By Nathan Deen
Published on November 21, 2007
Thanksgiving Day was not only a time for the PJC men’s basketball team to settle down after a long road trip to and from Missouri last weekend, but it also marked a big step forward in their season as they defeated the New York Technical Career Institute Generals (7-4) 91-78 in the Thanksgiving Appreciation Classic.
The Pirates (6-2) were unselfish in the game as they had 21 team assists and four players score in double figures.
“We played really good team basketball,” said sophomore guard Sasha Parghalava, who led PJC in scoring with 25 points, shooting 9/16 from the field. Paraghalava also had 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 4 steals and was a key factor in a late overtime run.
PJC led throughout most of the game but never by more than eight points in regulation. The Pirates appeared to have the game won as they were up by seven with 1:35 remaining. However, two turnovers by PJC turned into two 3-pointers by NYTCI. Khalid Gerrard hit the game tying 3-pointer with 9.2 seconds left and forced overtime.
After being unable to put their opponent away in regulation, Parghalava finally lifted PJC to a double-digit lead. Parghalava scored the first five points in overtime and the Pirates went on to outscore NYTCI 18-5.
“I would have liked us to have handled the last four minutes better than we did,” said PJC head coach Paul Swanson. “We dominated the overtime, which was a big plus because we had some tired guys.”
PJC forward Petras Balocka had a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds and shot 8/14 from the field. Guard Jerome Burgos also had a double-double with 11 points and 10 assists. Forward Miles Taylor scored 15 points and also had 8 rebounds and 4 assists.
NYTCI guard Jamel Jackson shot 9/22 from the field and finished with 22 points. Forward Stevy Gael had a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Despite the size of NYTCI, PJC out rebounded the Generals 48-34. The turnover margin was about even with NYTCI committing 30 and PJC committing 28. NYTCI shot 46 percent from the field for the game and shot 50 percent from the free throw line. PJC had a 47 percent field goal percentage and shot 67 percent from the free throw line.
This was the first of several road games NYTCI will be playing in the Panhandle area. Head Coach Pernell Hosier said his team came out flat against PJC due to “jet lag” from a long trip.
PJC will have a week off, which should help get forward Jalin Thomas, who has been having problems with backs spasms, healthy. The coaching staff is not sure as to the seriousness of his condition.
PJC will go on the road to play in the Panhandle Shootout next Thursday.