By Ted Waddell
LOCH SHELDRAKE December 13, 2002 On Tuesday night, the Sullivan County Community College Generals got a wake up call.
In the wake of several recent lopsided wins, the home team hoopsters thought they had it made in the shade.
But often in athletic competition, overconfidence breeds a sense of invincibility and more often than not, that means disaster is lurking just around the corner.
Although SCCC defeated Region XV foe Dutchess Community College (DCC), 93-77, Tuesday night at Paul Gerry Fieldhouse, the final score didnt really tell the tale of the game. The Generals took to the floor with a marked lack of intensity, while the opposition refused to call it quits.
The Falcons jumped out to a narrow early game lead, forcing the Generals to play catch up until midway through the first frame.
At the half, SCCC (7-2, 5-0 Region XV) took a 48-41 lead into the locker room.
About midway into the second half, the tide started to swing in Sullivans favor in a play that electrified the home crowd as Glenn Davis rang the rim with an alley-oop slam dunk.
Ever since the Generals dropped their first two games of the 2002-2003 season, things have been on a dramatic upswing.
A quartet of Generals reached double digits: Darren Sykes (24), Gary Jones (19), Darius Waters (13) and Glenn Davis (10). Sykes led SCCC in the three-point scoring column, knocking down a trio of shots from beyond the arc.
For DCC (3-7), Rick Martin netted a game-high 29 points. Marques McKinney and Frank Beal added 16 and 14 points, respectively. Beal and McKinney each made four three-point shots in the contest.
Stats from the foul line: SCCC 13/26 (50 percent); DCC 9/16 (56 percent).
We started off real slow this season, said Joe Detz, third-year coach of the Falcons. But were getting better each game.
Our kids played real hard tonight, he added. Sullivan is just an outstanding team, and to stay in the game as long as we did makes me real proud of our kids.
According to Detz, Martin had his best game of the season, both offensively and defensively.
They all hustled, Detz said of his charges.
Chad Beeten, Sullivans second-year helmsman, summed up the game in a couple of words.
It was ugly, he said. We didnt play very well and had poor defense, but we won. The most important thing is we won.
After the game, the Generals coaching staff had a little locker room chat about intensity and lack of effort.
I think they took this team too lightly, and it was a lot better than they anticipated, said Beeten of his teams overconfidence.
They started to think a little too highly of themselves, he added. If we take this as a learning experience, it will work out for the good.
Chris DePew, SCCC Athletic Director and Assistant Coach of the mens basketball team, said he predicted a flat-line performance following a series of lopsided victories.
After the blowouts, we knew they were eventually going to come out flat, he said. And they did tonight.
Although you never want to have a game like this, I think they probably needed it, he added.
DePew credited the play of freshman Gary Jones with being the difference in the game.
He was the cool-headed kid who stepped up and said Im going to calm this thing down. . . if I get the ball Im going to go up and make the shot, said DePew. This was a game we needed. Hopefully, it will jump start us.
Notes: The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Service Bureau ranked SCCC 8th in the latest Division III poll, which was released on Tuesday. With a 12-0 record, SUNY Delhi was firmly in the number one slot.
The Generals next home game is set for Monday night versus Hostos Community College. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.