By Ted Waddell
LOCH SHELDRAKE January 24, 2003 See you later, alligator. After a while, crocodile.
After getting off to a slow start in Monday nights 91-55 victory over the Caimans of Hostos Community College, the Sullivan County Community College (SCCC) Generals (12-3 overall, 9-0 Region XV) seemed to dance across the court to the tunes of the classic song Alligator Stomp as they demolished the NJCAA Region XV newcomer.
On the way to a 36-point victory, the home team hoopsters took a 52-34 point halftime lead into the locker room.
During the opening minutes of the first half, however, it appeared as if the Generals were playing helter-skelter ball instead of the game of hoops. Everybody was grabbing for the ball and the home team virtually yielded the glass to the Caimans.
After they woke up to the fact that, yes, this was a basketball game, the Generals went on to dominate the opposition. Late in the game, SCCC Coach Chad Beeten turned loose his stable to give his bench players some floor time.
But under the surface, the game wasnt all wine and roses.
It was more of a case of whine and thorns, as the opposing coaches had a few harsh words for each other after the final whistle.
Hostos CC Coach Robert Holford complimented the play of the Generals, but had hard words for the Sullivan coaching staff. According to Holford, he felt his team was humiliated by what he claimed was the Sullivan coaching staffs decision to run up the score.
I really question their class, he said during a post-game interview. Ive been coaching for 25 years, and Ive never seen a team [play like] that when theyre up by that many points . . . they are still pressing and jumping.
It does a disservice to young people who play the game of basketball, Holford added. One of the things theyre supposed to be teaching them is character and [how to be] humble in victory.
Holford said he used to coach with Dave Possinger, SCCCs former championship coach.
He would never do anything like that, Holford said. If you beat a team, you beat em . . . no reason to try to humiliate them or beat up on people.
Asked if he was referring to the SCCC mens basketball coaching staff, Holford replied, Well, whos in charge? It goes beyond that, because you have an administrator sitting on the bench.
(SCCC Athletic Director Chris DePew performs double duty as the Generals assistant coach.)
Im not saying you dont play to win and keep on scoring, but why are you trapping and jumping when youre up 30 or 40 points?, asked Holford.
Hats off to their program, but theres winning with class and less than class, he added.
On the subject of class, DePew was ticked off about Holfords comments.
According to DePew, things started to go haywire when Hostos backed out of a scheduled December 16 game at Paul Gerry Fieldhouse five days before the contest when Holford claimed his players had to take final exams.
We dont necessarily believe that, DePew said.
At first, Region XV officials ruled it a forfeit victory for the Generals, but later said it was a no-contest. In the wake of Suffolk County Community College-West dropping its mens basketball program, Monday night opened up a spot on the Generals schedule.
And the region administration made them [Hostos] come to this game, said DePew.
DePew alleged that Holford has tried to recruit Sullivan players he cited current General freshman Gary Jones as an example by telling them Dont go up there . . . all the Sullivan kids do is go to jail . . . They lock em up up there.
Theres a lot of bad blood, DePew added. He tried to recruit some of our players by spreading some lies. Thats a guy who is desperate . . . who doesnt know how its done in Region XV.
At first, Beeten wasnt going to reply to Holfords comments, but when he heard the term no class, he quickly changed his mind.
We didnt run up the score, he said. We played all of our guys, some of the guys who never play . . . we play full court man-to-man [defense], run and jump.
If he doesnt like that, its too damn bad, Beeten added. Id like to see him be man enough to comment to me, instead of the newspaper. Its a lack of class, a lack of guts in not saying it to me.
Beetens take on the win over Hostos?
It was real ugly, kind of a letdown after a huge game he said, referring to the Generals 76-73 victory last Saturday over previously undefeated Suffolk County Community College. We were still rusty after four weeks off, [and] it took us a while to get started.
Looking ahead to the second semester of junior college hoops, Beeten said, Its a long road before Delhi.
He was referring to SUNY Delhi, traditional site of the NJCAA Division III national championships.
SCCC double digit hoopsters included Darren Sykes (19), Joe McLeod (15), Mikail Malik (11), Glen Davis (10) and Gary Jones (10).
For the #Caimans, Malik Haney netted a game-high 20 points and Sal Clark added 10.