By Ted Waddell
LOCH SHELDRAKE December 21, 2001 It wasnt pretty, but it was a win.
In Tuesday nights mens basketball contest between the home team Generals of Sullivan County Community College (10-1) and the long-time rival Colts from neighboring Orange County Community College, the local lads bought into the visitors game of slow ball in the opening frame. As a result, SCCC headed off to the locker room trailing by six (21-15).
But in the second half, with guard Shiron Brown leading the attack, the Generals shook off their blinders and woke to a 51-32 victory.
In the first half, the Generals managed to turn the ball over a whopping 15 times, but in the second frame decided to limit their giveaways to just three. In the final 20 minutes, the turnover pendalum swung the other way, as the Colts had 13 turnovers in the first 10 minutes of that second half.
While the Generals seemed to have left their usual intensity back in the locker room for most of the game, Shiron Brown stepped to light a fire under their tails with a shot midway in the second frame to finally give the Generals a 25-23 lead. A couple of minutes later Monticello High School graduate Andre Simmons nailed a pair from the free throw line to make it a 31-23 ballgame.
We played a good tempo, but then they picked up the intensity in the second half, said OCCC Coach Paul Rickard, who has been coaching the Colts for 20 years. Defensively, we did a great job, but offensively we missed too many open shots . . . you cant beat a team this good missing open shots.
The Generals newly-minted coach Chad Beeten prefers the winning way to the beaten path.
It was a real ugly game, he said. Fifteen turnovers in the first half will do it every time, but we did a better job of taking care of the ball in the second half . . . we didnt let them get very many shots.
According to Beeten, while he didnt think anyone on his team played with distinction in the win, Shiron Brown stepped up and hit some baskets in the second half to help us pick it up a little bit [and] Tim Butler and Andre Simmons played pretty well on the inside.
It wasnt pretty tonight, added Beeten. They did a good job of getting us to play their game in the first half and we got lazy, but in the second half we adjusted better and started taking care of the basketball.
Butler went to Delhi with the Generals last year, and wants a return shot at the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) title this season.
Were coming along all right, but we need to step up the defense, he said. I think a lot of guys thought it was going to be a cupcake [tonight] but it wasnt . . . in the second half, we came out and stepped it up.
As the Generals signed the dotted line on the Colts contract to play slow ball in the first half, SCCC athletic director and assistant mens basketball coach Chris DePew was seen muttering to himself along the sidelines. A few disbelieving shakes of the head said it all.
That game was worse than watching paint dry, said DePew afterwards. Orange plays a very slow tempo game, theyre very precise in the offense and well-disciplined. We were lucky to get the win.
Double digit scorers for SCCC included Brown, who netted 19 points, and Butler, who totaled 12. High scorers for OCCC (5-5) with nine points each were Nafiys Blakewood and Pat Schultz, while 2001 Monticello High School grad Phil Stewart had two points for the Colts.
In addition to his team-high 19 points, Brown led the Generals in several categories: defensive rebounds (10), assists (five), steals (three) and blocked shots (two).
Note: The Generals play at Nassau Community College at 2 p.m. tomorrow afternoon in what is scheduled to be their final game before the semester break. After four straight road games following the break, SCCC returns to action at the Paul Gerry Fieldhouse on Sunday, January 27. The Generals will host Kingsborough Community College at 3 p.m. that afternoon.