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Girls’ Basketball County Title Featured in Three Village Patch

February 23, 2011

Coach Amy Helm addresses the girls

Yesterday evening the girls basketball team won their 6th consecutive County Championship with a 43-29 victory over Pierson/Bridgehampton.  The Sag Harbor Express featured an article on the game.  Check it out here or threevillage.patch.com.  See a short video highlight of the game here.

During a game that sometimes looked more like a wrestling match than a girls’ basketball contest, Brannon Burke repeatedly found herself on the floor after driving to the basket or fighting for a rebound.

She got up every time and kept her team standing tall alongside her, finishing with 26 points, 10 rebounds and four steals as Stony Brook beat Pierson/Bridgehampton 43-29 for its sixth straight Suffolk Class C crown on Tuesday night at St. Joseph’s College.

Burke has struggled with pain this season ever since she suffered a back injury playing for the girls’ soccer team during its championship run in the fall. Despite getting roughed up Tuesday night by Pierson’s aggressive defense, she said she barely felt a thing.

“I was expecting to get pushed around and thrown around,” Burke said. “It gets to a point where the adrenaline takes over in a game like this.”

She made baskets that mattered, like a three-pointer in the closing seconds of the first half that helped put Stony Brook up 19-11 at halftime and another with 2:29 left in the game that gave her team a 35-26 lead. She made 11 of 12 freethrows, including eight in the fourth quarter that helped Stony Brook (14-5, 11-1) keep Pierson/Bridgehampton (9-11, 8-4) out of reach.

“We needed to stop Burke and we didn’t,” said Whalers coach Dennis Case, whose team split its two regular-season games against Stony Brook this year. “We stopped her the first time we played, and we won the game. She’s a great player.”

Burke had help. Danielle Pappas and Jessica Winston led a defensive rotation that limited Pierson/Bridgehampton’s double scoring threat of Sarah Barrett and Sami James to fewer than ten points each.

“We were very well prepared. We learned new defenses to play against them,” said Winston, who finished the game with four points and 11 assists. Pappas totaled four points and 14 rebounds.

The physical game saw both teams get called for frequent fouls, although there were a handful of strange ones thrown in. At one point, a referee nearly awarded two freethrows to a Stony Brook player who had just grabbed a rebound while playing defense under the Pierson/Bridgehampton net.

“That’s basketball. That’s postseason. That was at both ends and I was fine with that,” Stony Brook coach Amy Helm said. “But finish strong and good things will happen.”

To advance in the Section XI small school playoffs, Stony Brook will have to beat Shelter Island, Suffolk’s lone Class D school, on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at St. Joseph’s College. But the game they’ve got circled is the regional Class C qualifier for the state tournament, set for March 8 against Friends Academy. It means little time off for Stony Brook to recover from Tuesday’s game.

“It would be nice to rest,” Burke said, “but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.”

 

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