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Top 10: Plays of 2010-2011

June 25, 2011

2010-2011 was yet another successful year for the Brook as four League Championships, four Suffolk County Championships, and another Long Island Championship were added to the Swanson Gymnasium trophy cases. These titles could not have been accomplished without the exceptional performances of our athletes, so here are the best plays from the 89th year of Stony Brook Athletics.


Honorable Mention

Kai Strachan vs. Babylon | Dec. 10

In the season opener for the boys’ basketball squad, the Bears won an overtime thriller against the Panthers, 48-47. Kai Strachan had 16 points in the victory, but none were sweeter than the acrobatic, falling down three-point play he scored to gain back the lead in the fourth quarter.

Michelle Hennessy vs. Smithtown Christian | September 25

With time dwindling and the girls’ soccer team trailing 0-1, Michelle Hennessy stepped up to the corner flag and struck the equalizer with 12 minutes left to send the game into overtime against the eventual League VIII Champions. It was yet another clutch goal in her illustrious career.

Mike Worth vs. Rocky Point | September 14

In a dual meet against the Eagles, eighth-grader Michael Worth hit one of the most difficult shots in golf when he holed a shot out of the bunker.

Ryan Haas vs. Mercy | May 11

Ryan Haas provided one of the highlights of the year for the baseball team when he put a charge into a pitch, sending it not only over the left field fence of Jeff Adams Memorial Field, but over the 15-foot scoreboard. The ball finally came to rest in the Pulliam’s yard.

Brannon Burke vs. Friends Academy | March 8

In a 35-26 victory for the girls’ basketball team that gave them a third straight Long Island Championship, Brannon Burke was once again the catalyst with 11 points. On one of the most physically trying nights of her career, she scrapped for every point including a 3-pointer in the first quarter that she drained from deep in the corner, with a hand in her face as the shot clock expired.

Taylor Colucci @ County Championships | June 3 & 4

It was a memorable weekend for one of the fastest young men in school history as junior Taylor Colucci repeated as the Class B County Champion in both the 100 meters (11.21) and 200 meters (22.53), giving him All-County honors in each and earning him two qualifications to the New York State Championships.

Don Liotine vs. John Glenn | October 8

Against the eventual Long Island Champions, Don Liotine had an impressive second half against one of the most high-powered small school teams in New York, notching a pair of touchdowns. On one particular run he ran from one sideline to the other, carrying the ball 50 yards before diving into the end zone over a tackler. It was more proof that whenever Liotine has the ball, a spectacular play could be moments away.


The Top 10 Plays of 2010-2011

#10 Donna Liotine vs. Port Jefferson | October 21

In a preview of the Class C County Championship, the girls’ soccer team prevailed over their crosstown rivals, 5-2, in their most physical game of the year. It was a hotly contested battle and the atmosphere reflected the intensity of the game as a Port Jeff parent was removed from the sidelines by a referee. With the game knotted at 2-2, Donna Liotine, in her first contest since being injured against Southold a month earlier, struck a shot from a nearly impossible angle, past a three-time All-State keeper, for the game-winner with 22:24 left.

#9 Rebecca Hollis @ Frosh/Soph Championships | May 18

The Freshman/Sophomore Championships are always a great chance to observe the future of Long Island track and field. After Rebecca Hollis’ 400 meter hurdles performance it is clear she is a part of that bright future. As the youngest competitor in the meet at just 12 years of age, she finished 3rd in a field of freshmen in a school record time of 70.02.

It meant the world to me to set the school record. I never thought that it would be possible because I was just a seventh-grader. But all of the support from my family, encouragement from my teammates, and the confidence that Mr. Morley and Mrs. Morley had in me made me strive to do my best. Breaking the school record made me feel like if I set my mind to something and try my hardest, I can accomplish almost anything.

#8 Andrew White vs. Mercy | October 15

Under the bright lights of Buyers’ Park, Andrew White engineered the football play of the year when he ripped off a 75-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, giving notice that this sophomore would be a force to be reckoned with in the coming years.

