By Rob Potter
VALHALLA March 8, 2005 The Sullivan County Community College Generals hopes of reaching the upcoming National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division III National Championship Tournament were dashed Sunday afternoon at Westchester Community College in Valhalla.
A strong second half offensive performance was the key as Hostos Community College defeated SCCC in the Region XV championship game. The Caimans, who trailed 40-38 at halftime, outscored SCCC 43-32 in the second half on their way to recording a 81-72 victory.
As a result, Hostos CC will represent Region XV at the NJCAA Division III National Championships, which will be held March 17 through March 19 at SUNY Delhi.
All of the things that were working so well for us on Friday and Saturday didnt work so well on Sunday, SCCC Coach Chris DePew said yesterday. We played awful in the first half and we were still ahead by two points at halftime. I thought that if we came out and played better in the second half, we would have a good chance to win.
However, Hostos CC improved its play in the second 20 minutes of competition.
They came out and played well in the second half, DePew said. We kind of lost our composure and got a little frustrated.
Hostos CC pulled ahead 48-47 with just over 13 minutes left in the game and maintained the advantage until the final buzzer.
Leading the Generals offensive attack were Kevin Johnson, Everage Richardson and Greg Johnson. Kevin Johnson scored 20 points, dished out six assists and made five steals. Richardson registered 16 points and six rebounds, while Greg Johnson had 15 points.
DePew noted that the Generals 82-59 victory over the Caimans on February 14 at Paul Gerry Fieldhouse may have affected Sundays championship game.
We beat them by so much in that game and I think that stuck in our players minds, he explained. They thought they would come out and get another easy win. But in any given game, you never know what is going to happen.
SCCC (23-7) reached the title game by defeating Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), 83-78, in Fridays opening round and beating Kingsborough Community College, 89-69, in Saturdays semifinals.
Richardson scored a team-high 22 points in the victory over FIT. Greg Johnson recorded 20 points and Kelvin Nelson added 14 points.
In the semifinal triumph over Kingsborough CC, Richardson registered a game-high 29 points. Kevin Johnson and Greg Johnson added 16 and 15 points, respectively, for the Generals.
Notes: For their outstanding play over the weekend, Richardson and Kevin Johnson were named to the All-Region XV Tournament Team.
Richardson and Kevin Johnson were also recognized when the regular season awards were recently announced. Richardson, who was the runner-up for the Region XV Player of the Year Award, earned a spot on the All-Region XV First Team. Johnson was named to the All Region XV Third Team.
Normally, a loss in the Region XV Tournament would signal the end of the Generals season. But because of inclement weather back on Feb. 22, SCCC had to postpone its scheduled game at SUNY Orange in Middletown. Weather permitting, the Generals and Colts will square off at 7 p.m. tonight in the SUNY Orange gymnasium.
If SCCC beats the Colts, it will capture the Mid-Hudson Conference championship. If SUNY Orange defeats the Generals, Westchester Community College will win the Mid-Hudson Conference title.