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Top 10: Wins vs. Smithtown

September 26, 2015
2010 | Brannon Burke (#32) led the way for the Bears' upset over Smithtown West

2010 | Brannon Burke (#32) led the way for the Bears’ upset over Smithtown West

Smithtown is one of the oldest towns on Long Island. It was first settled in 1665 when Richard Smith, after rescuing a kidnapped Native American chief’s daughter, was given a large parcel of land as a reward. The Chief granted Smith a land title for whatever ground he could encircle in one day. Smith saddled up his bull, “Whisper,” on the summer solstice–the longest day of the year–and set out creating the rough boundaries of what is known today as Smithtown.

Smithtown will celebrate its Sesquarcentennial (350th birthday) today with a parade and a celebration of its venerable past. We thought we would join in the celebration by listing our ten greatest victories over Smithtown. We have been playing our North Shore neighbors since our very inception. Here are our greatest moments.

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Honorable Mention

#5 | Shanks Takes Over | 12/8/90

The boys’ basketball team edges Smithtown Christian, 64-57, thanks to 33 points from Dan Shanks. Jeremy Linzee chips in 10 of his own.

#4 | Sinclair Goes Out with a Bang | 1/31/14

During an otherwise forgettable blowout for the boys’ basketball team, Justin Sinclair brought Swanson to its feet in the last home game of his career. With the Bears well on their way to a 73-39 drubbing of Smithtown Christian, Sinclair subs in to get his moment on Senior Night. Four quick points brought the noise level in Swanson to a breaking point, but the crescendo was yet to come. Guarding All-County forward Caelan McCabe, Sinclair pokes the ball away, races up court, and drops in a layup to send the Swanson faithful into delirium.

#3 | Girls’ Soccer Hangs On | 10/2/95

With 17:45 left in the game, Caitlin Banks tucked away an unassisted goal to give the Bears a seemingly insurmountable lead. However, the Crusaders refused to go quietly. With time waning, Smithtown Christian scored three times to storm back, but the burst of offense was too little too late as our girls took the game.

#2 | Boys Clinch Playoff Spot | 1/31/98

A win over Smithtown Christian for the boys’ basketball team would assure them of a spot in the playoffs. Jon Marvin made sure the outcome was never in doubt. The senior scored 17 of the Bears’ 21 first quarter points to build an early 13-point lead on the way to a 72-56 win.

#1 | Shteierman Catches Fire | 2/5/2000

The Bears trailed by as many as 9 points to Smithtown Christian late in the game when Josh Shteierman found his stroke. The senior connected on four straight 3-pointers, the fourth of which he drained while falling down, to give the Bears the lead. 8th-grader Steve Harney followed with a key 3-pointer with under three minutes left to keep the Brook ahead. The Bears still clung to a 1-point lead with under a minute remaining when the Crusaders missed two crucial free throws. They would get one more chance to win the game, but misfired on the winning shot attempt. Sam Addison grabbed the rebound and dribbled out the remaining few seconds to give the blue and white a 36-35 win.

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The Top 10 Wins vs. Smithtown

#10 | Adan Leads the Way | 9/29/03

The Bears and Smithtown Christian were knotted at 0-0 when Katie Adan scored the game-winner in the 64th minute off of a pass from Brittany Chandler. Lindsay Festa recorded 18 saves to preserve the shutout.

#9 | Swanson Throws a Gem | 5/4/43

Bob Swanson dominated Smithtown High, yielding just 2 hits to lead the Brook to a 4-1 win. Swanson had a no-hitter intact through five innings and allowed one hit over each of the last two innings. Res Gestae 1943 lauded the performance:

Two-hit ball games are at least an achievement if not a rarity in any league, but we’ll go a step further and declare that Bob Swanson’s two hitter over Smithtown High was nothing less than masterful.

#8 | Football Clips Indians | 11/4/44

 In what Res Gestae 1945 dubbed “the season’s most dramatic game,” the football team used two second half scores to down Smithtown, 13-7. Early in the game the Indians dominated the field, and, after an injury to Captain Don Walker, the Brook appeared to be outmanned. Trailing 7-0 at the half, Floyd Johnson’s crew came out with renewed vigor for the final two quarters. After receiving the kickoff, the blue and white marched 57 yards and into the end zone thanks to two big gains from Lynn Osborne. Dave Swanson then snared a pass from Charlie Medd, before lateraling to Don Drake who rumbled his way to the 11-yard line. Medd scored on the ensuing play, but the conversion failed, leaving the Brook trailing, 7-6.

The Brook appeared ready to take the lead late in the third quarter, but a fumble on the 2-yard line gave the ball back to Smithtown. The Indians drove all the way to the Stony Brook 19-yard line, but the blue and white defense held. After taking over, the boys drove all the way to pay dirt. The drive was punctuated by a 25-yard run when Swanson snared another pass, then lateraled to Drake who scampered the rest of the way.

