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Boys’ Basketball Clips Eagles

November 28, 2010

Basketball season is back at Stony Brook and yesterday morning the boys began their quest to defend the Long Island Championship in a scrimmage against League V foe Rocky Point.  With a skeleton crew of 6 players, including 2 from the junior varsity squad, the Bears outplayed the Eagles and won handily, capturing 5 of the 7 10 minute running quarters.

1st Quarter

Right from the start the boys overmatched their opponents in every facet of the game.  Both teams looked rusty in the early going as they tried to recover from their turkey dinners 2 days earlier, but the Bears took control with a quick 4-0 lead on 2 putbacks by Farqu Taylor and Jerome Washington.  After a Stony Brook free throw and a Rocky Point 3, back-to-back scores by Washington put the blue and white up 9-3.  A flurry of activity followed, allowing the Brook to extend their lead.  First, Marco Masakayan snared the Bears’ 3rd steal of the quarter and raced down the floor for a layup (11-3), then Rocky Point hit another from behind the arc (11-6).  Stony Brook followed with a turnover, Taylor took a charge and Washington dropped in his 4th score of the quarter (13-6). | 13-6

2nd Quarter

The 2nd frame began where the 1st left off.  The Brook started with a steal and Richie Armand drilled a 3 after keeping the possession alive with an offensive rebound.  Back-to-back scores by Taylor and 2 free throws by Masakayan put the Bears up 9-4.  The last sequence of the quarter aptly illustrated the difference between the 2 squads over the first 20 minutes of the game.  After the Bears’ 6th steal of the game and subsequent missed layup, the Bears fought through their size disadvantage and pulled down 4 offensive rebounds before Taylor was fouled on a putback attempt.  Through 2 quarters the Brook out-hustled, out-rebounded, outran and outplayed the Pointers, something that was on full display in the final minute.| 10-4

3rd Quarter

The Rocky Point coach seemed visibly agitated over his team’s play during the opening 20 minutes, and the next 10 only gave him more frustration.  A putback by Washington, a 3-pointer by junior varsity player Tyler Abrahamsen, a fast break layup by Armand and a runner by Abrahamsen made the score 9-0.  Rocky Point did not get on the board until 3:57 remained in the quarter.  The boys allowed them to creep back in with several turnovers, but 2 scores by Washington a layup by Taylor, courtesy of a beautiful penetration and dish by Armand, gave the blue and white another win at the quarter-mark. | 15-9

4th Quarter

The Eagles opened the scoring for the 1st time, but the Bears tied it up when Taylor found junior varsity player Nick Pizzichillo on a nice backdoor cut for a layup.  The Brook grabbed a 7-2 lead minutes later when Armand kissed a runner off the glass and Abrahamsen used every part of the basket to land his 2nd 3-pointer.  The blue and white defense was on full display as they grabbed 4 steals in the quarter for a total of 15 through 4 frames.  They also held the Eagles to under 10 points for the 4th straight quarter, winning by a combined 45-24 margin. | 7-4

5th & 6th Quarters

Pizzichillo single-handedly kept the Brook in the lead for the first half of the quarter, assisting Washington, then hitting a 3 and a layup in quick succession for a 7-6 edge; however, the boys surrendered their 1st quarter 9-10.  In the 6th the Brook jumped out to an early lead thanks to 2 Masakayan 3-pointers, but a 3 as time expired gave the Eagles the 8-9 win.  The short Stony Brook bench played a part in these 2 as the Eagles continued to send out fresh legs from their 12-man roster. | 9-10/8-9

7th Quarter

Both sides fought off fatigued legs and rasping lungs for the final and most exciting quarter.  Masakayan took a charge and then tied the game at 2-2 on a nice drive.  Back-to-back 3s by Rocky Point put the Bears down 2-8, but Abrahamsen fired back with a long-ball of his own to cut the deficit to 5-8 and ignited a run for the home team.  Masakayan followed with a gorgeous spin move in the lane and tough layup to make it 7-8, then led the fast break and dished to Taylor to cap a 7-0 run, giving the blue and white a 9-8 advantage.  The Eagles’ 3rd 3-pointer of the quarter gave them a 9-11 lead, but a steal and layup by Armand knotted the frame at 11 with 2:20 remaining.  Coach Mike Hickey yelled from the sideline, “Tie ball game!  This is it!” as though it were a playoff game and the boys responded in like fashion.  After falling behind 11-13, Abrahamsen came through again, nailing his 4th 3-pointer with 1:40 on the clock.  2 Rocky Point free throws gave them the lead back, 14-15, with 1 minute remaining.  After an empty possession the Brook needed a stop and Abrahamsen’s hustle once again proved valuable.  He knocked the ball away from the Eagles’ point guard, then dove on the ground and wrestled it from him before dishing it to Armand for a wide-open layup with 9 seconds left.  The great defensive play by the young player was the difference as the boys won their 5th of 7 quarters. | 16-15

Impressions

The Bears had 6 players, 4 of them varsity, were missing 2 starters and had only a handful of practices, yet clearly outplayed their Class A opponent.  They had the edge in their hustle, their defense, their rebounding and their ability to get out on the fast break.  Armand and Masakayan penetrated well, Taylor and Washington were a handful inside despite giving up several inches to their counterparts and even Pizzichillo and Abrahamsen performed well in their 1st varsity action.  What became clear as the game went on was how well this team could play defense.  They stopped penetration well, got their hands in the passing lanes, raced back in transition and showed great intensity over 70 minutes of basketball.  This was a great opening act and is perhaps the 1st step of another triumphant journey.

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