LOCH SHELDRAKE February 16, 2001 While the recent suspension of three Lady Generals who were gaining a reputation for tardiness certainly didnt help the Sullivan County Community College (SCCC) womens basketball record in the win/loss column as their actions resulted in the program forfeiting two games on Tuesday night, the squad showed up on time and gave a superior team a run for its money.
In taking to the floor against the Lady Senators of Ulster County Community College (UCCC), a team that received honorable mention in a pre-season ranking and defeated the Lady Generals by more than 70 points last season, the home team had their hands full.
On Tuesday, the Lady Generals showed theyve made a lot of progress. Although UCCC won 63-53, with about eight minutes remaining in the opening half, the score was tied 19-19, following a brief lead by the home team.
With about two minutes left on the game clock, the Lady Senators closed the door on SCCC at the free throw line, and were suddenly up by 14 points. As Smith exhorted his team to play hard to the bitter end, the Lady Generals rallied to the cry and kept on fighting.
They left their hearts out there on the floor, said Dean Smith, second year coach of the Lady Generals, a man with a deeply rooted love of the game of buckets, and a coach who has labored against the odds to revive the local community college womens basketball program.
We had some good moments, and some bad moments, said Jim Barbato, coach of the Lady Senators. We made some nice passes, [but] were a little sloppy at times.
We showed some poise a few times on offense, but the rest of the time, we were trying too hard to make the play, he added.
The Lady Generals are a scrappy team, said Barbato. Theyre a tough team to play
they dont give up.
Barbato credited the second half free throw shooting by Alison Thomas (18 points) and the efforts on the boards by Jessica Swart (a game leading 23 points). Jaimy Sebald joined her team mates in the double digit column with 20 points.
Janise Ashe (22) and Amanda Cox (10) paced SCCC.
Stats from the free throw line: SCCC 8/12 (67 percent); UCCC 18/29 (62 percent).
Im very proud of my team right now, said Smith moments after the game I had six girls that left it all out there on the floor tonight.
According to Smith, the Lady Generals got into foul trouble early, and lost the battle at the free throw line.
Our girls gave them all they wanted, he added. Amanda (Cox) played a smothering defense, Kia (Perry) was a warrior on the boards, Hanifah George was the real McCoy and I cant say enough about (Janise) Ashe. Smith said his team has put the recent contretemps behind them.
The girls have matured 110-percent, he said. They got their act together.
We may not make it to the playoffs, but in my heart these girls are champions, he said
According to Smith, the player that recently rabbit-punched him the other day wasnt kicked off the team as previously reported.
It was a family matter, he said. She joined the team on the bench in the second half (SCCC vs. UCCC).
The player still faces administrative disciplinary action, and probably will not suit up for remaining games as the season rapidly draws to a close.