Southold, one of Long Island’s oldest towns, is a beautiful and unique place. In the 1600s it was an important cog in the Northeast whaling industry and has since redefined itself twice over, becoming widely known for potato farming and more recently for its vineyards. Through the years, the town’s isolation on the North Fork has engendered a toughness and self-sufficience in its people and forged a tightly knit community. Today Southold celebrates its 374th birthday and so we remember our ten greatest victories against them. You know what… make it fifteen. It’s their birthday!
Note: The basketball programs may appear over-represented here. Southold does not field their own football, swimming, track, lacrosse, volleyball, or wrestling teams and we do not compete against them in tennis or golf due to geography restrictions in those leagues.
Pandolfi Strikes Again | January 18, 2011
The previous time the boys’ basketball team stepped onto the floor with Southold was February 20, 2010 in the Class C County Championship which the Bears won in a thriller. In the 332 days since that incredible upset win, our east end rivals had no doubt salivated at the thought of revenge. They got their chance, but the script remaining unchanged as the Bears pulled out a gritty 44-40 win in enemy territory to improve to 4-0 in League VIII. Tim Pandolfi was keyed on by a rowdy student section from the beginning as, “Pandolfi! Go home!,” rang out multiple times from the Southold delegation. Pandolfi would return home, but not before torching his hosts for 29 points to lift his scoring average to 28 points per game, good enough for first on Long Island.
The Brook made it difficult on themselves by going 9-for-22 from the free throw line, but clutch shooting by Pandolfi, who scored 15 of the team’s 26 second half points, and lockdown defense helped pull out an important win. Two unsung heroes in the game were Richie Armand and Kai Strachan who were tasked with curtailing Southold’s most potent offensive threat, Winston Wilcenski. Entering the game, Wilcenski was tied for fourth on Long Island in scoring with 25.1 per game. On two occasions already that season he had scored 39 points, hitting nine 3-pointers against Shelter Island and eight against Westhampton. Armand and Strachan limited him to one 3-pointer, one two-point field goal, and six free throws for 11 points as they relentlessly hounded him on and off the ball.
Reclaimed Glory | September 22, 2010
For the first time in what seemed like an eternity, the boys’ soccer team returned from Southold the victors, taking down the Settlers, 2-1, to even their league record at 1-1. The ringing bell outside Johnston Hall broke the silence of study hours on campus, a tradition that the boys were not willing to relinquish despite the lighting igniting the sky. Their excitement was warranted as it was the first time in 13 years that both the varsity and junior varsity squads vanquished the red devils on their rocky turf.
Khoren Lawson got the scoring started, one-touching a pass from Tyler Anderson past the keeper. Pablo Celis, padded the Bears’ lead on a left-footed, unassisted goal that found the bottom right corner of the net. As spectacular as the shot was, the celebration may have outdone it as Celis ran over to the corner flag and pretended to ride it like a horse. The Blue and White dominated the time of possession in the first half and went into the break with a commanding 2-0 lead. The play was very even in the second frame, but Southold failed to truly test keeper Wes Woodley and his defenders, mustering only a breakaway goal with just ten minutes remaining.
This did not mean either team lacked aggressive play. On one play, a Southold cross was sent into the box and both Woodley and a Southold striker converged on the ball. Woodley got there first and put his knee up to protect himself, pinning the Settler’s arm between his elbow and knee and breaking the arm. But it was finesse more than power that helped the Bears avenge last year’s defeats of 0-6 and 2-4.
Ten Fifteen Wins vs. Southold
#15 | Harney Perseveres for the Brook | February 17, 2004
The boys’ basketball team defeated Southold 66-45 in the Suffolk County semifinals, stemming a furious comeback in the process. The Bears jumped on their east end rivals from the start as they fed off eight points from Ryan Mealey to take a commanding 22-4 lead after the first quarter. However, as impressive as the opening frame was, the second quarter was a near disaster as the Blue and White was outscored 2-15 to take a slim five-point lead into the break. Even more troubling than the squandered lead was the condition of captain Steve Harney. During the first quarter he took a hard foul and struggled through much of the first half. However, like he had so many times before, Harney elevated his game when his team needed him the most. He connected on a huge 3-pointer in the third quarter to give the Brook to a nine-point lead entering the fourth, then poured in 15 of his 26 points in the final frame to seal the victory. Harney dished out 10 assists to go along with his scoring barrage, while Mealey and Brendan Penn totaled 14 and 11 points, respectively.
