By Ted Waddell
LOCH SHELDRAKE It looked like the Sullivan County Community College (SCCC) Lady Generals were headed for a loss in their National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division III Region XV basketball game on Tuesday night against the visiting Borough of Manhattan Community College Lady Panthers at SCCC’s Paul Gerry Fieldhouse.
A free throw gave Manhattan CC a 57-55 advantage with 15.8 seconds left in regulation.
But with approximately five seconds left, SCCC’s Natalie Rivera made a crucial basket to tie the game at 57-57 and force a five-minute overtime.
With just over one minute left in the extra session, Manhattan CC held a 72-65 advantage. The Lady Panthers then held that lead until the final buzzer.
Leading Manhattan CC (1-1) to the win were Eyandra Molina (24 points), Latoya Lee (10 points) and Chandra Rodriguez (six points).
“They’re a tough team,” said Manhattan CC Coach Danielle Madden of the Lady Generals.
Sophomore forward Roxann Rutherford led SCCC (1-3) with 16 points. Rivera, a freshman forward, added 12 points.
SCCC Coach Sara Thompson- Tweedy, who is in her second year of guiding the Lady Generals, summed up the game in a few words.
“It would have been nice to win, I feel like we gave it away,” Thompson-Tweedy said.
During the 2008-2009 season, the Lady Generals only posted one victory a forfeit win against Orange County Community College.
“I think the team is a lot stronger than last year, [and] I think when they learn what college basketball is all about, they can rise to the occasion,” said Thompson-Tweedy, who is joined again this season by Assistant Coaches Diana Traugot and Carl Graham in leading the Lady Generals.