By Ted Waddell
LOCH SHELDRAKE November 25, 2005 The Sullivan County Community College Generals posted a 76-71 victory over Manhattan Community College (MCC) Monday night in a Region XV basketball game at Paul Gerry Fieldhouse.
But the Generals had to hold on for the win as a hotly disputed call by the referees almost helped MCC earn the win.
I went crazy because the refs blew the call, said SCCC Coach Chris DePew, explaining why he argued with the officials.
With less than a minute left on the game clock, SCCC (2-2, 1-1 Region XV) had a seven-point lead. Then the Panthers made a shot to cut the home teams advantage to five.
I sent a sub to the table, and the ref waved him in and we started playing, DePew said.
Then according to Generals coach, the refs noticed the team had six players on the floor and called a technical on the Generals. DePew went ballistic, and a few seconds later the packed house was treated to the sight of the enraged coach shoving Assistant Coach Troy Nowlin back in his chair so he wouldnt join the verbal battle erupting on the floor.
That call wasnt bad enough, but what made it worse was the technical was at a point of interruption
whoevers got the ball before the call gets it again, but the refs gave them the ball, he said. That could have cost us the game.
DePew said that before the end of the game, the ref said that he blew it.
SCCCs Kevin Johnson made two shots from the free throw line to make it a 72-68 contest with 32 seconds left. With 19.4 seconds remaining, he stepped up to the line again and made both shots to put SCCC up 74-68.
At the 7.1-second mark, Dwain Joseph converted a pair of foul shots to give the Generals a 76-68 lead.
MCCs Donald Wright sunk one from outside the 3-point arc at the final buzzer to close out the scoring.
We play great defense, we just cant score like we want to, Manhattan Coach Gene Carroll said.
After regaining his composure in the wake of the disputed call, DePew talked about the game.
We played very well in spurts, took em out 15, 16, 17 points at times in the first half, [but] we let em back in, he said.
Then came a halftime chewing out in the locker room.
I went in there and screamed at them for 10 minutes, DePew said. It effects guys in different ways in some it lights fire under their butts, others just sink into a shell. I told them in no uncertain terms that we cant be blowing 15-point leads.
The thing about college basketball is theyre young, giving me 100 percent every time they can, but sometimes I forget theyre kids, he added. I was happy to get out of here with a win.
Looking ahead to the rest of the season, the Generals coach said the teams go-to guys Kevin Johnson and Everage Richardson have to step up and start hitting their shots.
Our big guys are starting to learn the system and play well, DePew said. Were going to be a good basketball team.
Three Generals Richardson, Michael Hines and Johnson scored in double figures to lead the team to victory. Richardson netted a game-high 19 points, Hines poured in 18 points and Johnson added 15 points.
Jonathan Davis paced the Panthers with 14 points. Samuel Grant recorded 12 points, while Maka Thomas and Donald Wright each added 11 points for MCC (0-5, 0-5 Region XV.)
One of the keys to SCCCs victory was the teams stellar performance at the free throw line. The Generals made 25-of-31 (81 percent) of their foul shots, while the Panthers converted only 18-of-29 (62 percent) shots at the line.