Sports

#2 Frankie Policelli takes a shot during Saturday's game. Photo from Stony Brook Athletics

The Stony Brook men’s basketball team (8-14, 4-5 CAA), led by a second half explosion from graduate forward Frankie Policelli, stormed past the Hampton Pirates (5-17, 2-8 CAA) on Jan. 28 at the Convocation Center in Hampton, VA to pick up a 71-66 victory. 

Policelli scored a career-high 34 points, shooting 11-of-20 from the floor and 12-of-14 from the free-throw line. The New Hartford, New York, native exploded for 31 points in the final 20 minutes, shooting 11-of-16 from the field and 9-of-10 from the line in the second stanza.

Policelli also hauled in 12 rebounds, giving him his team-leading eighth double-double of the season.

The Seawolves trailed the Pirates, 37-30, at halftime and used a second half comeback to upend Hampton. Stony Brook began the frame on a 12-4 run to regain the lead and backed by Policelli they never looked back.

Policelli fooled Hampton freshman forward Kyrese Martin with his pump fake and step-through move that gave the Seawolves the lead with less than 14 minutes remaining. At that point, Policelli had scored 10 points in the half. The graduate helped maintain control of the lead and continued to build on it. He also got help from freshman forward Leon Nahar, who splashed the second three-pointer of his career.

The Seawolves opened the second half on a 27-9 run and built a lead of up to 13 points, at 65-52. Policelli exploded in the second half scoring 31 of the Seawolves’ 41 points. The team shot 55.6 percent from the field and 71.4 percent from the free-throw line in the second stanza. 

With the victory, Stony Brook picked up its fourth conference win of the season.

“Great team win for us. I couldn’t be prouder of how we competed and found a way to win tonight. A lot of guys made huge plays and were factors in the game, but Frankie’s second half is the best 20 minutes of offensive basketball I’ve been a part of. Our guys are competing and battling as hard as they can,” said head coach Geno Ford.

#15 Sharmarla King eyes the basket during Sunday's game. Photo from Stony Brook Athletics

The Stony Brook women’s basketball team (13-7, 7-2 CAA) moved into a tie for second-place in the CAA, after sprinting past the Towson Tigers (12-8, 6-3 CAA), 83-66, at Island Federal Arena on Jan. 29.

The Seawolves were led by three student-athletes, who each scored 20+ points. Junior guard Shamarla King, sophomore forward Sherese Pittman, and senior guard Gigi Gonzalez all dropped 20 or more points in the game. 

Stony Brook and Towson played a very tight game throughout the entire first half and most of the third quarter, until the Seawolves regained control and never looked back. 

With just over two minutes remaining in the third quarter, King nailed a huge three-pointer, off an assist from graduate guard Daishai Almond, to tie the game at 52-52. King’s three sparked the Seawolves on both ends of the floor. King erupted for a career-high 22 points and she hauled in 10 rebounds. It was her first-career double-double and she set career-highs with eight field goals made and four threes made.

On the following possession, Almond stole the ball and drove all the way to the basket to finish the layup in transition. It gave Stony Brook a two-point lead. After another stop defensively, Gonzalez turned on the jets and sprinted to the basket where she finished a layup and drew a foul in the process.  She would complete the three-point play and Stony Brook led 57-52, going on a 8-0 run. 

Gonzalez exploded for 14 points in the third quarter and totaled 18 points in the second half. The point guard finished the game with one of her most complete stat lines of the season. She dropped 20 points (7-of-13 from the floor, 5-of-5 from the free-throw line) and added seven assists and six rebounds.

Stony Brook led 57-54 at the end of the third frame and maintained its lead the rest of the way with a stifling defensive attack and contagious scoring on the offensive end.

Stony Brook forced Towson into multiple scoring droughts of over two minutes, which allowed the Seawolves to go on a 7-0 run and 8-0 run in the final quarter. The Seawolves outscored the Tigers, 26-12, in the fourth quarter. The Seawolves snapped Towson’s six-game winning streak and have now won nine of their last 11 games.

Next up, the team will remain home to take on the Drexel Dragons on Feb. 5. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. and the game will be broadcast live on SNY and FloHoops.

