By Ted Waddell
LOCH SHELDRAKE January 4, 2002 In last Saturdays girls championship game of the fourth annual Sullivan County Community College (SCCC) Holiday Tournament, the Lady Bulldogs of Sullivan West pounded Libertys Lady Indians, 59-14.
Everyone likes a winner, except if youre on the losing side.
And for Lady Bulldogs Coach Ron Bernhardt and his team, that poses a problem. At almost every halftime and certainly after every game, he is accosted by parents from other teams who charge him with running up the score.
According to Bernhardt, thats getting a bit hard to take his team continues to jump out to early leads, and he starts rotating players off the bench to even out the score. But on the other hand, he doesnt want to take the fire out of a team that remains unbeaten.
In Saturdays lopsided win over Liberty (2-5), he began pulling out starters after the Lady Bulldogs racked up a 39-8 lead at the half. In the third period, Sullivan West outscored the Lady Indians 15-0, and in the final frame was even, as both squads scored six points.
Sullivan West (6-0) had two players reach double digits in the scoring column. Junior center Tiffany Hauser netted 14 points and senior forward Aileen Semenetz added 12 points.
Semenetz, who also tallied six assists and made three steals, was chosen as the MVP in the four-team girls tournament.
Shes the key to our defense, said Bernhardt.
For the Lady Indians, top point scoring honors were shared by Keely Hamlin and Jamie Hopkins. Each player netted four points in the contest.
At the free throw line, things were pretty quiet as each team attempted only two foul shots.
Calling it a game is being very charitable, said veteran Liberty Coach Ted Crowley. We didnt challenge them in any way.
I went into the game thinking we could take away a couple of their options on offense and defense, but we just didnt do it.
Crowley further praised the skill and teamwork of the Lady Bulldog squad.
Sullivan West is a talented team, Crowley explained. The team is very deep and very skilled, and they have a mental discipline. If any one of the girls is down, there is a tremendous support system within the players . . . they pick the person up and keep going.
Looking for positive performances by his own players, Crowley said Keely Hamlin did a pretty good job for us on the boards and that Andrea TerBush did a decent job of running the offense . . . without staying up to help keep things going, it would have been a lot worse than it was.
Bernhardt said he thought the game went extremely well, but its hard to keep up the momentum and stay focused on the game of hoops.
Our goal is to play as well as we can, but its been difficult to keep the magic going, he said. When youre up, its human nature to let down.
He described the Lady Bulldogs as a special team. The squad has seven seniors, five of whom have been playing on the varsity level for three years, and the other two have been playing for four years.
For the seniors, its a last hurrah, and for the (merged) district its a first hurrah, added Bernhardt. Weve played fifty games together over the last couple of summers, so weve paid our dues.