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Ted Waddell | Democrat

SCCC'S BERTRAM "BJ" McDowell shoots over a Westchester CC defender in the title game.

Generals win MGC semifinal, fall to Westchester in final

SCCC 97, Rockland 83

By Ted Waddell
LOCH SHELDRAKE — February 26, 2008 — In Saturday night’s semifinal game of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Mid-Hudson Conference Basketball Tournament at Paul Gerry Fieldhouse, both teams had an agenda.
The Sullivan County Community College (SCCC) Generals, who were taking to the floor on their home court, wanted a shot at winning their second consecutive Mid-Hudson Conference title. And if the Generals defeated the Rockland County Community College Hawks, it would take away some of the sting of SCCC’s last-second loss to Rockland CC during a regular season game the previous week.
Meanwhile, the Hawks wanted to knock off the defending NJCAA Division III National Champions on their their home court prior to the upcoming NJCAA Region XV Tournament.
Bertram “B.J.” McDowell made back-to-back 3-point shots midway through the first half to put the Generals up 13-10.
A bit later in the first half, the Hawks took a 42-41 lead, but the Generals came back to hold a 49-46 advantage at halftime.
Another 3-pointer by McDowell put SCCC (21-9) up 72-60 in the second half. The Generals went on to defeat Rockland, 97-83.
McDowell paced Sullivan’s offense with 23 points. Five other Generals scored in double figures, including, Tim McKnight (14 points), Tyquan Moore (13 points), Robert Adon (12 points), Andre Martin (12 points) and David Williamson (10 points).
For the Hawks, Anthony Ford netted 23 points, Travis Jordan had 15 points and Rakym Chase and Matt Rose added 10 points apiece.
Rockland held the edge at the free-throw line. The Hawks converted 19-of-29 (66 percent) of their foul shots, while the Generals made 9-of-21 (43 percent) of their foul shots.
“It was a tough game,” Rockland Coach Bill Kurisko said. “Sullivan’s one of the best teams in the region. It could have gone either way, but they played a little better tonight.
“That kid McDowell shot the lights out, we can’t beat ’em,” he added.
Kurisko said that in the long run, the conference tourney loss “really doesn’t mean anything to us… we’re excited about seeing them next week when it counts.”
Kurisko was referring to the NJCAA Region XV Tournament, which begins on Friday night and continues through Sunday at Suffolk County Community College in Selden. Rockland and SCCC are scheduled to square off in Friday night’s opening round.
SCCC Coach Chris DePew summed up the game in a few words.
“Well, we won, that’s always positive, coming back from last week’s loss to them at the buzzer,” he said.
“It was a very hotly contested game last week, a lot of bad blood going into this game,” DePew continued. “I was a little concerned, but we came out and played pretty well, the way we needed to, [in order] to contain them.”

Westchester 74, SCCC 54

By Ted Waddell
LOCH SHELDRAKE — February 26, 2008 — About 24 hours after topping Rockland Community College in the semifinals of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Mid-Hudson Conference Tournament, the Sullivan County Community College Generals were hurt by a slow start in the championship game.
In Sunday night’s final at Paul Gerry Fieldhouse on the SCCC campus, the Generals were defeated by the Westcoes of Westchester County Community College, 74-54.
In the first five minutes or so of the game, the Generals couldn’t buy, beg or steal a bucket. They finally got on the scoreboard when sophomore guard Bertram “B.J.” McDowell made a 3-point shot.
However, McDowell’s 3-pointer was quickly negated by a 3-pointer by Westchester’s Hickman Simmons. The long-range shot by Simmons gave the Westcoes a 16-3 advantage.
Westchester CC extended its lead to 33-14 at halftime.
McDowell opened up the second half with a bucket, sparking a welcome but short-lived surge in the points department for the Generals. SCCC posted 40 points in the second 20 minutes of play, but Westchester racked up 41 points to record the 20-point win.
McDowell was only General to reach double figures, finishing the contest with 21points.
Simmons led Westchester with 23 points, while Jarrid Famous netted 20 points.
Stats from the free-throw line: SCCC was 17-of-26 (65 percent), Westchester CC was 22-of-31 (71 percent).
“We played good strong defense,” Westchester Coach Winston Nicholas said. “We’re really starting to focus on our defense at this time of the year, coming to playoff time.
“We have decent size, we took care of the ball… if you work the glass, play strong defense and don’t have many turnovers, you’re going to be OK.”
Sunday night’s title game was Westchester’s sixth game in as many days, while for the Generals, the championship contest was their ninth game in 12 days.
“I’m proud of my kids,” SCCC Coach Chris DePew said.
“We had a great game yesterday with high energy and we came out today and just couldn’t hit a shot. Nothing seemed to work, we just ran into a wall… the kids are tired and banged up.
“I’m really proud of ‘em,” DePew continued. “No matter what was going on, they didn’t give up… Westchester came out like a buzzsaw.”
“We’re 21-10 with 14 freshmen and one sophomore, and that’s pretty stinking good,” DePew added.
Notes: Before the start of the game, it was announced that McDowell had just been selected the 2007-2008 NJCAA Region XV Most Valuable Player and a First Team All-Star. By being chosen as a Region XV First Team All-Star, McDowell earned a spot to play in the 2008 NJCAA National All-Star Game, scheduled to be held the weekend of April 19-20 in Phoenix, Ariz.
Two other Generals were also tabbed for NJCAA honors. Robert Adon was selected as an All-Region XV Third Team All-Star and Tim McKnight was picked for the All-Region XV Honorable Mention Team.

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