The Huntington girls basketball team took on the Smithtown West Bulls Jan. 31 at a home game held at Huntington High School. The Devils emerged the winners of the Division 1 matchup, 49-38.

Huntington now stands 5-11 in the league, 6-12 overall. Smithtown West is 7-8 in Division 1 and 8-9 overall.

The Devils will take on North Babylon in an away game on Feb. 2 at 5 p.m. On the same day, the Bulls will host Northport.

Comsewogue sophomore Mason Mangialino pinned his Bayport opponent in a multi-team invitational Saturday, Jan. 28, at Comsewogue High School. This win notches Mangialino’s 97th win for the Warriors as the sophomore strives for the 100-win milestone early in his varsity career.

The Warriors retake the mat on Saturday, Feb. 4, in the League V championships at Rocky Point High School. The first bout is slated for 9 a.m.

— Photos by Bill Landon

The Shoreham-Wading River girls basketball team, at 17-0, is the only team in Suffolk County that has yet to lose a game this season. 

The Wildcats visited Miller Place on Monday, Jan. 30, looking to keep their perfect record intact. And they did just that, surging ahead by 25 points in the first eight minutes of play, then closing out the game with a 65-20 victory over the Panthers.

SWR head coach Adam Lievre pulled his starters six minutes in, but the roster’s depth made itself known. The Wildcats continued piling on points as the Panthers struggled to keep pace. Lievre had to temper his non-starters — eager to score varsity points — to curb the scoring fest. 

With two games remaining in the regular season, the Wildcats have positioned themselves as the top-seeded team going into postseason play, which begins Feb. 14.

— Photos by Bill Landon

The Ward Melville Patriots looked for a much-needed win against Centereach in a League II matchup at home, but the Cougars were able to keep the Patriots at bay, snatching a 57-53 victory Friday, Jan. 27.

Ward Melville, trailing by nine points to open the second half, were able to trim the deficit by one point late in the game, but the Cougar defense was able to thwart the threat. 

Senior Derek Zhang topped the scoring charts for the Cougars with 14 points, and senior Christopher Buzaid netted 13. 

Lorenzo Beaton scored 17 points for the Patriots, and Devin Lynch banked 13. 

The win lifts the Cougars to 8-5 in the division, securing a playoff berth. The loss drops the Patriots to 5-7 with four games remaining before postseason play begins. 

The Cougars retake the court Feb. 4 with a road game against crosstown rival Newfield at 11:15 a.m. Ward Melville will take on Longwood during a road game on Jan. 31 at 5 p.m.

Photo from Stony Brook Athletics

The Stony Brook swimming and diving team picked up 12 first-place finishes en route to a 186-109 win over Rider Univerity in Newark, NJ on Jan. 21 to conclude its dual meet season. The 12 first-place finishes marked a new season-high in one dual meet for the squad.

The Seawolves started the meet off with a bang, securing a first-place finish in the 200 medley relay. The relay team was composed of senior Reagan MacDonald, graduate Jessica Salmon, and freshmen Michelle Vu and Alanna DePinto.

Sophomore Emma Hawkins kept the momentum rolling with a win in the 1000 freestyle with a final time of 11:03.33. Junior Mary Kate Conway and MacDonald followed behind with wins in the 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke, respectively. 

Salmon touched the wall at 1:08.86 to earn the win in the 100 breast and senior Maddy Enda clocked in at 2:10.91 for a first-place finish in the 200 butterfly. Junior Sara DiStefano captured a victory in the 1 meter dive and MacDonald kept the momentum with a victory in the 200 yard back. After Salmon collected a win in the 200 yard back and freshman Aili Talcott touched the wall first in 500 freestyle, Vu and DiStefano closed out the day with first-place finishes in the 100 yard and 3-meter dive.

“Today’s meet was a great end to our dual meet season. The energy was high with lots of great dives and swims. Now we will be switching gears going into the home stretch of the season with our championship at the end of February,” said head coach Mark Anderson.

The Stony Brook men’s track and field team competed hard at the Villanova Invitational held at the Ocean Breeze Track and Field Facility on Staten Island on Jan. 21.

Freshman Aleksander Micich earned the best finish for the Seawolves on Saturday. He finished in second place in the long jump event, with a final jump of 6.90 meters.

