Trenton High boys’ basketball in a bright light for the city – Trentonian

Stunning and ultimately gripping serves as the perfect review for this NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV showdown.

The Trenton Central High School Boys’ 65-59 basketball win over highly touted No. 2 Monroe produced a myriad of conspiracies.

First, take a moment to challenge everyone in leadership positions or running for public office in Trenton – Coach Darryl “Pup” Young, his school inspirational basketball team high school and cheerleaders paced by coach Ieshia Dawkins, act as ambassadors for our city.

These people, especially our young people, deserve your support. While many candidates talk endlessly about their plans for Trenton, if their most important goal isn’t focused on supporting our youth and education, redefine your flawed platforms.

Almost anyone can do the physical demolition of buildings and the verbal destruction of humans, but Trenton needs leaders who can help build young people with good character and good intelligence, be the supporting beams and foundations that strengthen their resolve.

These young people and the thousands of people enrolled in school throughout this capital deserve your greatest attention and concern.

Now, let’s replay some meaningful moments from that fantastic NJSIAA Central Jersey quarterfinal basketball game.

The shot.

Normally baskets that win games make highlight rolls. Sophomore point guard Antwan Bridgett’s trey came just before halftime with the Tornadoes up 29-24.

Trenton held the ball for the final 45 seconds. And, unlike many such attempts that end in hastily failed attempts, Bridgett delivered on her promise.

A leaning rub screen to the left of the top of the circle left just enough space for Bridgett to launch. The high arch World Be Free type attempt stayed in the air for what felt like a minute.

Splash. Rustling. Nothing but neat as a Trenton High win sparked hope and the Tornadoes’ energy surged with a 32-24 halftime advantage.


Kudos to the Monroe High cheerleaders and dance team who cheered on their TCHS counterparts.

Very cool. No matter where you go in life, encourage others. It is a wonderful trait that will help you find your humanity. Nothing beats kindness and love.

Monroe’s halftime performance in dim lighting rocked. As a fan of most music, I enjoyed your Van Halen (Jump) selection. Have a darling photo with Eddie (RIP) and Alex Van Halen during their surprise 2012 visit to New Life Christian Center in Trenton.

Additionally, selections from Bon Jovi (Livin’ on a Prayer) and U-2 (Elevation) have been added to the hoop party.

Add Kanye, Jay-Z or Dr. Dre and Monroe’s gym could become a regular personal hangout.


To the Trenton High player who was intentionally elbowed in the face by an opponent of Monroe. Remember this moment because life will deal more severe blows that will require restraint.

Your catch for the team will remain memorable. Life will test you and while we may attempt to justify most behavior, the absence of peaceful retaliation will lead you away from the other playing field – where the odds really stack up against young black men – and into the game of life.

Almost every adult will admit that our worst times involve losing your temper. People from Moses to Michigan coach Juwan Howard suffered consequences after losing their temper.

Balance under pressure or fire remains essential to success. Athletics and athletic competition encompass much more than winning and losing.

The TCHS player passed this exam with flying red and black colors.


And then things got interesting.

Monroe chiselled a 22-point deficit at 61-55 with 1:07 remaining. Trenton held firm.

Kudos to Monroe trainer Jeff Warner and his assistants. I hope your team will have many more successful campaigns.

Trenton continues to play with a game Friday at 7 p.m. at No. 3 Jackson Memorial.

No. 1 seed Marlboro hosts No. 4 South Brunswick in the other semi-final.


In the past, a Trenton victory would have involved the raucous support of hundreds of known Tornadoes fans to rock gyms and raise rafters all over New Jersey with that famous cheer – You want the top, you got the top.

Support our city team.


And that’s it, my last game this season as a reporter/columnist in full awe of Trenton High’s basketball program which featured Coach’s incredible 1960-61 State Championship team Fred Price and players George Lee and Tal Brody.

So many other great teams and exceptional players have visited The Alley.

Like many relationships, there have been ups and downs, much like that showdown between Monroe and Trenton High, and strong families.

I love you all. Thanks for all the memories.

Go tornadoes!

LA Parker is a Trentonian columnist. Contact him on Twitter @laparker6 or at [email protected]

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