By Rob Potter
LOCH SHELDRAKE Both of the Rockland Community College (RCC) basketball teams emerged victorious from their Region XV games on Tuesday night against the host Sullivan County Community College (SCCC) squads.
In the evening’s first game at Paul Gerry Fieldhouse on the SCCC campus, the Rockland Lady Hawks defeated the SCCC Lady Generals, 63-42. In the second contest, the Hawks edged the Generals, 80-75.
SCCC rally falls just short
The Generals trailed 32-28 at halftime, but rallied in the second 20 minutes of action.
SCCC (16-7, 9-4 Region XV) took its first lead of the game when sophomore guard Tim McKnight scored with 10:08 remaining.
Fellow sophomore guard Mike McNair knocked down a 3-point shot 25 seconds later to give the Generals a 56-52 advantage.
But RCC’s Mark Mandara quickly answered McNair’s 3-pointer with one of his own, allowing the Hawks to regain the lead, 56-54.
The teams exchanged the edge on the scoreboard seven times before RCC (18-6, 11-3 Region XV) took the lead for good on a basket by Matt Rose with less than two minutes left in the game.
With 11.5 seconds remaining, Kevin Major made a pair of foul shots to give the Hawks a 79-72 advantage.
McNair swished another 3-pointer with five seconds left for the final SCCC basket.
“It was a great game between two competitive teams,” RCC Coach Bill Kurisko said. “I think we executed our offense a little better at the end of the game.”
Leading the Hawks to victory were Angel Gonzalez and Mark Mandara. Gonzalez scored a game-high 25 points and Mandara netted 19 points.
Rose (16 points) and Major (10 points) also scored in double figures for RCC.
McKnight paced the Generals with 20 points. Freshman forward Lindsay Robinson recorded 13 points and freshman guard Moses Dayee and McNair added nine points apiece.
SCCC Coach Tim Perry noted that the Hawks are a good, tough team.
“In preparing for them, I wanted us to match their aggressiveness,” Perry said. “During the timeouts, I reminded our guys that we needed to be tough. We took the ball to the basket a few times, but sometimes we were timid.”
Perry said the Generals had little time to dwell on the loss, however, as they were slated to visit Monroe College in the Bronx last night and will play at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn tomorrow afternoon.
The Generals return home to Paul Gerry Fieldhouse on Monday night. They will face Nassau Community College at 5:30 p.m.
Lady Hawks stop Lady Generals
Despite a 21-point defeat, Lady Generals’ Coach Sara Thompson-Tweedy found many positive aspects of Tuesday evening’s contest.
“It was hands down our best game of the season,” Thompson-Tweedy said. “I was very pleased with the effort of these ladies tonight.”
While SCCC’s record dropped to 1-19 on the season, Thompson-Tweedy is focused on the overall Lady Generals’ hoops program.
“Being able to play in the second semester and finish the season is a great accomplishment,” she said. “I think this is only the second time in the last few years the team has been able to complete its schedule. That says a lot about the character of these ladies and should help us recruit players for next season.”
Sophomore point guard Krystle Fernandez and freshman guard Roxann Rutherford led the Lady Generals’ offense against RCC. Fernandez scored 12 points and Rutherford netted 11 points.