#14 | Liotine & Haas Power Bears | April 29, 2011
The baseball team notched its first varsity win in two years (they competed at the JV level the previous season) in an exciting 11-9 victory over Southold. It was a gratifying win not only because it ended their eight-game losing streak to start the season, but because it came against a quality opponent who had defeated them by a combined 22-5 over the previous two days. Donnie Liotine and Ryan Haas were masterful on the mound and in the batter’s box for the Brook. Liotine notched 4 RBIs, including a three-run home run in the 4th inning, and recorded the save while Haas was the winning pitcher alongside a 4-for-5 afternoon at the plate and 3 RBIs. Matt Schneider, a late addition to the lineup, had the most peculiar statistic of the day as he reached base five times without the benefit of a hit, walking three times, being hit by a pitch, and reaching on an error. He came around to score three big runs for the Bears. The Settlers staged a late game comeback attempt, loading the bases with one out in the bottom of the 7th. With a victory hanging in the balance, Liotine struck out the last two batters to end the threat and give the Bears a well-deserved triumph.
#13 | Step One of an Undefeated Season | January 9, 2003
The boys’ basketball team began their journey toward an undefeated League Championship season with a close win over visiting Southold. After one quarter the Bears looked as though they might cruise to an easy victory in their League VIII opener, leading 20-8, but the Settlers won the second frame 17-11 to leave the Brook ahead a mere six points at halftime. The boys showed little spirit in the third quarter as they squandered away the lead, allowing the visitors to take the quarter, 16-8. Trailing 39-41 entering the fourth quarter, the Blue and White needed a hero to step up and junior Steve Harney answered the call, drilling two of his five 3-pointers during a 15-5 run that wrested control away from Southold. However, after Sean Sprauve fouled out and 6′ 8″ center Burt Vimont was blocked on a layup attempt, the Bears faced an important defensive stand, up by three points with just 30 seconds remaining. The home team suffocated the opposition and the Settlers were unable to even attempt a shot. On the ensuing possession Harney iced the game with two free throws, securing the 56-52 win. Harney led all scorers with 18 while twin towers Vimont and Sprauve were huge inside with 16 points and 15 rebounds and 14 points and 10 rebounds, respectively.
#12 | 35-Point Swing Gives Basketball Revenge | January 29, 1982
On January 8, the boys’ basketball team was trounced at Southold, 82-40. When they met again less than three weeks later, the Settlers must have expected a similar result, that is, until the game got underway. By the end of the first quarter in the previous game, Southold had built a comfortable 11-point lead, but this time around the Shrikes were within six points. Going into the half the Brook trailed by just five. Then, in the third quarter, Stony Brook grabbed the lead in an 18-10 frame thanks to eight points from Graham Reside. In the fourth, the Shrikes refused to relinquish the lead, and even extended it to 11 points with just under two minutes remaining, eventually taking the rematch, 69-62. Defense was the key for the Brook as Southold’s potent trio of Chris Golden, Henry Stepnoski, and Jim Conway, which poured in 65 points in the first game, was limited to just 37 in the grudge match. Reside finished with 18 points for the Brook while Jim Santiago chipped in with 13. In a total team win, ten different players scored for the Brook.
#11 | Festa’s Clutch Free Throws | January 5, 2005
The girls’ basketball team was deadlocked at 42-42 with just nine seconds remaining when Lindsay Festa knocked down two clutch free throws to give the Bears a 42-40 win, an important one in what would unfold as the first League Championship season for the Bears since 2000. Kristyn Dunleavy led all scorers with 21 points while corralling 9 rebounds.
