By Ted Waddell
LOCH SHELDRAKE December 2, 2005 You can buy a new set of basketball sneaks, but that doesnt necessarily mean youre going to win the game.
In Tuesday nights National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region XV womens basketball contest Down in the Bunker at Paul Gerry Fieldhouse, the home team Lady Generals of Sullivan County Community College took to the floor versus the Dutchess Community College Lady Falcons outfitted in brand new shoes.
Maybe it was the sneakers, or maybe a lot of hard work in practice, but SCCC almost pulled off a win in the closing minutes of the game.
But in the final seconds, with score 41-40 in favor of the Lady Generals, Tamara Coston won it for Dutchess CC with a looping reverse hook shot into the left side of the bucket. With the 42-41 victory, Dutchess CC improved its record to 3-0 overall and 3-0 in Region XV.
Early in the second half, the Lady Falcons were up by 10, but about midway through the frame, Sullivan (2-3, 1-2 Region XV) cut their lead to three at 33-30. By the three-minute mark, was trailing by just two points, 38-36.
At 2:31, a 3-pointer by Hannah Coen, who was the games leading scorer, gave the Lady Generals a razor-thin 41-40 lead.
With Dutchess CC at the foul line, the shooter flamed out and as the seconds ticked away, Sullivan called a time out with 6.9 seconds on the clock.
Then Coston grabbed the ball in a melee under the net and iced the game for the Lady Falcons.
At the half, Dutchess led Sullivan by five (23-18) and in the second frame, the home team outscored the visitors by four (23-19).
According to Dutchess CC Assistant Coach Kerry Benoit, Ashley Johnson played the game in memory of her cousin who was reportedly murdered over the weekend.
She was a leader, and had a great game with eight points and eight rebounds, Benoit said.
Double digit scorers in the contest were Coen, who netted 21 points, and Dutchess CC teammates Dena McKinney (14 points) and Jena Belluzzi (12 points).
Coen recorded a double-double as she grabbed 12 rebounds to go along with her 21 points. Also pacing the Lady Generals attack were Sharon Darling (11 rebounds, seven blocked shots), Lauren Wheeler (five assists) and Katlyn DeMayo (five assists).
After the butterflies in her stomach settled down a bit, Dutchess CC Coach Jennifer Nilsen said, Im very proud of the girls
weve been working on teamwork, and they did a fantastic job.
It was a great effort after the last performance we had, SCCC Coach Paul Clune said.
The girls worked hard in practice and went after it tonight
once again we struggled with scoring and defense, he added.
We had a chance to win it down the stretch, Clune said. We got unlucky with the bounce of the ball, and they got the ball and put it in
thats the game.