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Rob Potter | Democrat

While being closely guarded by Herkimer County Community College’s Samantha Downey, left, SCCC’s Luna Jefferson grabs a rebound in Sunday evening’s championship game. Jefferson scored a game-high 21 points and was named to the All-Tournament Team.

SCCC Lady Generals win The Lodge at Rock Hill Classic

By Rob Potter
LOCH SHELDRAKE — November 16, 2010 — The Sullivan County Community College (SCCC) Lady Generals found themselves trailing the Herkimer County Community College Lady Generals, 38-30, at halftime of the championship game of the inaugural The Lodge at Rock Hill Classic Tournament on Sunday evening at SCCC’s Paul Gerry Fieldhouse.
But SCCC turned up its intensity on defense in the second half to overcome that halftime deficit and post a 62-56 victory. SCCC improved its record to 3-1, while Herkimer CCC fell to 1-3 on the season.
With 12:19 remaining in the game, SCCC’s Luna Jefferson was fouled on a drive to the basket. Although Jefferson missed the shot, she swished both of her free throws to tie the score at 44-44.
Just more than a minute later, Destiny Harmer scored a layup on a fast break to give SCCC a 46-44 advantage.
SCCC then held the lead for the rest of the game.
Jefferson scored a game-high 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead SCCC to victory.
Also sparking the SCCC offense were Sonia Andrades, Taisha Sherman and Vanessa Short. Andrades just missed recording a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds. Sherman netted nine points and Short had seven points.
SCCC Coach Sara Thompson Tweedy noted that defense was the key to the game.
“That was our plan, to play good defense,” she said. “We wanted to put pressure on their point guard No. 10 [Vanessa Harris] and stop her from running their offense.
“I thought both teams really focused on defense in this game,” Thompson Tweedy added. “They used a 2-3 zone which shut down our inside game almost completely. But Vanessa Short scored some big baskets for us and they came at just the right time.”
Another key to the host Lady Generals’ win was foul shooting. Thompson Tweedy pointed out that her team made 16 of 19 free throws in the contest and Jefferson was 5 of 6 at the line.
Thompson Tweedy is very happy with the way her Lady Generals are playing.
“I am very proud of them,” she said. “We are on a three-game winning streak now and that feels good.”
Kassie Gonyea paced Herkimer CCC with 13 points, while Harris and Samantha Downey each had 11 points.
Tiffany Pope added eight points for Herkimer CCC.
Herkimer CCC Coach John Campagna noted that there was one reason SCCC was able to rally from its halftime deficit.
“It was their defense,” he said. “They came out with more defensive pressure in the second half. They really prevented us from doing what we wanted to do offensively.”
Notes: SCCC reached the title game by defeating Berkeley College, 81-44, in a semifinal game on Saturday afternoon. Herkimer CCC topped Sussex (N.J.) County Community College, 59-40, in Saturday’s other semifinal.
In Sunday afternoon’s consolation game, Sussex CCC defeated Berkeley College, 79-51.
SCCC’s Taisha Sherman was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. In addition to her nine points in the title game, she scored a team-high 17 points in the Lady Generals’ semifinal victory over Berkeley College.
SCCC’s Nyoki Tate, a 2009 Monticello Central School graduate, received the tournament’s Sportsmanship Award.
Named to the All-Tournament Team were: Olivia Byfield (Berkeley College), Kristen Cenicacelaya (Sussex CCC), Samantha Downey (Herkimer CCC), Vanessa Harris (Herkimer CCC), Luna Jefferson (SCCC) and Vanessa Short (SCCC).

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