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On This Day In History | 1999

February 2, 2015
The 1999 Bears

The 1999 Bears

On this day 16 years ago the girls’ basketball team hung a loss on previously unbeaten Eastport to grab a share of the lead atop League VIII. The Bears built an early edge, only to watch the Ducks mount a comeback. Brooke Meserole came up with two big plays to help stem the tide and pave the way for the victory. Here is the write-up from Nick Lanteri of Newsday:

Stony Brook Girls Give Eastport Its First Loss

His star player, Rebecca Fischer, was performing as advertised and his team was playing inspired basketball, yet Stony Brook coach Keith Singer knew his club needed someone to step up and make a play early in the fourth quarter. Singer, anxiously pacing the sideline as his club allowed a 23-point lead to dwindle to 11, would get a reprieve in the form of an unlikely source.

Unheralded junior Brooke Meserole knocked down a clutch three-pointer and then put back a Fischer miss in the span of 27 seconds early in the fourth quarter as Stony Brook (9-1) opened the margin to 16 points and went on to beat previously unbeaten Eastport, 53-38, yesterday in a League VIII girls basketball game. Fischer finished with 25 points and eight rebounds, and teammate Michelle Spurlock added 10 points and 10 rebounds. Eastport is 8-1.

“You could see it coming in practice that Brooke was ready to do something like that,” said Singer, whose club went undefeated en route to the league title last season. “We were struggling at that point and she came through for us. We knew Eastport would make a run because they’re such a tough team, but Brooke gave us what we needed.”

Perhaps Groundhog Day had an adverse affect on Eastport’s players when they didn’t see their shadows after stepping off the bus upon arriving at Stony Brook School. Likewise, they didn’t seem interested at the game’s start. The Ducks took their only lead at 2-0 on Krystle Whiffen’s driving layup 30 seconds into the game, but an assortment of turnovers and poor shooting followed which would soon lead to a lopsided score.

Fischer, an All-Long Island player who averages more than 22 points per game, made 4 of her first 5 shots and Sara Kiernan added a three-pointer to put the Bears ahead 12-4 at the end of the first quarter. Brie Edwards hit a jumper and free throw to ignite a 12-2 run to start the next quarter for the Bears, who took a 28-8 halftime lead.

“They came to play and we didn’t . . . plain and simple,” said Eastport coach Steve Giacolone, whose club entered the game riding a nine-game winning streak, including a 45-31 win over Stony Brook in the team’s first meeting Jan. 9. “We did play with emotion and showed some character in the second half.”

Senior point guard Tricia Vaughn sparked Eastport late in the third quarter. After a Whiffen three, Vaughn followed a steal and layup with a baseline jumper as the Ducks ended the quarter on an 8-0 run. Vaughn, who made 10 of 13 free throws, hit two foul shots with 3:17 left in the game as Eastport cut its deficit to 41-31. But five straight points from Fischer cemented the win for Stony Brook.

“We were fired up for this game because we knew a win could give us a chance at sharing or winning the league title again,” Fischer said. “We picked the right time to play one of our best games of the season.”

The victory would help pave the way for the program’s third consecutive league championship.




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