On this day eight years ago, the boys’ basketball team won the program’s first Suffolk County Championship in a 43-32 win over Mercy.
Here is the write-up of the game from Adam Ronis of Newsday:
Singer Ends on High Note
Mitchell Singer has learned many lessons about basketball from his family. One of them is to maintain composure with the game on the line.
The Stony Brook junior easily could have fizzled after struggling with his shooting against No. 2 Mercy yesterday in the Suffolk Class C championship. It wasn’t one of his better performances, but he came through in the critical junctures to help No. 1 Stony Brook win its first county championship, 43-32, at Floyd. Singer had 10 points and went 4-for-14 from the field with five steals.
With Stony Brook leading 34-31, Singer scored on a drive to the basket with 3:38 left in the game, then forced a steal and fed Peter Carmel for a fast break layup with 2:52 left to make it 38-31. Later in the quarter, Singer passed out of a double team to Adam Duff for a wide open layup with less than a minute remaining for a 42-31 lead.
“I just kept being aggressive,” Singer said. “It was a tight rim and some days your shot is off. The game was on the line and being a leader, I had to take control.”
He is certainly well-schooled on the sport. Dick Helm, a longtime NBA assistant coach, including a stint with the Knicks under Lenny Wilkens, is his grandfather. Helm lives in Georgia and speaks with Singer about once a month. Mitchell’s mother, Karen, was an all-state high school player in Indiana and his father, Keith, coaches the Stony Brook girls’ team.
“They’re all helpful and give me constructive criticism,” Mitchell said.
Karen has helped Mitchell improve his shooting and learn the point guard position. Mitchell has played both guard spots and is playing point for the first time. Karen also breaks down video to help Mitchell pick up tendencies of his opponents.
“Mitchell is a great all-around player,” Stony Brook coach Mike Hickey said. “He’s a very instinctive player. He’ll do anything to make the team better.”
Carmel, a senior who led the team with 12 points, wasn’t used to watching Singer struggle on offense. “He didn’t shoot well, but he made some great passes down the stretch,” Carmel said.
Stony Brook’s defense was also a key, limiting Mercy to one point in the final five minutes. Mercy’s Darryl Smith, a 6-7 senior who led the team with 18 points, caused problems for Stony Brook, even though he received constant double teams.
“We just controlled Smith late in the game,” Carmel said. “When we shut him down, there wasn’t much they could do.”
When Mercy (9-12), which lost by 25 and 19 points to Stony Brook in the regular season, fell behind 38-31, it began to press.
“We had to press and they found the open man,” Mercy coach Mike Clauberg said. “We played a good game, but we didn’t play well in the first quarter or in the end. We played really tough defense to keep it close. We lost by 11, but it happened in the blink of an eye.”