I remember we were all huddled up and Marco [Masakayan] ran over to us and told us the play and he said, “Andrew this is yours.” Then Chris Davis came up to me and said, “I got you son, just come right up my back.” So once I got the ball I ran straight up the middle behind Chris, did a quick juke to the left side. I had one man left to beat and outran him and scored.

#7 Pablo Celis & Jon Wentling vs. Port Jefferson | October 8

After losing to Port Jeff, 4-0, 18 days earlier, there was no reason to believe the boys’ soccer team would enjoy a drubbing of their own, but that is indeed what happened in a 3-0 victory over our crosstown rivals. Pablo Celis scored the game-winner with 9:20 left in the first half when Jon Wentling struck a gorgeous ball into the box from 30 yards away that Celis headed into the top shelf of the net.

I just looked, saw Pablito and drove the ball toward the corner of the box. He headed it perfectly so it floated over the keeper.

~ Jon Wentling

First of all, Coach Whallon took me out of the game, and he asked me, “How many times have you kicked the ball into the goal?” And I said, “None.” It was a great decision of Coach Whallon to put me back in the game at that time because the second touch that I had after he put me in was a goal. The ball was perfectly kicked by Jon. Before he kicked it I was expecting that ball, because I knew that Jon has skills to drive that kind of ball. And it was a great game for all, and a beautiful day for SBS.

~ Pablo Celis

#6 Tim Pandolfi vs. Port Jefferson | January 28

The Royals jumped out to an 11-4 lead and seemed to have all the momentum on their side. Playing without their best player they seemed inspired and the Bears appeared to be in for a battle. However, midway through the first quarter, Tim Pandolfi strode up to the foul line and connected on his 1,000th career point to become just the sixth boys’ basketball player to accomplish that feat. After the celebration subsided, the boys’ played with renewed vigor to take a four-point halftime lead en route to a resounding 71-43 win in front of the boisterous hometown fans.

#5 Kai Strachan vs. Center Moriches | May 11

In a dual meet against the Red Devils, Kai Strachan vaulted over 6′ 0″ in the high jump to become the first to do it since 2004. After winning a rare jump-off against Center’s top jumper at 5′ 10″, Strachan elected to continue on and cleared 6′ 0″ on his third and final attempt after two tantalizingly close misses.

The day before the meet I told Mr. Morley that I would be jumping 6′ 0″. Then I told Mr. Hickey, my jumping coach, that I wanted to jump 6′ 0″ and he said, “Alright man, let’s do it.” So the day of the meet I was focused and just ready to jump. When it was time for the high jump event to begin I spoke to Tim Pandolfi and Farqu Taylor who both supported me and told me to “do work.” As I cleared everything before the 6′ 0″ mark and after hitting the bar twice I thought to myself, ‘It’s now or never. Come on Kai you got this. Give it your all and put on for the Bahamas.’ Then I jumped it and cleared it and was so happy and everyone else including my high jump coach congratulated me. At the moment I felt like I won the MVP for a major basketball tournament. One of the best accomplishments I’ve ever had.

#4 Khoren Lawson, Jon Wentling, Andrew White & Taylor Colucci @ St. Anthony’s Invitational | May 7

The boys’ 43.65 at the Penn Relays was already the #1 time in New York State’s Class C and the second-best mark in school history, but Khoren Lawson, Jon Wentling, Andrew White, and Taylor Colucci not only blew away their personal record, but the school record as they charged to an incredible 43.07. The time bested that of Jon Bute, Mike Cox, Terrance Anderson, and Pete Carmel, set in the 2007 State Championship, by 0.27 seconds to claim the top spot in Stony Brook history. The mark was good enough to beat an excellent Longwood team, a squad the Bears fell to in the New York Relays, as well as qualify them for the New Balance Outdoor Nationals in the Championship level. Andrew White remembered his team’s triumphant moment:

I remember jogging around the St. Anthony’s track as a warm-up with Khoren, Jon, and Taylor and then we heard, “First call for boys’ 4×100 meter relay please check in.” We went over checked in then circled up, put our arms around each other, said a prayer, and all broke off going to different parts of the track. After I had put my tape down I was looking around the track and saw Taylor looking at me and screamed, “Let’s go, baby! Let’s go!” When the race started I remember Khoren blowing away the first leg and then Jon doing work on the second leg and once I got the baton Jon screamed, “Let’s go White boy!” When I got to Taylor I gave him the baton and he just blew up the last 100 meters. It was one of the best feelings to break and hold a new school record with Jon, Khoren, and Taylor.

