by Jim Fenton (Enterprise)
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BROCKTON – The first weekend of March figured to be a busy time for Massasoit Community College sophomore Mark Munroe.
A center on the men's basketball team, Munroe had to concentrate on the Region 21 tournament being held at Bunker Hill Community College in the Charlestown section of Boston.
Then, the day before the Warriors' semifinal-round game against host Bunker Hill on March 3, a brutal storm hit New England, causing massive damage.
Munroe, who lives with his parents in the Houghs Neck section of Quincy, was among the many affected by the wild weather. Six feet of water got inside the Munroe home, and the family had to leave and find other living arrangements beginning March 2, the day before the start of the regional tourney. Mark Munroe, who is 6-foot-7, wound up sleeping on the couch of one of his mother's friends in another part of Quincy, not the best way to prepare for a basketball game the next day.
"It was definitely different waking up on somebody else's couch,″ said Munroe, a 2016 Quincy High graduate.
The family was displaced for a few days, returning early last week.
Despite sleeping on a couch the two nights before games, Munroe was able to help the Warriors win the Region 21 championship and earn their first trip to the National Junior College Athletic Association tournament.
Seventh-seeded Massasoit (20-6) opens the national tourney Thursday at 5 p.m. in Loch Sheldrake, N.Y., against second-seeded Nassau Community College (26-4).
Munroe had six rebounds, four points and two blocks in a win over Bunker Hill and eight points, seven rebounds and four blocks in the title game against Bristol Community College, earning a spot on the all-tournament team.
"I just watched film every night and tried to prepare,″ said Munroe of how he spent the time out of the family house.
Munroe, who made the All-Region 21 third team this season, is averaging a double-double for Massasoit with 11.7 points on a team-high 58 percent shooting and 10.8 rebounds. After playing behind Mike Ward of Brockton, an all-region first team pick last season, Munroe has taken full advantage of all the minutes he is getting as a starter.
"He's been steadily better since he came here,″ said coach Jim Stapleton of Munroe, who averaged 4.1 points and 3.6 rebounds as a freshman. "He's a hard working kid. He shows up every day. He's a defensive presence and he's our only guy of any size. He's our MVP. Without him, we're down at the bottom.″
Munroe spent the offseason preparing his body for a bigger role after getting a taste of playing last season, and it has paid off.
"Every day in the gym. I worked on cardio and was on the court a couple hours a day at least,″ said Munroe. "I had to work on my post moves and I had to get in great shape. I kind of expected to have at least 10 (points) and 10 (rebounds per game) with all the work I did in the offseason.″