By Rob Potter
LOCH SHELDRAKE November 12, 2004 The Sullivan County Community College Generals opened their 2004-2005 basketball season on Tuesday night with a W.
Actually, it was a very big W.
The Generals took control early in their game against visiting Berkeley (NJ) College. SCCC opened up a 38-point lead at halftime and cruised to a 100-35 victory Down in the Bunker at Paul Gerry Fieldhouse.
Freshman guard Antoine Williams scored the first SCCC points of the season when he grabbed an offensive rebound and put the ball back up and into the hoop with 18:52 remaining in the first half.
The Generals grabbed their first double-digit lead with 13:48 showing on the scoreboard clock as freshman guard Everage Richardson made one of two free throws.
Berkeleys George Joyce cut the SCCC lead to nine (22-13) when he scored inside the lane with just under 10 minutes left in the half.
But SCCC (1-0) ended the first 20 minutes of play with a 34-5 scoring run to take a commanding 56-18 advantage at halftime.
The Generals continued to get easy baskets off of steals and turnovers in the second half, gradually putting the game well out of reach for the Bulldogs.
Five SCCC players finished in double figures in the scoring column. Williams led the way with 21 points. He also grabbed 13 rebounds in the contest.
Freshman point guard Kevin Johnson and Richardson each netted 17 points. Nine of Johnsons points came from a trio of three-point shots.
Johnson also dished out 14 assists and snared eight rebounds.
Sophomores Jon Bentley and Greg Johnson each scored 11 points for SCCC.
Joyce finished the evening with 11 points to pace the Berkeley (0-2). Teammate Glenn Walker added nine points.
Despite suffering such a lopsided loss, Berkeley Coach Richard McCulloch thanked the Generals for putting his team on their schedule. He explained that this is only the third season of athletic competition for Berkeley, which is a small community college in West Paterson, NJ. McCulloch noted that SCCC and other National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) teams, such as Dutchess Community College and Orange Community College, have put the Bulldogs on their non-league schedule the past couple of seasons.
Sullivan is gracious enough to play us twice this season, said McCulloch, whose team does not have its own gym and practices in the St. Bonaventure Catholic Church in West Paterson. Chris DePew is a great coach and Sullivan is a great team.
McCulloch said that his team will use the loss as a motivational tool.
They can look at this game as a learning experience, he said. These guys will work hard in practice tomorrow and theyll be thinking, lets keep improving and maybe next time we play Sullivan the game will be much closer.
SCCC Coach Chris DePew said he was glad to be able to assist Berkeley College by scheduling games against the Bulldogs.
They are still trying to get their NJCAA certification, he said. Anytime you have a young team like that, you want to help them when you can. They have a great coach and great bunch of kids.
As for the Generals, DePew said that overall he was pleased with how his squad performed in the first game of the season.
I was very happy with their effort tonight, he commented. I think we had some flashes of just how good we can be.
Still, DePew, who is in his seventh year at SCCC, pointed out that the Generals did not play a perfect game.
We have some aspects of the game were we can be better, he explained. Some people might think that is ridiculous for me to say based on the score of this game, but, honestly, we can improve in some areas.
Note: The Generals next game will be on Tuesday, November 16 at Paul Gerry Fieldhouse. SCCC will host Ulster Community College at 7 p.m. that evening.
Just prior to that contest, the SCCC Lady Generals will make their 2004-2005 season debut. The Lady Generals will host Technical Career Institute at 5 p.m.