On this day eight years ago, the boys’ basketball team won the program’s first Long Island Championship in a 35-29 win over Friends Academy. Here is the recap of the game from Corey McLaughlin of Newsday.
Pandolfi’s ‘D’ Helps Stony Brook Win First LI Title
The last words spoken among the Stony Brook boys’ basketball team during its final timeout were, not surprisingly, defensive-minded in what had been a low-scoring game. “Get a stop,” more than one player said as the Bears nursed a three-point lead on Friends Academy with a little more than a minute left in the fourth quarter of last night’s Long Island Class C final.
Tim Pandolfi obliged with a defensive finish Stony Brook needed. The junior guard, who also led on offense with 16 points, came up with a steal near the three-point line on the possession coming out of the timeout and cruised the other way for a layup to make it a five-point lead with 48 seconds remaining.
From there, Pandolfi and Logan Vimont made a pair of free throws and Stony Brook beat Friends, 35-29, to win its first Long Island boys’ basketball championship in program history at Bay Shore.
“We weren’t getting a lot of points on offense,” said Pandolfi, who with Vimont (12 points, nine rebounds) were the Bears’ only double-digit scorers. “A steal really helped. It always starts on the defensive end and everything else will come.”
Including another game to play. Stony Brook (14-4) advanced to the state Southeast Regional final at Pace University on Friday. The winner of that goes to the state Class C semifinals in Glens Falls on March 19.
“It was a defensive-oriented game, but that’s OK,” Stony Brook coach Michael Hickey said. “I don’t care if we win, 2-1. We played well. There were times when we mishandled the ball a little bit, but I was pleased defensively.”
Stony Brook held Friends (12-7) to the same amount of first half points – 12 – that Pandolfi scored in the first two quarters. The Bears led by 10 at the half, and even after going without a field goal in the first six minutes of the third quarter, still led 25-17 at the start of the fourth.
Friends, led by T.J. Hefele’s 12 points, made a push to pull within 29-26 with 2:05 left. But coming out of that final timeout, Pandolfi found the ball in his hands with a clear lane to the basket.
“Who better to have?” Hickey said of his leading scorer. “He’s a speed demon and dropped it in. That gave us some breathing room.”
Here is the recap from John Westermann of The Village Times.
Bears Clinch LI Title over Friends Academy
The Stony Brook School Bears beat Friends Academy of Locust Valley, 35-29, in the Class C Long Island Championship game at Bay Shore, Tuesday. In a defensive struggle that saw the winner score but three points in the third quarter, a senior forward from Texas by way of Saudi Arabia stepped up to make sure his team kept playing. Logan Vimont (6-3) was everywhere in the second half, stealing passes, grabbing rebounds, scoring critical baskets.
“Everyone played well tonight,” Vimont said. “We got a little concerned in the second half, but it’s fun to play under pressure.”
The first quarter saw the Bears thwart the Friends offense on their first five possessions. The Quakers didn’t score until 3:30 was left in the quarter. Junior Tim Pandolfi nailed a trey as time expired to give the Bears an 11-4 lead. Stony Brook stretched that lead to 10 points by halftime, but then went ice cold from the floor. That’s when Vimont took over the game, sending the Quakers home while the Bears advance to the New York State tournament on March 12 at Pace University.
“Friends Academy had savvy guards and a great defense,” Stony Brook School head coach Mike Hickey said. “That was a knock-down, drag-out battle. Logan and Jovan George and our inside guys did a yeoman’s job for us. We’re happy to be going upstate, but first we need to get down the road to root for our girls’ team.”
George, who hails from New York City, said, “That was the most exciting game I’ve ever been in. They’re a good team. We got a little laid back at halftime and they came back on us. But our defense came together when our offense wasn’t flowing.”
Pandolfi led the Bears offense with 16 points. Vimont added a dozen and George, a junior, chipped in five. Sophomore Michael Webster added two free throws.