Senior Patrick Abel continued his strong start to the season. He finished in third place in the 60 meter dash. The Brooklyn, New York, native crossed the finish line in 6.97 seconds.

Sophomore Nicolas Lavazoli also earned a third-place finish in the meet. He crossed the finish line in 22.11 seconds in the 200 meter race.

Graduate Robert Becker finished fifth in the 1000 meter event. He crossed the finish line with a time of 2:24.27.

Graduate Joshua Titus rounded out the top five finishes for the Seawolves, clocking in at 8.37 to secure a fifth-place finish and a new personal best in the 60 meter hurdles.

The Stony Brook women’s track and field team earned three top five finishes at the Villanova Invitational at the event..

Junior Grace Sisson paced the Seawolves, earning a fourth-place finish in the 3000 meter with a final time of 10:02.97. Graduate Dana Cerbone, senior Aristea Franks, sophomore Enyero Omokeni, and graduate Siara Guevara recorded a top five finish in the 4×400 meter relay event. The crew finished the race in 3:55.93, earning a fifth-place finish. Junior Danella Dawkins also secured a fifth-place finish for Stony Brook, clocking in at 8.90 in the 60-meter hurdles.

“Each week we compete we are trying to get better; tonight, was no different. I feel we did get better in some events but were a bit stagnant in others. But we will go back to work on Monday and get ready for next week,” said head coach Andy Ronan.

Photo from Stony Brook Athletics

The Stony Brook men’s basketball team fell in a battle against the UNCW Seahawks on Jan. 21 at Island Federal Arena. The Seawolves battled throughout a tough back-and-forth first half, in which they found themselves down 22-21 at the break.

The Seawolves battled throughout a tough back-and-forth first half, in which they found themselves down 22-21 at the break. Stony Brook had three players score in the first half. Senior guard Tyler Stephenson-Moore finished the first frame with eight points, graduate center Keenan Fitzmorris had seven, and freshman guard Toby Onyekonwu scored six points.

In the early stages of the game, graduate forward Frankie Policelli passed the ball across the court to Fitzmorris, who drained his fifth three pointer of the season.

Stephenson-Moore led the way through the first 20 minutes. With just over eight minutes left in the first half, he used a screen from Fitzmorris and lost his defender before pulling up for a three pointer from straightaway.

Policelli started the second half with his first bucket of the game, but UNCW shifted the momentum the rest of the way. Senior guard Maleeck Harden-Hayes nailed four straight three pointers to go on a 12-0 run on his own and put the Seahawks up 34-23. Harden-Hayes finished the game with a career-high 31 points.

Onyekonwu provided the spark as the first man off the bench. After scoring six points in the first half, he started off the second frame strong. The freshman dribbled off a screen from Fitzmorris and pulled up for a long two pointer, with just under 16 minutes to go.

Despite falling behind by 11 points in the second half, Stony Brook was able to cut it back to a five-point deficit late in the game. UNCW outlasted the Seawolves’ comeback.

Northport and Huntington

Northport and Huntington Winter Track teams — girls and boys for both schools — participated in the Section XI League II Championships Jan. 20. Northport’s boys and girls team both finished in third place, while Huntington’s boys finished fourth in a field of 10. The Lady Blue Devils finished in ninth out of nine, but they did have some bright spots.

The highlights of the evening for the Tigers and Blue Devils were aplenty:

