Stepping Down

Jayhawks Win In Sisson’s Final Game As Men’s Coach

Jamestown Community College men’s basketball coach George Sisson encourages his players during Thursday’s NJCAA non-conference game against Pitt-Titusville at the Physical Education Complex. P-J photo by Alex Shipherd

The outcome long since decided, Jamestown Community College men’s basketball coach George Sisson stood up from his seat, walked the length of the bench and shook the hands of his reserves as the final seconds ran off the clock in Thursday’s NJCAA non-conference game at the Physical Education Complex.

Then he sat back down and put his head in his hands.

Although the Jayhawks routed Pitt-Titusville, 121-83, it was a melancholy moment for the longtime coach.

After 29 years and nearly 900 collegiate games at various levels, he was stepping down “to pursue a different career.”

For the record, Jamestown CC improved to 3-1, thanks to a huge second-half effort that saw it outscore Pitt-Titusville, 66-30. Chris Robson led seven players in double figures with 15 points, Nathan Pelissier had 10 points and 10 rebounds, and Kenneth Jernigan Jr. added 11 points and eight assists.

Jamestown Community College’s Chris Robson lets fly with one of his five made 3-pointers during Thursday’s night’s game at the Physical Education Complex. P-J photo by Alex Shipherd

But when Sisson convened his players in the locker room after the final horn, the conversation was more about what was happening moving forward than what had just transpired on the hardwood. Assistant coach Xavier Churnac will take over on an interim basis.

“I knew the boys were going to be shocked,” said Sisson, who said the decision was made earlier this week. “If I can hang my hat on something, it’s that I built a good staff. It’s time. … Thank goodness it’s not a health situation, thank goodness it’s not an emergency situation. It’s a situation that’s going to allow me to pursue something and it allows (the staff) to take the next step up.”

The Jayhawks sure took a step up after a disheartening loss to Corning CC on Sunday.

“I thought today they showed a lot of maturity,” Sisson said. “They came out and had a lot of energy and excitement. … These young men are resilient. … I’m just really proud of the second half.”

The Jayhawks led 65-53 at the break, and finally began to stretch the lead five minutes after intermission. The hosts finally put the game out of reach with a 13-2 run that prompted a Pitt-Titusville timeout with 9:11 remaining.

That prompted Sisson to proclaim: “I’m not joking. I want you to finish this.”

That’s exactly what his charges did.

They just didn’t know it would be for the last time for their coach.

NOTES: Marcus Heard had 14 points, Jared Fish and Tyairus Sands both had 13, Brian Mosquea had 10 and Raekwan Canty chipped in with nine for the winners. Izaiah Dickerson had 18 points, Moye’A Brown and Hysheem Robinson each had 16 and Alex Jerbo added 12 for Pitt-Titusville (2-2).