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.”