On This Day in History | 1999

On this day 23 years ago, the girls’ basketball team went farther than they had ever gone before by topping undefeated Livingston Manor in the New York State Class D Southeast Regional semifinal. Here is the recap of the game from Jim Baumbach of Newsday.

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Stony Brook Wins Upstate

There was no barometer for the Stony Brook girls’ basketball team to base its preparation on for last night’s Class D Southeast Regional semifinal match-up with Livingston Manor (Section IX), the program’s first trip to the state tournament.

But that was the least of the Bears’ problems in practice. Recently, the team didn’t have enough girls to scrimmage. The private school, which offers dorms, spent the past 2.5 weeks on spring break.

“There were some times when I had to call some of my buddies down to practice so we had enough bodies,” coach Keith Singer said.

They must have been good basketball players, because the Bears, despite all that was working against them, won the school’s first state tournament contest, beating previously undefeated Livingston Manor, 50-48, at West Point yesterday. Stony Brook next plays Haldane (Section I) at West Point Friday at 5:30pm.

Carolyn Gilroy made her only field goal attempt–a 12-footer–to give the Bears (17-5) a 49-46 lead with one minute left. Manor’s Amanda Cox followed with two free throws to cut the lead to one, but Rebecca Fischer was fouled and hit a free throw with seven seconds left. Cox missed a desperation three-point attempt as time expired.

“The last two weeks were a bump in the road,” Singer said, noting seniors Fischer, Sara Kiernan, and Brie Edwards remained on campus to practice during spring break.

After Cox scored 12 points in the third quarter to cut the Bears’ 12-point halftime lead to 35-36, Singer told his team not to worry.

But after Cox opened the fourth quarter with a three-pointer to give Manor (24-1) a two-point lead, Singer had seen enough. He called timeout and singled out Kiernan.

“We changed our defense to man-to-man and I put Sara on Cox,” he said. “I told her in the huddle, ‘You can stop her.’ And she did.”

Cox scored only two points the rest of the way.

“She was really quick and had a good outside shot so I had to stay right on her,” Kiernan said. “I loved the challenge.”

With Kiernan playing tough defense, Fischer stepped up on offense. Last season’s second-team All-Long Island selection scored eight of her 23 in the fourth quarter.

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Michelle Spurlock added 13 points for the Bears while Brooke Meserole and Edwards each chipped in a bucket.

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