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Boys’ Basketball Featured in Newsday

January 19, 2011

Tim Pandolfi and the Bears make the front page of Newsday.com

Pandolfi’s 29 Lead Stony Brook

His right knee isn’t fully recovered from autumn surgery, but clearly there is nothing wrong with Tim Pandolfi’s right arm. The Stony Brook senior guard scored 29 points – a remarkable 66 percent of his team’s output – as the Bears defeated host Southold, 44-40, last night in a Suffolk League VIII game. Pandolfi provided the Bears (5-1, 4-0) with some breathing room in this low-scoring but tight game when he nailed a pull-up three-pointer from the right wing that beat the third-quarter buzzer for a 31-24 lead.

“We needed that shot,” said Pandolfi, who gleefully pumped his fists as he raced to the bench after that basket. “Sometimes a shot like that gets the team all hyped up.”

When Pandolfi popped in another trey early in the fourth quarter for a 38-30 advantage, it looked like the Bears believed the hype. But the Settlers (5-4, 3-1) clawed back. Winston Wilcenski scored eight of his 11 points in the final period, when Southold shot 8-for-8 from the foul line and moved to within 42-40 with 34 seconds left. Stony Brook didn’t help its cause by missing six of nine free throws down the stretch. But Wilcenski, who entered averaging 25.1 points, struggled against the deny-the-ball pressure defense of Richard Armand. Wilcenski missed a pair of threes and a runner in the lane in the final minute as Stony Brook held on.

“They did a great job on defense,” Southold coach Jeff Ellis said. “They knew what they had to do. With our team, if you shut down one person, you’ve got a chance.”

Armand, with help from Kai Strachan, overplayed Wilcenski all night, forcing hurried or off-balance shots. Wilcenski, who made eight of nine threes in one half this season, managed one three-pointer in the first quarter and didn’t score again until the fourth.

“I tried to get in his face and harass him,” Armand said. “Keep the pressure on at all times. He’s such a great shooter that you have to stay with him.”

At times, that meant Armand had to abandon the help principles of Stony Brook’s man-to-man. “Don’t help! Stick with him!” Bears coach Mike Hickey yelled several times when Armand started to switch to another man off a screen.

“Richie was premier on defense. You don’t want to let a good shooter hit one and maybe get hot and hit the next seven,” Hickey said. “You could see [Wilcenski] was frustrated. I think he was worn out at the end.”

Pandolfi is just getting back into shape.

“I couldn’t run or even take layups for two months during rehab. Just outside shots,” he said. “I’m not really in shape yet. I’m about 95 percent. I’ll be 100 percent in two weeks.”

His shooting percentage, however, is just fine.

 

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