Eli Ruiz | Democrat
Sophomore guard Briana Rhett (3) goes up for a reverse layup two of her 13 points in SUNY Sullivan’s 70-42 victory over Westchester Community College Tuesday night.
Lady Generals off
to 4-1 start
Story by Eli Ruiz
LOCH SHELDRAKE November 15, 2013 The SUNY Sullivan Lady Generals got off to an anemic start against Westchester County Community College Tuesday, falling behind by 10 early before settling down in the second half of what turned out to be a 70-42 blowout win for Sullivan.
"We came out very sluggish," said Lady Generals' coach Danny Lang. "We're a very up-tempo team. We don't generally play like we did in the first half there."
If the first half of the Mid-Hudson Conference contest was "sluggish" for Lang's squad, the second half was anything but as sophomore center Regina Steele led all scorers with 24 points, in a game the Generals led by as much as 32 points.
Ayanna Behagen hit an open jumper to give the Lady Vikings an early 14-4 advantage over the Generals, but Steele and Briana Rhett (13 points) led a furious comeback, and with under two minutes to play in the first half, Tashalee Lawrence put back a Kernisha Lawrence free throw miss to give Sullivan its first lead of the game 24-23.
"I really don't know what the deal was there [in the first half]," said Lang. "We were just really stuck. So at halftime we just kept asking ourselves, ‘are we playing our basketball, or are we just going to play into their hands?’"
Sullivan (4-1) and still ranked fifth nationally, came out of the break firing on all cylinders, opening the second half on a 21-2 scoring run and never looking back.
"We came out and attacked in the second half and it was like night and day," explained Lang. Steele sunk two free throws with 4:23 left in the game to put Sullivan up by 29, 62-33.
"She's just such a special player," said Lang of Steele. "She just works so hard and is such a great teammate as well. She'll grab a board, beat everyone down court and finish, but she's not afraid to kick the ball out too. Regina is very unselfish and that's huge."
Asked how she gets herself prepared for games, a soft spoken Steele offered, "Generally, all I do is practice with my teammates a lot before games; high and low passes and the such.
Regarding her dominance underneath the basket, Steele attributes it to hard work: "I've been doing this for years," said Steele. "I try to work my hardest and I try to be as athletic as I can out there. A big part of it is how I use my body."
As for Lang, he's looking for nothing but success.
"I want the girls to take this one game at a time. But don't get me wrong, we want to make and take regionals and then head to Minnesota for nationals," he says. “We really want Region XV this year. We want to put a banner up in here."
Steele is confident that will happen. "One thing I know for sure is that we’re gonna take the region," she said. "We'll take the region and then we're going to nationals."
The Lady Generals take on Borough of Manhattan Community College at home tomorrow at 1 p.m.