#10 | Furious Comeback | January 18, 1978
Thanks to an improbable comeback, the boys’ basketball returned from Southold with a thrilling 75-73 victory. The pace of the contest was frenetic from the start as the Shrikes took the opening quarter, 22-19. The Brook battled the Settlers to a 17-17 standstill in the second quarter and took a 39-36 edge into the break. The third frame, however, was disastrous as the Blue and White lost the quarter, 2-18, and trailed by 13 entering the final quarter. What ensued was an offensive explosion from the Shrikes as they scored 34 in the quarter to Southold’s 19 and pulled out an incredible comeback victory. Dave Wilson led the charge in the final eight minutes, scoring 17 in the fourth to galvanize the Brook. Wilson finished with 23 points, Brad Hargrave scored 17, including eight in the final quarter, John Scanlon chipped in with 16, and Mark Whitney added 11.
#9 | Baseball Double-Dips | April 9, 2014
After darkness suspended an exciting 3-3 game in the 6th inning, the contest was continued several days later. The Bears pulled out a win in walk-off fashion as Ben Walter scored on a sacrifice fly, getting in just under the tag by the Settlers’ catcher before being mobbed by his teammates at home plate. The boys leveraged that momentum into a 9-1 drubbing in the next game as they earned two victories over our East End rivals in one afternoon. Tyler Hoegsberg, who had a stellar senior campaign, got the rare double-win on the day.
#8 | Basketball Clinches League Title | February 10, 1975
With a second consecutive League Championship on the line, the boys’ basketball team traveled to Southold on a cold February night. The Blue and White was focused from the outset, jumping on the Settlers, 12-2, after the first quarter. The Settlers rallied in the second period for 13 points to head into the half down just seven, but the second half was all Stony Brook. Andrew Barber tallied eight points in the half while Jerry Britton and Robin Cook each scored seven to lead the boys to a 55-40 win and a second straight title.
#7 | Girls Claim County Title | February 19, 2010
The girls’ basketball team improved to 19-1 on the season after dispatching the Settlers, 40-15, in the County Final behind their hallmark defense. The Brook jumped out to an 11-0 lead and would have shutout Southold in the quarter if not for a free throw with 2.2 seconds remaining. The girls took a 24-5 lead into halftime then used a 12-0 spurt to begin the third quarter to put the game out of reach. Brannon Burke led all scorers with 14, while point guard Sadie Singer controlled the tempo as the Bears won their fifth consecutive County Championship.
#6 | Cross Country Wins Counties | November 1, 2013
The boys took down the Settlers by the narrowest of margins, claiming the County Title, with a score of 27-28, for the first time since 2010. A Stony Brook runner did not win the individual crown, but the Bears showed their depth by placing five runners in the top ten: Jacob Brummeler (2nd place/18:52), Ayan Mandal (3rd/18:57), Luis Irias (7th/20:31), Simon Wynter (8th/20:32), and John Desan (10th/20:44).
#5 | The Flu Game | February 16, 2008
In the Suffolk Class C semifinals, Lou Pizzichillo had a superlative performance in one of coach Mike Hickey’s 10 favorite victories. The Bears’ dreams of a run to States had been dashed when Mitch Singer went down with an ACL tear in December and entering the semifinal match-up with their old nemesis, the odds stacked against the Brook were seemingly insurmountable. The team’s premiere player, Singer, was out. Adrien Husson, a starter, had been injured in a dirty play vs. the Ross School just five days earlier. A third starter was out. Starting shooting guard Pizzichillo had a respiratory condition and fellow starter Franz Lawrence was fighting through lower back pain. At full strength the Bears had narrowly beaten the Settlers twice that season, so how could they possibly contend under the circumstances? In the locker room before the game, Coach Hickey addressed his battered troops and asked each of them what their favorite memory of the season was. After a few different responses, senior Eric Duff responded with the answer his coach was looking for: “This game is going to be my favorite memory,” he boldly stated.
The Brook showed their mettle early as they outscored the Settlers 19-10 in the opening quarter behind 12 points from Pizzichillo. Southold battled back with a 14-13 second frame, but the Bears still took an eight-point lead into the break. As the second half began, both teams traded baskets and the Settlers looked poised for a comeback, but Pizzichillo’s third 3-pointer of the game with 21 seconds remaining gave the Blue and White a lift heading into the final period.
