Herkimer opens National Title defense with 83-51 win at Clinton
PLATTSBURGH — It was the beginning of a new chapter for the defending NJCAA Division III champion Herkimer Generals, who haven’t lost a game since November 10th, 2018.
The eight-of-eleven freshmen gelled both on-and-off the court. Off the court, they rapped to Meek Mill’s “Intro” which starts off with the infamous chorus to Phil Collins’ song, ‘In the Air Tonight.’ On it, they scored 62-of-its-83-points en route to an 83-51 season-opening win at Clinton Community College on Sunday afternoon.
“Our goal today was to have everyone bought in on both ends of the floor, and I think we were pretty successful in that regard,” said head coach Matt Lee. “We played smart on defense and played well as a team.”
Only one player returned from last years championship-winning team; Rashad Alfahad (Whitesboro), who scored two points in the win.
Rounding out the team are sophomores Tyres Desinor (Canarsie) and Solomon Silas (Lagos, Niagara), who didn’t play last year, but were key contributors to the teams’ NJCAA National Championship run in 2016-17.
The Generals (1-0) had four players in double-figures; Desinor led both teams with 17 points, freshman Dante Griffin (Utica Notre-Dame) with 15 points, freshman Shykell Brown (Bishop Kearney) with 12 points, and freshman David Mo (Bishop Grimes) added 11 points.
Clinton (0-1) shot 20-of-66 from the field (30%)
“It’s early in the season yet, and we’re developing our identity as a team,” said Desinor. “We’re the defending national champs, so I think there’s definitely a huge target on our backs. Teams will come at us hard and we know that coming into every game, and because of that we’re coming into every game with a chip on our shoulder.”
Next up for Herkimer is a trip to Mohawk Valley Community College on Wednesday night, in a rematch of last year's Region III Championship game. Game time is set for 8:00 PM
“Mohawk will be tough, but it’s November basketball. We’re both going through roster changes and getting adjusted to playing team basketball again,” added Lee. “It’s certainly not a playoff game, but there will be a playoff atmosphere there. It’ll be an exciting game.”