• Northport’s incredible Wickard sisters, junior Emily and twin eighth graders Mia and Finnley, swept first, second and third place in both the 1500-meter and 3000-meter races, as they have done numerous times before.
• Devils Matt Armstrong and Kender Edouazin took first and second in the 600-meter race and Blue Devil Jahmar Francis was sixth. Northport had the best-finishing freshman with Alex Toran, who came in ninth. All of these athletes broke a minute and a half as the rest of the field of 28 did not.
• Armstrong also took gold in the 3200. Northport’s Timmy Sheahan was fifth in that race.
• Lady Tiger Katie Hayes took first place in the 1000 as her teammates Kayla Forsch and Kaylee Ryan also finished in the Top 10 in a field of 24. Northport’s Ella Cancro won gold in the 600-meter.
• Three Tiger shot putters finished in the Top six, with Ethan Makaw winning the whole thing. Mason Hecht was third and Karl Schluter was sixth. Makaw broke 44 feet.
• Erik Holden, of Northport, was second in the 55-meter hurdles and Nicholai Seferian, of Huntington, was third, both finishing in under 8.5 seconds.
• James McNaughton and Brandon Cruz of Northport finished one-two in 1000-meter run. Nick Seitz, of Huntington, made the top 10 in a field of 24.
• Andrea Mani-Munoz and Talia Addeo, of Huntington, finished in fourth and sixth in the 1500-meter race walk.
• Chris Payne came in second in the 1600-meter race for Northport as fellow Tiger Thomas Cavuoto was eighth. Both are seniors.
• Blue Devil Nikolai Lulewich was second in the boys high jump with a mark of 5 feet, 8 inches.
• Northport and Huntington were both solid in relays. The boys were second to meet champ Connetquot in the 4 x 200. The Lady Tigers won the 4 x 800 and took third in the 4×400. The Blue Devil Boys won the 4 x 400 relay race as Northport took second in the 4 x 200 and Huntington was third

Commack and Smithtown East

Commack and Smithtown East’s winter track team — girls and boys for both schools — participated in the Section XI League II Championships Jan. 20. Commack had a wildly successful meet as their girls finished first and their boys notched second overall. The Smithtown East girls finished fifth overall in a field of nine, and the boys, who competed as an undermanned squad, finished 10th.

The highlights of the evening for the Cougars and Bulls were as follows:

• Cougar Daniel Pagan won the Boys High Jump competition as the only jumper to scrape 6 feet. GianCarlo DiFava was fifth and Kaden Jacques was seventh for Commack.
• Lady Bull Emma Cawley inched out Lady Cougar Marissa Mauro for second place in the 600-meter run. Cawley was two hundredths of a second ahead of Mauro. Northport’s Ella Cancro won first.
• Nicole Bransfield took silver in the 55-meter hurdles with a mark of 9.22 and Sofia Toepfer, Katheryn Vidulich and Isabella Guido took second, third and fourth in the Long Jump and Vidulich took the gold in High Jump as the only female athlete to reach 5 feet. Toepfer was third in the 300-meter race.
• Emma Cawley was fourth in 300 for Smithtown East.
• Three runners in the Boys 1600 — Vincent Guarino, Sam Byrd and Dylan Manning finished third, fourth and fifth in a field of 23.
• Freshman Ella Murphy was eighth out of 27 in preliminaries of the 55 Meter dash.
• Madeline Pettit won the 1500-meter race walk for the Lady Cougars.
• Smithtown East’s girls did well in the relays finishing third in the 4 x 200 and second in the 4 x 800.
• Julie Thomas won gold in the Girls Shot Put and Gabriella Barth took the bronze. Both are Commack seniors.
• Seville Louissaint was productive on both the Triple Jump and Long Jump, placing second and third, respectively. Angel Reyes and Connor Cherney were third and fifth in the Triple Jump for the Cougars.
• Commack had three runners in the top 10 of the Boys 600-meter. Philip Rosengarten was thrid, DiFava was seventh and Michael McClain was 10th in a field of 28.
• Junior Dester Cuomo was fifth in a field of 27 for the East Bulls in the Boys 1000-meter run.

Ward Melville

Both Ward Melville winter track teams also participated in the Section XI League II Championships Jan. 20. The boys team finished 5th in a field of 10, and the girls were 7th out of nine.

The highlights of the evening for the Patriots were many.

• Patriots Melina Montgomery took second place in the 1000-meter race won by Northport’s Katie Hayes
• Jon Seyfert finished fourth out of a field of 28 in the Boys 600-meter run
• The 4 x 400 girls team came in second to Commack. The Cougars not only won this race but won the entire girls side of the event.
• Brian Liebowitz was only three seconds behind Matt Armstrong of Huntington in the Boys 3200-meter run
• Preston Hickey was fourth in the shotput, one of only seven throwers who made 40 feet. Teddy Lorenzen also made the top 10 in a field of 22

Overall winners

The meet took place at the Suffolk Federal Union Arena on the campus of Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood. Connetquot was the overall boys champion with Commack second and Northport in third. For the girls, Commack finished on top of Connetquot with Northport again in third.