#3 Michelle Hennessy & Brianna Stiklickas vs. Port Jefferson | November 5

The girls’ soccer team had already dismissed the Royals twice this year by scores of 2-0 and 5-2, but they knew this game would be different. A senior-laden Port Jeff squad gave notice early in the contest that they would not capitulate to the three-time reigning County Champions. As a scoreless game entered overtime a palpable tension settled over the crowd and both sidelines. The Bears had a number of near scores including a rocket by Donna Liotine that ricocheted off the crossbar with 6:16 in the second overtime. Finally, the Bears seized control of the Championship. With less than three minutes remaining in the second extra period, Michelle Hennessy was fouled, giving Brianna Stiklickas a free kick 10 yards outside of the box. Bri sent a beautiful ball into the air that bounced once in front of the goal before Hennessy buried her latest in a long line of weighty scores. The crowd erupted, the bench screamed and hugged, and the girls ran upfield determined to put a stranglehold on the final 2:17. The remaining minutes rolled off the scoreboard without event and as the final seconds melted away the crowd and the girls on the field counted them down until 00:00 flashed and the Blue and White reveled in yet another crowning achievement: a fourth straight County Championship.

#2 Khoren Lawson @ National Indoor Championships | March 11

We knew Khoren Lawson was good, but even we did not know how good he was until he stepped onto the Armory’s track in the New Balance Indoor National Championships. Against talent from all across America, Lawson finished 4th in the triple jump with a leap of 44′ 3.25″, setting a new school record.

Going to the Indoor High School National Meet itself was an honor. Competing with the best runners in the nation, I knew from that moment on that I could take the talent and gifts in running to a greater level, and now, my goal are the Olympics.

#1 Khoren Lawson, Jon Wentling, Andrew White & Taylor Colucci @ County Championships | June 3

They were already the fastest quad in school history, but as our speedy foursome stepped onto the track at Port Jefferson they wanted to cement their legacy as one of the fastest teams in the state. White ran the opening leg and, despite standing up out of the blocks a bit too quickly, ran strongly in his first time running leadoff. Colucci tore up the backstretch after receiving the baton and was in the lead when he gave it Wentling who ran step-for-step with Longwood’s third man, prompting the announcer of the meet to exclaim, “Here comes Stony Brook!” As Wentling gave way to Lawson, our newly minted anchor, the excitement of the crowd rose to a crescendo, echoed by the announcer who excitedly yelled, “Stony Brook! Stony Brook!” as Lawson thundered down the homestretch. Our beloved Jamaican rewarded the cheers from the crowd as he held off the speedy Mark Jackson of Longwood to help the team take first in the heat and 2nd overall in the meet. What made the performance all the more amazing was that the team had not run together in a month and they were using a different order than they had all season which made the handoffs much riskier. Khoren Lawson remembered the moment:

The day we got under 43 seconds in the 4×100 meter relay was amazing. Great weather, good competition–it was meant to be a good day. Although I didn’t do well in my 100 meter race because I tripped in the beginning, I held my head up, and moved on to look forward to the relay, which was the best race of the day. Holding off Mark Jackson from Longwood to the end, being the number one Class C 4×100 meter team in the state two years in a row–man it felt good to be a Bear.


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One Comment leave one →
  1. Mark Maningo permalink
    June 26, 2011 8:07 AM

    As always…complete and well written. Quite sure we will have WRESTLING moments for next year’s recap.


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