Pizzichillo and freshman Tim Pandolfi took care of all 19 of the team’s fourth quarter points as they combined for 10-of-11 free throws to help seal the game. Pizzichillo dropped in 11 more points in the fourth, including his fourth 3-pointer, to give him 30 points on his birthday. It was an amazing total considering he had totaled just 14 against the Settlers in the previous two regular season match-ups. Pandolfi finished with 12 points, Duff with 11, and Lawrence with 7. Aaron Frazier and Fabrice Gaillard were two of the game’s unsung heroes, stepping up in positions they were not used to filling.
#4 | Burke Scores 1,000th in Clincher | February 14, 2011
It took extra time, but the girls’ basketball team made Valentine’s Day a little sweeter by clinching the League VIII Championship outright over second place Pierson/Bridgehampton (8-3) with a 49-41 victory over Southold. Playing without Natalie Istrati, sidelined with a stress fracture, the girls knew it would be a vastly different game than the 50-25 beating they handed the Settlers on January 18. The first quarter signaled it would be a tighter contest as it ended in an 11-11 deadlock. Scoring was difficult to come by in the second frame and Southold won the period, 5-2, to take a three-point edge into the break. The Bears battled back with a 16-11 third quarter, eclipsing their first half point total to take a two-point advantage into the pivotal period.
The Brook still clung to a slim three-point lead with 30 seconds left in the fourth, but a Southold trifecta sent the game into overtime. In the five minute extra period, the Bears’ offense finally clicked into gear as they outscored the Settlers 12-4. Brannon Burke (20 points) and Jess Winston (16 points) came up huge in Istrati’s absence, combining for 8-of-10 free throws in overtime to seal the win. Danielle Pappas came up with a huge 8 points, tying her season high, and Ariana Odom chipped in 5. Additionally, Burke’s scoring performance put her over the 1,000 point mark for her career, our first girls’ basketball player to accomplish the milestone since Sadie Singer the season before.
#3 | Cross Country Teams Triumph | November 5, 2010
In some ways it was a difficult year for coach Jake Morley’s boys. The season began with a loss to Southold, their only competition in Class D, and finished with a 1-4 record. However, for much of the dual meet season the Blue and White had not been running at full strength, with various runners coming back from injuries and working their way back into shape. Fortunately for the Brook, they were at their healthiest in time for a rematch with Southold in the County Championship. After both teams had traversed the 3.1-mile course at Sunken Meadow State Park, the Bears and Settlers were deadlocked with a 28-28 score. In order to determine a champion the officials went to the tiebreaker and because Darryl Baker, Stony Brook’s sixth runner, placed in front of Southold’s fifth and sixth runners, the Bears earned the 13th Suffolk County Title in program history. Yisheng Cai finished in 2nd place in a time of 20:08 while Will Tseng (4th/20:30) and Jeffrey Fung (5th/21:16) also cracked the top five.
Not to be outdone, the girls claimed their own county crown in similar fashion, their second in a row, though it was a victory that could not have been further from their minds after they fell in their season opening meet to Southold. However, after their initial defeat, the girls won three of their final four meets to finish 3-2, setting up a rematch with Southold in the championship. The girls got their revenge on the Settlers, downing them, 24-31, to earn the fourth County Title in girls’ cross country history. Freshman Margot Rashba set the pace for the Brook, defeating Southold’s top senior and reigning County Champion, Ivy Croteau, in a time of 21:23 to become our first individual County Champion since Alexis Fernandez in 2008. Ayana Aaron (4th/23:10) and Kathy Kim (5th/23:25) also finished in the top five.
#1 (Tie) | A Comeback for the Ages | November 1, 2013
In perhaps the greatest comeback in Stony Brook athletics history, the girls’ soccer team overcame a 1-3 deficit with just four minutes remaining to steal the County Title away from Southold and win their sixth Championship in seven years. With time ticking down, the Bears had a corner kick opportunity that was stymied by the Settler defense. The ball was cleared out of the box, but Julia Shi, who came all the way upfield from her spot on defense, fired a shot into the top right corner from 25 yards to cut Southold’s lead in half. Two minutes later, the Bears converted on a corner kick as Annie Skorobohaty forced overtime on a goal assisted by Emily Pius.
