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Sports Notebook: Seawolves' Dougher Scores 1,000; Bears Basketball May be Playoff-Bound

Midseason reports on local sports teams.

It’s about mid-season for the high schools, and The Stony Brook School is running on par with its successful seasons of the past in basketball. Ward Melville’s boys' swimming is undefeated and hopes to stay that way, and some Seawolves are having better seasons than others.

Seawolf Reaches Milestone as Team Struggles to Stay .500

The Stony Brook University mens’ basketball team (2-3, 7-10), will face the Boston Unviersity Terriers (3-2, 8-11), on Thursday in Boston at 7:30 p.m. The Terriers were picked to be the top seed in the America East conference, but they haven’t proven that prophecy just yet. The last time these teams met was in the American East semifinals last season, when the Terriers eliminated the Seawolves 70-63, even though the Seawolves had won both regular season games prior to that.

Stony Brook’s last game was at home against Albany on Monday, a game which the Seawolves lost in the final seconds, 52-50. Bryan Dougher led the team in scoring, and his game-high 20 points gave him his 1,000th career point. In the 12 years that Stony Brook has been in Division I, only three other players have achieved this milestone; all-time, Dougher is the 21st player from Stony Brook with 1,000 points.

Boys’ Basketball Right on Schedule for Playoffs

The Stony Brook Bears have seen their leader take back the reigns while recovering from a knee injury that kept him on the bench for the first month and a half of the season. Tim Pandolfi has now reached the number one spot on Long Island in points per game, averaging 28. Pandolfi told Patch that he hears the talk about records, including the fact that he is only 51 points away from his 1,000th career point, but his main priority is getting to Glenns Falls for the state championship.

After beating their opponent from last year’s Class C County Championship game, Southold, by just four points on Tuesday, the Bears are 4-0 (5-1) and will face their toughest competition in League VIII on Thursday night against Greenport (6-0, 9-0) at 4:30 p.m.

Head coach Mike Hickey has been pleased with the play from younger guys like Marco Masayakan and Jerome Washington.

“Our schedule tends to work well for us, by the time January ends our momentum will pick up and carry over for the playoffs,” Hickey said. “As far [as] our record goes, we’re not too worried about seeding, but it certainly has a psychological effect, and we’ll be looking for that to be favorable.”

Bears' Burke Day-to-Day after Injury

The Lady Bears have seen their top three seniors posting stats that are among the best on Long Island, even while one battles a lasting injury. Brannon Burke had injured her lower back during the fall season as the girls' soccer team made its county championship run, and got right into the mix with the defending county champions in basketball. Without the time to rest, Burke has had to sit out a few games and is currently on a day-to-day reliability, according to coach Amy Helm.

“When she’s in, it’s a great contribution, and when she has to sit, we’re seeing a lot of the other girls filling in and the younger ones are getting the experience they need,” Helm said.

Natalie Israti is ranked 14th in Suffolk in points per game, averaging 16.2, while Burke comes in at 20th with 15.4 per game. In rebounds, Israti is third with 7.7 per game and Burke fifth with 6.8 per game. And Jessica Winston, with 4.6 assists per game, is currently ranked second in Suffolk County, and is ranked 12th in three-pointers with 18 total.

The team stands at 3-1 (4-4), with its only loss coming from Pierson/Bridgehampton. Like the Bears, McGann-Mercy also took its only loss from Pierson, and both teams only lost by two points. On Thursday, Jan 20. the Lady Bears will go on the road to face McGann-Mercy and start separating the pack at the top of League VIII, with game time set for 6:15 p.m.

Swimmers Continue Ward Melville Powerhouse Tradition

The Patriots' boys’ swim team is currently undefeated at 4-0 (6-0). Head coach Chris Gordon attributed the team's success to community commitment.

“The whole community lends a hand," Gordon said. "We have clubs and other year round programs that keep the kids in shape, and a lot of our top athletes have been around the program since they were young because of older siblings. There are a lot of people that deserve credit for the team’s success.”

On Wednesday, the boys took on Sachem East – one of their only team defeats from last season – and won, 96-76. Now with only a few meets left in the season, the Patriots will look to topple the only other undefeated team in League I, Half Hollow Hills. The Patriots will go to Half Hollow Hills on Wednesday Feb. 2 at 4 p.m. before the regular season wraps up.

Already, the Patriots have qualified seven swimmers for state championships: Liuben Chipev, Mike Avid, Nick Hesse, Louis Romero, Ryan Gao, Shawn Murphy and Jan Yin.

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