#7 | Bears Steal One | 10/25/04

After a 0-0 first half, Smithtown Christian positioned themselves for victory over our boys’ soccer team with a goal at the 25:23 mark. Time continued to dwindle for the Brook. As the clock dipped below ten minutes, the sense of urgency heightened. In need of a big play, Leon DeLalio once again answered the call, netting the equalizer with 8:30 remaining. The game appeared destined for overtime, until Matt Woodley scored the eventual game winner less than five minutes later to give the blue and white a 2-1 win.

#6 | Ellis Goes Out on Top | 2/17/43

 In a thriller with Smithtown High, Dick Ellis sank the game-winning basket to give the Brook a 23-21 win and end the Indians’ 14-game winning streak. The win avenged a 34-33 defeat from earlier in the season. Ellis’ fine game would prove to be his last memory of the season as he was drafted into the Air Corps soon after.

#5 | David Fells Goliath | 12/7/10

The girls’ basketball team conquered Class AA Smithtown West in their season opener, 32-22. The Bear offense was shaky early in the game and the Brook went into the half trailing 8-14. The Bears scored 7 unanswered points to begin the half, taking a 1-point edge. The awakening offense and a stingy defense, that allowed just one point in the third quarter, helped the Brook take a 16-15 lead into the final frame. The Bulls began the quarter with a 3-point play to give them an 18-16 advantage, but the Bears answered back with a 10-0 run, punctuated by 3-pointers from Jess Winston and Brannon Burke, to decisively grab the game’s momentum. Over the final eight minutes the Bears dominated both sides of the ball, winning the quarter 16-7 and taking the game. Burke finished with 21 points, to nearly equal the team output of the Bulls, while Jess Winston chipped in 11 points.

#4 | Basketball Wins Its First Game | 11/22/22

In the first basketball contest in school history, the Brook defeated Smithtown 32-6. Coach Clyde Mellinger had just two days between the final football game and the basketball season opener to ready his squad. Many of his players were still aching from a season of collisions and the team had barely any practice time before taking the floor with their North Shore neighbors. There were few on campus who thought the team could compete, but the eight boys on the squad made them believe in a 32-6 triumph.  Marinus Steenland and Gil Inglis–the school’s 1st graduate–led the way with 12 points each.  After a winless football season this was also the first athletic victory in the history of the Stony Brook School.

Playing the first game against Smithtown High School, the Brookers surprised everyone–including the visiting team–with an aggressive offense and determined defense, winning the game 32-6. The school was totally unprepared for victory. According to the record, “Their jubilation knew no bounds.”

~ Robin Lingle in “Athletics with a Vision”

#3 | Bears vs. Bulls | 12/7/07

The Bears fiercely battled Class AA Smithtown West for three periods, but found themselves down by 8 entering the 4th quarter. Still trailing by 3 with 2:29 left, the Brook went on a 7-0 run, the first five of which were scored by Lou Pizzichillo who vaulted to Bears into the lead on a clutch 3-point play with 1:33 on the clock. Mitch Singer scored a team-high 19 points while Pizzichillo added 11.

#2 | Pius Leads Magical Comeback | 9/24/14

Trailing 0-3 to Smithtown Christian, the girls’ soccer team was in a grim situation. In need of an offensive boost, coach Mark Maningo moved Morgan Pius from the goalkeeper position to forward. 30 minutes later the Bears had a 5-3 lead. In a thrilling second half cannonade, the Bears scored five times, led by a hat trick from Pius, to engineer the largest comeback victory in program history. Anna Wadding added a goal, Erin Morrison had a goal and an assist, and Emily Pius recorded two assists to help complete the comeback. The defense held firm over the final forty minutes, holding the potent Knights’ offense scoreless. Linnea Pizza, who replaced Pius in goal, turned away five shots.

#1 | The Holy War | 2/6/15

On Senior Night in Swanson Gymnasium, five seniors–Robbie Colarusso, Luke Meyer, Hunter Skorobohaty, Erik Holvik, and Josh Agyei-Gyamfi–were given the honor of starting the game and played the entirety of the first quarter. Behind the encouragement of the Blue Fan Group, decked head-to-toe in white for a “White Out,” the seniors gave the Brook a 15-9 lead over Smithtown Christian after one. They extended the lead in the second, winning the quarter 14-10, to carry a ten-point lead into the half. Both offenses caught fire in a 16-16 third quarter and the Bears looked to be in control, maintaining their ten-point edge as the fourth quarter began. The gritty Knights fought back to within three points with just 1:49 remaining, but Meyer’s 10-foot floater in the lane sealed the victory for the blue and white. As the final buzzer sounded the euphoria reached a crescendo as the students charged onto the court to celebrate with the team. Colarusso led all scorers with 19 points. Meyer added 9 points and 7 assists. Luke O’Connor found his stroke, connecting on three huge 3-pointers for 9 points and Jyles Etienne contributed 8 points and 12 rebounds.

As well as the seniors played in their last game on the Swanson hardwood, the real MVP was the Blue Fan Group. The student section packed the stands and fueled a deafening atmosphere that drowned out the Knights’ fans and cheerleaders from the beginning. It was one of the most electric atmospheres in the history of Swanson Gymnasium.

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