By Ted Waddell
LOCH SHELDRAKE November 25, 2003 In Saturdays NJCAA Region XV game Down in the Bunker at Paul Gerry Fieldhouse, the Sullivan County Community College Generals rode the Bronx Community College Broncos hard and put em wet, defeating the young team from the Bronx, 99-72.
In the first half, SCCC (4-0, 2-0 Region XV) outscored Bronx CC (0-2, 0-1 Region XV) by a 47-32 margin, but in the second half the Generals allowed their opponents to close the gap to a mere nine points (49-40).
SCCC Coach Chris DePew said his team took the Broncos who won just one game last season too lightly. He noted that the Generals came out flat and had a lackluster pre-game shootaround. It was a feeling of malaise that carried over into the start of the contest.
Thank God Darren Sykes was in control of the game in the first half, DePew said of SCCCs sophomore guard. Without the shooting of Darren and Ghiles [Jackson], we would have gone into the second half tied or down, and I dont think we would have come back.
Sykes finished the game with a team-high 26 points. Other Generals who scored in double figures were Keith Bussey (22), Dante Griggs (12) and Wayne Coward (11).
Jorge Diaz led the Broncos with 26 points. Grover Robinson added 12 points and Jeremy Davis netted 10 for Bronx CC.
SCCC shot very well from the foul line, converting 24-of-31 (74 percent) shots. However, Bronx CC made just 7-of-15 (47 percent) shots at the charity stripe.
It was a very exciting game, but unfortunately we turned the ball over too much, Bronx CC Coach Milton Wade said.
DePew said that while pleased with the win, he wasnt at all thrilled with his teams defense.
It was absolutely brutal, he commented. On the defensive end, we struggled on the boards.
DePew is one of those coaches who believes that players do things his way or sit on the bench at the beginning of the game. He also frowns on players showing disrespect for the game.
By DePews rules, if youre late to practice or cut class, youre not part of the starting lineup which means youre warming a chair when the spotlight comes on.
In four games, weve had four different starting lineups, the coach said. Were continually having to discipline kids for minor infractions. Theyre great kids, but some of them have to learn this is college-level basketball, not back in high school where they were stars.
Notes: The Generals havent lost a home game since December 12, 1999.
At halftime, the SCCC cheerleading squad put on a spirited performance under the direction of Coach Jesyca Murphy.
The squad boasts 20 cheerleaders (and two alternates) and features four local high school grads: Michael Hernandez (Fallsburg), Bobbi Jo McCauley (Monticello), LaToya Peters (Monticello) and Doug Yaun (Liberty).
The Generals took to the court on Saturday minus sophomore forward Joseph McLeod, their clean-up man under the boards, as he was at a funeral in Brooklyn.
McLeod was paying last respects to his 8-year-old cousin Daishawn Hill, who was killed earlier in the week during a drive-by shooting.
The tragic event was reportedly witnessed by Hills brothers, sisters and father. DePew said the innocent youngster was gunned down in the street by a gang member who pulled up and opened fire on a kid in front of him, murdering him in the crossfire.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Joseph and his family, DePew added. We really missed him today.
SCCCs next home game is scheduled to tip-off at 7 p.m. on Friday, December 5. The Generals will take to the floor against Berkeley College that evening.