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Robbie Colarusso Points Stony Brook to Class C Title

February 16, 2015
The Champions (Photo credit: Newsday)

The Champions (Photo credit: Newsday)

The following was written by Bob Herzog for Newsday:

Robbie Colarusso’s conversation with his father, Rob, on Sunday night was a little different from prior pregame chats. “I had a bittersweet moment with my dad because I knew this could be the end of my high school career,” he said. “Basketball is the love of my life.”

Colarusso made sure the love will linger for Stony Brook School.

The senior point guard scored 15 of his 17 points in the first half, and provided leadership and ballhandling down the stretch as the Bears rallied for a 44-39 victory over Pierson Monday in the Suffolk Class C championship game at William Floyd High School.

“I’m going to play in college, but this was a very emotional game for me,” said Colarusso, who will attend Division III Castleton State in Vermont. “We played them two close games before this, so we knew it would be a tough game.”

Stony Brook (13-4) must defeat the Section I/IX winner in the state Class C regional final March 13 at 7:30 p.m. at Suffolk CC-Selden to earn a trip to Glens Falls. The Bears also advanced in the Suffolk Small School bracket and will face Bridgehampton in the CD game Saturday at noon at Floyd. Pierson finished 11-9.

The Whalers outscored the Bears 13-3 in the third quarter to take a 34-29 lead, as center Robbie Evjen scored nine of his 20 points. Pierson led 36-30 with 6:10 remaining. “Those six felt like 26 because we were struggling to score,” Stony Brook coach Mike Hickey said.

Stony Brook scored seven straight points to regain the lead with 3:56 left. Evjen scored on a backdoor cut for a 38-37 lead but Luke O’Connor sank a long three-pointer off a pass from Colarusso to put the Bears ahead for good with 2:15 left. Center Jyles Etienne, in foul trouble most of the game, scored inside with 1:23 left for a 42-38 lead.

“When shots aren’t falling, you’ve got to keep doing what you’re good at,” Colarusso said. “We’ve come back before. We kept running our offense and moving without the ball. We have a lot of guys who can do it for us.”

Colarusso is one of them. He made two game-clinching free throws with 11 seconds left for his only points of the second half after skillfully dribbling off 10 precious seconds.

“I wanted the ball,” he said. “I wasn’t ready for my high school career to end.”

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