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Bears Handle Pierson, Move to 8-1

January 15, 2018

This afternoon the boys’ basketball team took down Pierson for the 10th time in their last 11 match-ups, never trailing in a 61-50 victory.

The Whalers have long brought out the best in the Bears, particularly on the defensive end. This time they were held below their season average and Will Martin, the Whalers’ primary weapon and Suffolk County’s 5th-leading scorer, was held in check.

Despite having not played a game in nearly a month, the Bears looked sharp from the outset, jumping out to a 6-0 lead after a James Toney drive, a Jai Narain floater, and a tough Emil Vaughn layup. After the Whalers halved their deficit with a 3-pointer, the Blue and White responded with an 11-0 run, ignited by a Seamus Scanlon fastbreak layup and capped with a Toney putback. Pierson closed the quarter with two buckets as the Bears led 18-11 after the opening frame.

Pierson connected on a 3-pointer to open the second, but Antonio Rizzo responded with a trifecta of his own on the ensuing possession, setting up a quarter in which each team traded blows to a 12-12 deadlock, leaving the Bears up 30-23 at the half.

The Whalers trimmed their deficit back to 32-29 early in the third quarter. In need of a spark, Andy D’Alessio got the call. The junior tied up Martin defensively, drew two offensive fouls by fighting over screens, and capped a 9-2 run with a 3-pointer to give the Bears a huge emotional lift and push their advantage back to 41-31. Pierson ended the scoring spurt with a 3-pointer, but Narain answered with a three of his own to keep the lead at ten. Pierson closed the period by bookending a Toney layup with a pair of scores to trail 38-46 heading into the fourth quarter.

D’Alessio continued to give the Brook a lift in the early moments of the fourth. After Pierson connected on another 3-pointer to pull within 45-48, D’Alessio answered with a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession to stem the rising tide. Pierson would get no closer the rest of the way. Holding a six-point lead, the Bears strung together a series of big plays that brought the Blue Fan Group to its feet while simultaneously snuffing out any hope for a Pierson comeback. Toney began the final push with a monster block. Moments later Rex Eshirow drew a fourth foul on Martin. Vaughn then drove for a tough layup, Scanlon followed with a backdoor layup, Narain blocked a shot, and Toney hit a layup. When the dust settled the Bears led 57-45 with two minutes left, ensuring Pierson would fail to leave Swanson with a win in their last six tries.

Toney finished with a game-high 24 points, adding 12 rebounds. Owen Sobel (8 points), Vaughn (7 points/ 7 assists), Narain (7), Scanlon (6), D’Alessio (6), and Rizzo (3) rounded out the scoring.

With the win the Bears, currently ranked 8th on the New York State Sportswriters Association Class C poll, improve to 8-1. They open League VII play tomorrow afternoon at Babylon.


Last 11 Games vs. Pierson

  • Jan. 15, 2018 @ Stony Brook – W 61-50
  • Feb. 1, 2017 @ Stony Brook – W 69-49
  • Jan. 13, 2017 @ Pierson – L 62-63
  • Feb. 13, 2016 – Suffolk County Championship – W 51-44
  • Feb. 2, 2016 @ Stony Brook – W 63-49
  • Dec. 12, 2015 @ Pierson – W 50-36
  • Feb. 16, 2015 – Suffolk County Championship – W 44-39
  • Feb. 4, 2015 @ Stony Brook – W 43-42
  • Jan. 6, 2015 @ Pierson – W 68-65
  • Feb. 15, 2014 – Suffolk County Championship – W 62-36
  • Jan. 24, 2014 @ Stony Brook – W 56-34


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