By Ted Waddell
LOCH SHELDRAKE April 9, 2004 For Coach Kyle Walter and the womens basketball team of Sullivan County Community College (SCCC), it was a year of ups and downs.
While the Lady Generals 5-15 won-lost record for the 2003-2004 season wasnt something to write home about, Nicole Nikki Argent, a sophomore player from Livingston Manor earned two accolades. Argent was named to the Mid-Hudson Conference First Team and picked as an Honorable Mention All-Region XV player as one of the regions top three-point shooters.
For Walter, the best game of the season was the Lady Generals 52-50 homecourt loss to Suffolk, the defending national champs.
We were tied 50-50 with nine seconds left and had the ball, he recalled. But it just didnt work out the way we wanted it to.
In putting a positive feeling on the disappointing loss, Walter said scorekeeper turned player Ashley Hoag put eight or 10 points on the board as Sullivan came within a couple of points of knocking off the defending national champs Down in the Bunker at SCCCs Paul Gerry Fieldhouse.
We struggled, it was a down year for us, he said. We started out with 13 players and wound up with eight, so everyone got a lot of playing time.
Walter said that as the season got underway, a few players decided they just didnt want to play anymore and two more figured it was better to get a job than play basketball.
As hoopsters dropped out, Walter was forced to switch players from their favorite positions to fill in vacant slots in the teams offensive and defensive sets.
The girls who stayed did an outstanding job, they did the best they could, he said. They came to work everyday, and thats all a coach can ask.
Looking ahead to next year, Walter said hes actively recruiting a couple of girls from Westchester, the Big Apple and some local girls who have shown some interest. But he doesnt have any solid commitments.
A large part of our season next year depends on how the recruiting goes, he said. If it goes well, we might not do too badly.
The following is Walters review of the 2003-2004 Lady Generals:
Nicole Nikki Argent (co-captain, sophomore from Livingston Manor Central School) Did a good job with her shooting this year . . . stepped up from last year and became more aggressive looking for her shots and going to the basket . . . tightened up her game a lot.
Lakeisha Brown (co-captain, sophomore from Brooklyn) She was our ball handler, she was the person we looked to to break the press; saw a lot of improvement in her demeanor and attitude . . . really likes to pass the ball, but when people couldnt catch it, got frustrated . . . learned that sometimes its not the way the ball is caught, its the way it was delivered . . . constantly worked on her shot.
Sandie Darang (sophomore from New York City) Our most energetic player . . . had some good games for us . . . her three-pointers allowed us to stay in a game or win a couple of them . . . a huge improvement over last year . . . a great person to be around, a good head on her shoulders.
Kristy Falkenmeyer (freshman from Liberty Central School) Came on late in the year . . . a pleasant surprise . . . non-stop hustle on the court . . . never gave up no matter what the score . . . a hard worker . . . led by example . . . wound up starting in a couple of games because of her hustle and intensity.
Amber Gray (freshman from Roscoe Central School) Started out the season, but was then involved in a car accident . . . came back to give us some valuable minutes off the bench in the second semester.
Ashley Hoag (freshman from Livingston Manor Central School) Started out as our scorekeeper, and then decided she wanted to join the team in the second semester . . . improved tremendously . . . started a couple of games for us.
Jamie Hopkins (freshman from Liberty Central School) Out of her position at center, more of a forward . . . did very well for us . . . improved a lot facing high caliber players . . . made the adjustment from playing high school basketball to college ball . . . learned what you can get away with and what you had to do to get better.
Jennifer Wright (freshman from Livingston Manor Central School) Played out of her position [guard]; spent most of the year at forward . . . after she got used to playing with bigger players, worked hard on her aggressiveness.
Argent led the Lady Generals in scoring, averaging 10.5 points per game. Brown was second with 9.5 points per game.
In terms of three-point shots, Argent was one of best shooters in the region. She shot 35 percent from beyond the 19-foot 9-inch arc, swishing 45 three-pointers this season.
Wright grabbed a team-high 7.6 rebounds per outing. Brown was second, registering six rebounds a game.
Brown led the Lady Generals in assists with 4.7 per game and Wright was a close second, dishing out 4.3 assists each contest.