On this day nine years ago, the boys’ basketball team beat Greenport for the first time since 2007. Here is the recap of the game from Bob Liepa of the Suffolk Times.
Pandolfi’s 20 Points Help Stony Brook Shoot Down Greenport
With the Suffolk County high school boys’ basketball playoffs less than two weeks away, even teams that have already booked places in the postseason have something to play for other than league championships and favorable tournament seedings.
Don’t discount the value of momentum. Two playoff-bound League VIII teams that appeared to be heading in opposite directions on the momentum meter, the Greenport Porters and The Stony Brook School Bears, crossed paths on Monday. In keeping with the recent forms of the teams, the pendulum swung in Stony Brook’s favor. Perhaps more than most high school teams, Stony Brook faces a challenge in developing team chemistry as a boarding school. During Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, players return home to various parts of the country and, in some cases, other countries. So, this is usually the time of year, coach Mike Hickey said, when his team begins to hit its stride.
”We didn’t want to go limping into the playoffs,” Hickey said. “So much of what happens in sports has to do with self-confidence.”
Stony Brook gave itself a healthy dose of confidence by playing well in a 62-49 victory over Greenport in Robert S. Swanson Memorial Gymnasium and gaining sole possession of second place. Hickey could take pleasure in scanning the scorebook afterward and seeing four of his players having scored in double figures. Tim Pandolfi dropped in 20 points, 10 of which came in the fourth quarter when Stony Brook extended a one-point lead. Farqu Taylor and Logan Vimont added 11 points apiece while Jovan George netted 10 as Stony Brook picked up its third straight win and eighth in 10 games. Talk about being primed for the playoffs. Taylor said it was important for Stony Brook “to show that we’re going places, and we’re a team to be reckoned with.”
And then there was Greenport , taking its second straight loss and seeing its record go to 8-6, 7-3. Sure, defending league champion Greenport lost those two consecutive games to good teams in the first-place Southold First Settlers and Stony Brook, but the way the Porters played on Monday was unsettling.
“The kids are working real hard, they’re trying hard, but a lot of the little things we’re not getting done as far as handling the ball, making shots, layups, giving up easy baskets in the paint,” Greenport Coach Al Edwards said. “Those are the things that we have to work on.”
Edwards said he wants to see more offensive balance. Dantre Langhorne delivered 23 points, Tristan Mangham had 13, Teddy Stevens nine, and Jalen Shelby four. That was it, only four Porters in the scoring column. “We’re just not getting offensive production from enough people to make it easy on others,” said Edwards.
Greenport was in front by two points after the first quarter and one point at halftime. Stony Brook took the lead for good on the strength of an 8-0 run in the third quarter. But it was a 12-0 spurt by the Bears in the fourth quarter that enabled them to build their largest lead of the game at 59-46. Pandolfi, a junior guard, was responsible for seven of those points. Stony Brook shot 7-of-9 from the field in the final quarter. Langhorne didn’t have a lot of room to maneuver and had to work hard for his points. Whenever he received a pass, two or three defenders quickly converged on him. “Defense played a big part,” said Taylor.
Stony Brook, which lost to the Port Jefferson Royals last year in a county Class C final, has a number of weapons, not just Pandolfi, who has been averaging 22 points per game. Take the 6-foot-6 Vimont, for example. Vimont, a Texan who has lived in Saudi Arabia, is a versatile wing player with an excellent outside shot. Because of his height, he can create match-up difficulties for opponents. The key, Hickey noted, is team play.
“I think we’re playing well,” he said. “We recognize that our go-to guy is Tim Pandolfi, but I’ve been preaching to Tim and the other guys that he needs to trust them.”
And Greenport needs to trust that it can find a way out of its recent doldrums. ”We need to get it together,” Mangham said. “We’re better than what we’ve been showing. I just don’t know what’s going on right now.”
The Bears went on to upset an undefeated Southold team in the County Championship for their first Class C crown since 2007. From there they won the program’s first ever Long Island Championship in a thriller over the Friends Academy.