg’s second appearance in the Region VIII championship game since 2002, losing to Chipola in 2014.

Titans Advance To Semifinals Of Region VIII Men’s Basketball Championship TournamentRelated Story:
Titans Advance To Semifinals Of Region VIII Men’s Basketball Championship Tournament

This past season the two teams split a pair of games way back in November.

Kareem Brewton scored a then career high 35 points to lead the Titans over St. Petersburg, 103-80 at Titans Field House. That loss was the first of the year for the Gulf Coast version of the Titans.

Six days later in St. Peterburg, the home team Titans got their revenge taking down EFSC and handing them their first loss of the year—a nine point 84-75 victory.

Tonight’s championship tilt will tip off at 7:30 p.m. and can be seen live at cfpatriots.net/fcsaatournament

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