The school’s 88th year was truly an historic one for our athletic teams. To put it into perspective, in 87 years the Bears had won three Long Island Championships and zero State Championships, but by the end of the winter season the total number of Long Island titles had doubled and the first state crown had been brought back to campus. 2009-2010 saw banners added to the walls of Swanson Gymnasium for 3 Long Island Championships, 4 County Championships, 2 League Championships, and the school’s first State Championship. Here is a recap of one of the teams that victoriously wore the blue and white..
The word “dynasty” gets overused a lot in the sports world. Every time a team wins a few championships in rapid succession there is someone ready to compare them to a centuries-long monarchical family. The analogy is not always appropriate, but in the case of our Bears, the moniker seems worthy. Dynasties are consistent, overpowering and relentless–three words that aptly describe the Bears over the last five seasons. They finished the regular season with a record of 17-1, despite tangling with a number of schools several times our size in non-league tilts, garnering them a sixth consecutive League Championship, the last five coming by way of undefeated records. In a word: consistent.
The girls began their quest to get back to the State Final Four, where they bowed out last season, with a home playoff game against Pierson. The night’s formal dinner in Johnston Hall was replaced by a casual buffet to accommodate the game and the fans packed Swanson a cold February night. There was an air of nostalgia hanging over everyone in attendance as it was the final home game for the seniors as well as beloved coach Keith Singer. Each of the girls was presented with a bouquet of roses before the game and coach Singer was presented with a plaque recognizing his indelible contribution to Stony Brook Basketball over the last 21 years. As if that did not make the night memorable enough, at halftime the girls’ soccer team unfurled their State Championship banner. The sentimental atmosphere did not faze the girls in the least. By the end of the first quarter they were in control and by halftime there was little doubt as to the game’s outcome. Behind the raucous crowd, the girls rolled to a 51-28 victory. Sadie Singer led all scorers with 16 while Emily Carmel added 10.
The Bears moved on to the County Championship against Southold and, like the boys, they overthrew the Settlers, the only difference being our east end rivals barely put up a fight against the girls. The Bears tight defense, which held its regular season opponents to an average of 27.2 points per game, allowed the Settlers only 15 points, nearly equaled by Brannon Burke’s 14 and Sadie Singer’s 12. The Southold squad was so stymied that they did not get their first field goal until midway through the second quarter and did not make a jump shot until 17 seconds remained in the game. The Settlers trailed 11-1 at the end of the 1st quarter and 24-5 at halftime and the Bears never let up, rolling to a 40-15 victory and their fifth straight County Championship. In a word: overpowering.
The Bears found themselves a victory away from a second straight Long Island Championship. Looming in front of them was an explosive East Rockaway team, but they would not enter the battle alone. The girls’ contest closely followed the boys’ Long Island triumph over Friends Academy and the Stony Brook delegation caravanned down Sunrise Highway to St. Joseph’s College in the hopes of seeing a sweep of Nassau County. Brannon Burke started the scoring by hitting her first jump shot and a frenetic first frame ensued, ending with the teams deadlocked at 14-14. Stony Brook’s defense was the story of the second quarter as Singer and Candace Baker gave the Rocks guards fits while Burke and Emily Carmel controlled the glass, allowing the Brook to seize a 26-16 halftime lead. The third quarter saw the teams battle to an 8-8 standstill, giving the bears a commanding 10-point lead going into the fourth quarter and the Bears won the game’s final installment 15-12 for a 49-36 win. In a word: relentless.
As the final buzzer sounded our girls jumped around the court in jubilation and it was apparent to all who were watching how deep their camaraderie ran. Burke led all scorers with 19, Singer contributed 14, while Jess Winston (7), Carmel (5), and Baker (4) rounded out the scoring. It was a night no Brooker will soon forget: two Long Island titles in a span of four hours.
March 9th, however, was the last great memory from the girls’ incredible season. In the New York State quarterfinals the Bears fought valiantly against North Salem, taking a slight lead into the fourth quarter, before falling 45-36. It was the final game of Sadie Singer’s dazzling All-State career as well as the final time that we saw coach Keith Singer roaming our sideline. When a season comes to a close it is always difficult, but the girls did so knowing they were League, County, and Long Island Champions once again. In a word: dynasty.