After a scoreless overtime period, the game moved to penalty kicks where freshman keeper Fiona Farrell emerged as one of the game’s heroes. After turning away 14 shots in regulation, Farrell saved two of Southold’s penalty kicks while Morgan Pius and Skorobohaty converted on Stony Brook’s final two shots to earn the miraculous victory. Pius added a gorgeous goal in regulation, that hit the far post and ricocheted in, and Hannah Barker tallied an assist.
#1 (Tie) | Pandolfi’s Dagger Keys Thrilling Comeback | February 20, 2010
The rivalry between Stony Brook and Southold was renewed in 2010 after two close regular season contests. Southold won a turnover-marred Friday night contest early in the season by seven, and then completed an undefeated regular season by defeating the Bears in heartbreaking fashion, 51-50, before a boisterous crowd on their senior night. What could have been a demoralizing result only galvanized the boys who knew they would have another crack at the Settlers in only a week’s time.
On February 20, the Bears got their chance. On the day the students fled campus for spring break, the boys traveled to Longwood High School in the hopes of bringing back the second County Title in boys’ basketball history. From the opening tip it was apparent that the Stony Brook faithful were about to witness a titanic clash. In a contest that had eight lead changes and six ties, neither team saw their lead swell to more than five points. With 20 seconds remaining and Southold clinging to a one-point lead, it appeared that they were going to somehow find a way to beat our boys for a third time, and they very well may have, had two-time All-State point guard Tim Pandolfi not been wearing a blue jersey. The Stony Brook fans in attendance were already well aware of Pandolfi’s penchant for the dramatic when he sunk three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter of last year’s county semifinal vs. Mercy, the last of which he double-clutched right out of a spin move. His latest heroic moment came with the season on the line. Twenty ticks were left on the clock. Southold’s stingy defense was ready to suffocate a final gasp from our offense. The entire gym seemed to constrict with the weight of the moment. Tim, however, coolly used a screen, stepped back five feet behind the 3-point arc, and let go the biggest shot of his life to give the Bears a 47-45 lead, their first of the final frame.
The bench erupted, the crowd screamed with disbelief, and all of a sudden 19 seconds became an eternity as the defense tried to hold on for the win. The Bears got the stop they needed and Pandolfi was fouled, sending him to the free throw line, setting up an apropos moment. He was in a similar situation in the previous week’s battle against Southold and came up short, but this time he delivered, putting the Brook ahead 49-45 with 13 seconds remaining. Despite the grim outlook, Southold refused to relinquish the fight. The Settlers’ Kevin Parma was fouled and connected on his first free throw to cut the deficit to three. He misfired on the second try but the always opportunistic Settlers’ offense scored on a layup with two seconds remaining to cut the lead to an uncomfortable 49-48. Pandolfi was promptly fouled and connected on the first but missed the second to leave Southold one last hope as Jon Cepelak heaved a 60-footer for the win. The desperate hurl was on line just enough to make the heart of every Brooker stop for just a moment before the shot harmlessly careened off the backboard sending the blue-clad warriors into a euphoric celebration around the fallen bodies of the disbelieving Settlers.
The undefeated Southold squad, ranked #4 in New York State, had to deal with the ignominy of finishing the regular season without blemish (18-0) but falling in the most important game of the year. It was Pandolfi’s moment, shining brighter than any other player with his 27 points, including 12 of the Blue’s final 13, surely placing him in the pantheon of Stony Brook’s greatest postseason performers: Dan Shanks and his 30 points vs. Southampton in 1991, Robbie Marvin’s 39 points vs. Wyandanch in 1996, Jon Marvin’s 36 points vs. Eastport in 1998, and Lou Pizzichillo’s 30 points vs. Southold in 2007. The victory was made all the sweeter because it came against a worthy opponent and required every ounce of passion and purpose from the twelve dedicated Bears that made the moment possible.