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Coach Hickey Notches 300th Win

January 8, 2016
Coach Hickey during last season's Regional  Championship (PC: Bruce Jeffrey)

Coach Hickey during last season’s Regional Championship (PC: Bruce Jeffrey)

As the final seconds ticked away, coach Mike Hickey wore a look of relief, rather than one of euphoria.

The Bears’ 54-45 victory over Port Jefferson gave the veteran coach his 300th career victory, but the game’s result was perched on a fulcrum until the final moments as the Royals pushed the #1 ranked Class C team in New York State to the brink.

The Bears scored the game’s first points on a layup from Jyles Etienne, then watched as the Royals netted the next nine to take an early lead. In need of a lift, Luke O’Connor single-handedly evened up the game on two free throws, a layup, and a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to leave the game deadlocked at 9-9 by the end of the quarter.

The Bears opened the second frame with back-to-back 3-pointers from Brandon Providence and Chester Kayonga, giving them nine points in 30 seconds. Two more free throws from O’Connor capped the Bears’ 15-0 run that gave them a 17-9 edge. Port Jeff responded with a bucket, but consecutive 3-pointers from Providence and Harry Zhu pushed the Bear lead to 23-11 and forced a timeout from Port Jeff. The Royals responded with six straight points to close within 23-17, but a bucket from Kayonga, a layup from Mac Bohuny, and two free throws from Kayonga put the Brook back up 29-17 at the break.

Perhaps the 12-point halftime margin caused the Bears to relax, or maybe it was the three-week Christmas layoff they hadn’t quite snapped out of. Whatever it was, the boys sleepwalked through the third quarter. The Royals scored the first 16 points of the second half, eventually torching the Bears for 20 points in the frame. All the blue and white could muster was a pair of field goals and two free throws, leaving them trailing by one entering the final frame. What had been a comfortable game only 8 minutes earlier was now a dogfight.

On the opening possession of the fourth quarter, the Bear defense finally awoke and earned a big stop, led by the feisty Providence. The stand set the tone for the Bears in what would become a frenetic final frame. Bohuny scored a tough layup off of a great drive on the ensuing possession to give the Bears a brief 38-37 edge. The lead would change hands on the next three baskets, part of five lead changes in the quarter, leaving the Royals up 41-40 midway through the frame. They would push their advantage to 3 before an O’Connor free throw and a Kayonga 3-pointer gave the Brook the lead back. John Eshirow followed with two free throws to lengthen the blue and white lead to 46-43. Port Jeff followed with a score, to cut their deficit to a point when Brandon Providence took over the game.

First, the gutsy guard broke the Port Jeff zone and connected on a floater to push the Bear lead to 48-45. Then, on a crucial defensive stand, he forced a travel with 1:24 left in the game. On the ensuing possession he found Bohuny under the basket for a wide open layup after a huge offensive rebound from Eshirow. He then helped force another turnover and found a streaking Kayonga for a fast break layup. When the dust settled, the Providence-led spurt left the Brook up 52-45 with under a minute left, sounding the death knell for the Royals.

O’Connor and Kayonga led the Bears in scoring with 14 points apiece. Bohuny (9), Providence (8), Eshirow (4), Zhu (3), and Etienne (2) rounded out the scoring for the Brook. The Bears are now 6-0 on the season and 3-0 in League VIII.

The victory was a milestone one for coach Mike Hickey who upped his career record to 300-184 (236-80 vs. league opponents). He is the winningest coach in any sport in the history of Stony Brook Athletics and is the winningest active boys’ basketball coach in Suffolk County. According to’s Rick Aylward, he is only the 15th coach to reach the 300-win plateau in the history of Long Island basketball.

Coach Hickey will try to win #301 on Tuesday when the Bears host Bridgehampton in a battle of the #1 teams in New York State’s C and D classes.



Coach Hickey by the Numbers

  • 2 Long Island Championships: 2010 & 2013
  • 4 Trios of brothers coached: Fischers, Marvins, Vimonts & Websters
  • 5 County Championships: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015
  • 5 League VIII Coach of the Year Awards: 1993, 1994, 2007, 2013, 2014
  • 7 Faculty members coached: Nils Brownworth ’93, Dan Hickey ’04, Kevin Kunst ’89, Jeremy Linzee ’93, Jeremy Meserole ’96, Stephen Pulliam ’90, Jason Webster ’05
  • 8 League Championships: 1993, 1994, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2012, 2013, 2014
  • 11 Winning seasons in a row (since 2004-05)
  • 15 Consecutive years making the playoffs (since 2000-01)
  • 15 All-State Players
  • 17: Most consecutive wins (2002-03)
  • 18: Most wins in a season (2013-14)
  • 21 Winning seasons out of 27
  • 35.3: Percentage of wins in the 92-year history of the program that are Coach Hickey’s
  • 43 Wins vs. Shelter Island (Most vs. single opponent)
  • 53 League wins since 2012 (Most in League VIII)
  • 196 Players coached


Hickey’s Record vs. Common Opponents

  • Bridgehampton – 20-19
  • Greenport – 28-21
  • Mercy – 23-5
  • Pierson – 35-13
  • Port Jeff – 12-8
  • Ross School – 28-0
  • Shelter Island – 43-7
  • Smithtown Christian – 32-4
  • Southold – 27-11


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One Comment leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    January 10, 2016 11:50 PM

    Congratulations Mike. You are a great coach and wonderful influence on all the players you’ve mentored. Dave Sandbo


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