On Saturday night, the reigning Southeast Regional Champions easily won their season opener over Shelter Island, 68-46, in the 3rd Annual Silent Night game. The Bears improve to 3-0 on Silent night to go along with victories in 2015 and 2016.
Seamus Scanlon opened the scoring with two quick buckets to give the Bears a 4-0 lead. James Toney followed with a steal that led to an Emil Vaughn layup. The Bears then took a 9-2 lead and came tantalizingly close to the 10-point threshold that breaks the silence of the crowd after a Toney layup. Vaughn shattered the silence on a 3-pointer that left the Bears up 12-2 and sent the Santa hat-clad Blue Fan Group into a frenzy. He joins Luke O’Connor and Seamus Scanlon in an exclusive group of Bears that have ended the quiet on Silent Night. A tough and-1 from Scanlon and an Antonio Rizzo 3-pointer just before the buzzer gave the Brook a commanding 22-2 edge after one quarter.
Vaughn continued to push the ball in transition, Rizzo connected on another long ball, and Josh Aduba began to establish himself inside as the Blue and White expanded their lead to 35-7 in the second quarter on the way to a 40-12 edge at the break.
The Bears began to substitute liberally in the third quarter, yet still were able to expand the lead, dropping 20 points in the frame, highlighted by a Jai Narain 3-pointer and six points from Toney who was simply unguardable. The lead swelled to as much as 34 after a Jerry Li fall-away jumper gave the Brook a 66-32 advantage, but Shelter continued to fight, closing on a 13-2 run to end the game.
Scanlon led the Bears with 17 points while Vaughn (11 points), Toney (10), Rizzo (10), Aduba (10), Narain (5), Li (2), Owen Sobel (2), and Sam Hou (1) rounded out a very balanced scoring attack. With the win the Bears improved to 47-8 vs. Shelter Island in the coach Mike Hickey era.
The Bears are back in action on Tuesday afternoon in a home scrimmage with Hjemly of Denmark.