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Rob Potter | Democrat

SCCC’s Geraldo Fernandez (24) puts up a one-handed shot over Rochester (Minn.) Community and Technical College’s David Fritsch during Thursday afternoon’s opening-round game of the 2010 NJCAA Division III Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournament in the Floyd L. Maines Arena in the Clark Field House on the SUNY Delhi campus.

SCCC Generals lose opener as star gets hurt

By Rob Potter
DELHI — March 16, 2010 — The Sullivan County Community College (SCCC) Generals had their hopes of winning their fifth National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division III Men’s Basketball Championship dashed on Thursday afternoon in the Floyd L. Maines Arena on the campus of SUNY Delhi.
A second-half comeback fell just short as the Rochester (Minn.) Community and Technical College Yellowjackets held on to defeat SCCC, 83-80.
Facing an 80-76 deficit, SCCC sophomore point guard Moses Dayee stepped up to the free throw line with 16.5 seconds remaining and calmly swished a pair of free throws to make it a two-point game.
At the 10.4-second mark, Generals’ sophomore guard Tyrone Mitchell was fouled on a drive to the basket. He made both of his subsequent free throws to even the score at 80-80.
Rochester then tried to set up a potential game-winning shot. But with 5.1 seconds displayed on the clock, one of the referees whistled an SCCC player for a touch foul.
SCCC Coach Kevin DeVantier and the players on the bench voiced their disapproval of the call, but Rochester’s Shiron Williams went to the line for two foul shots. Williams converted both shots to give the Yellowjackets an 82-80 lead.
Before the Generals could take a possible go-ahead shot, Williams stole the ball and was quickly fouled. He swished one free throw for a three-point advantage and the victory, 83-80.
SCCC’s last chance to tie the game was a half-court shot by Dayee at the buzzer. The ball fell short of the basket by a few feet.
The Generals’ opportunity for coming back to win the game was hampered by the loss of starting shooting guard Terry Coleman. In the opening minutes of the game, Coleman landed awkwardly and injured his right ankle. The sophomore spent the rest of the contest watching from the bench with his ankle wrapped and covered by an ice pack.
“It got a lot harder for us when Terry went down two minutes into the game,” DeVantier said. “He might have torn every ligament in his ankle. Terry averages 17 points a game and now we don’t have him for these three games.”
DeVantier was able to find some positives in the loss.
“I was very pleased with the way we came back to tie the game in the final seconds,” he said.
Williams gave the Yellowjackets the lead for good when he stole the ball and made a layup with 16:42 remaining in the first half. Rochester (24-5) pushed its lead to 12 points at 33-21 with 5:35 remaining until halftime. The Yellowjackets also took a dozen-point advantage at 62-50 with 8:07 to go in the second half.
The Yellowjackets utilized a balanced scoring attack as four players finished in double figures. Leading the way was Demetrius Williams, who netted 19 points. David Fritsch had 16 points, while Shiron Williams and Aubrey Rhodes recorded 14 points and 11 points, respectively.
“It was a good Division III JUCO basketball game,” Rochester Coach Brian LaPlante said. “Against a great team like Sullivan, we knew we had to play very well.
“I thought we played good defense today,” he added.
LaPlante also complimented the Generals’ coaches and players for playing with “a great deal of sportsmanship.
“They are great players and they play the game the way it should be,” LaPlante said.
Dayee paced the Generals’ offense by scoring a game-high 22 points. Sophomore guards Geraldo Fernandez and Dwayne Wade also reached double digits in the scoring column. Fernandez had 15 points and Wade netted 11 points.
Sophomore guard Evan Pope added nine points for SCCC (31-2).

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