By Ted Waddell
LOCH SHELDRAKE December 12, 2000 On Saturday afternoon, the homestanding Generals of Sullivan County Community College (SCCC) easily corralled the Longhorns of Suffolk County Community College West as they branded their opponents 104-45.
The Generals (70 overall, 50 Region XV) took to the court ranked first in National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division III team defense (giving up an average of 49.2 points per game) and fourth in team offense (scoring an average of 95.6 pts. per outing).
The stats were published by the NJCAA in its December 5th report.
The hosts jumped out to a 35 point lead at the half (49-14), and completed their walk in the park as SCCC coach Will Brown gave his bench some court time.
Suffolk (0-4) scored their first bucket at 10:53 as Joyner Kamau sent one through the net from the free throw line to make it a 16-1 ballgame.
Dancy Ernest broke the century mark for the Generals as he sprinted down the lane to score with 1:21 remaining.
A highlight of the game was the debut of the SCCC Cheerleading Squad, under the direction of coach Jennifer Smith, a graduate of Tri-Valley Central School.
In the stands, Mike Padua and his nine-year-old son Evan of Narrowsburg, joined such frequent faces in the crowd as Sullivan County Clerk George Cooke and Town of Thompson Supervisor Anthony Cellini and his wife Linda in watching the Generals demolish their opponents.
Padua, a licensed fishing guide on the Delaware River, said the home team was awesome, and their defensive is incredible.
Theyre pretty good, added his son, who attends school in Damascus, Pa.
Earlier in the day, Evan Padua participated in a free basketball clinic run by Brown, his assistant Chris DePew and SCCC hoopsters.
John Depass, coach of the Longhorns, summed up the game. I think it was a good game, but we missed too many shooting opportunities. Sullivan is a well coached team, and they move the ball around well.
According to Brown, it was a sloppy game and after his squad jumped out to an early 16-zip lead, he thought his players got the sense it was going to be a lopsided win.
Its tough to maintain consistency when youre up by 40 or 50 points, he added.
Double digit men for the Generals: Kris Ibezim (17), Curtis Henry (11).
One of the strengths of having a good stable of benchmates, is that a team can mount a balanced scoring attack. In their win over Suffolk, several Generals scored eight points or more: Ty Brunson (nine), Monticello grad Justin Dawson (nine), Ryan Bishop (eight), Earv Opong (eight) and Dereck Rankin (eight).
For Suffolk West, it was Jose Bermudez with 15 points.
Offers Start for Opong
Earvin Opong, the 5-foot-7 sophomore guard from Brooklyn, has a well-earned reputation as the playmaker for his team. He recently was offered a full-ride basketball scholarship by the University of Albany, according to the Generals coaching staff.
Its a Division I school, and hes a good kid who really deserves it, said Brown. I expect hell have more scholarship offers on the table in the next couple of weeks.
Brown said Albany will accept a verbal commitment, but that his star guard cant officially sign on the dotted line of a letter of intent until April, according to NJCAA regs.
Playing for the Generals has been a good experience, said Opong. Will Brown is a very good coach, and he showed me a lot of things.
According to Opong, who has a 3.5 grade point average so far this season, he plans to study sports management at whichever four-year college he transfers to next year.