Andy Daniel leads Stony Brook to win in Long Island Class C final
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At times, it seemed downright pointless. Like in the third quarter, when the Stony Brook School was held scoreless.
But at other times, the Bears hammered the points home. Like in the fourth quarter, when Andy Daniel ended a stunning scoreless drought of 9:55 by driving for a basket, and added six more points in the period as Stony Brook defeated Friends Academy, 43-34, last night to win the Long Island Class C championship at SUNY-Old Westbury.
"I knew. We could see on the scoreboard," Daniel said of the scoreless third. "That basket was a rush. We needed it."
Daniel's drive gave Stony Brook a 30-23 lead and after Tyler Abrahamsen sank his third three-pointer, Daniel converted a three-point play for a 36-24 lead with 4:38 left. Daniel, who is 6-6, finished with 16 points.
A corner three by Tyrone Perkins capped a 7-0 run that cut the Stony Brook lead to 35-31, but Daniel -- who else -- took a slick feed from point guard Marco Masakayan, who was battling leg cramps, and scored a big basket.
"They played great defense," Daniel said of Friends Academy, which finished 12-6.
It was a reversal of form from the second quarter, when the Quakers went 5:01 without scoring and were held to a mere two points as Stony Brook (16-4) took a 28-13 halftime lead that allowed for the desert-like dry spell.
"It was a little of both -- good defense and lack of execution on offense," Stony Brook coach Mike Hickey said of the third quarter.
Daniel took care of things in the fourth, battling a brawnier 6-6 opponent, Kellan Sehring, who had 12 points.
"We challenged him to get tough and he did," Hickey said of a player whose basketball pedigree is as unusual as a scoreless quarter.
Daniel, whose father is an engineer, has traveled the world since being born in Franklin Lakes, N.J., and lived the last two years in Thailand.
"He's a national-level sailor who was visiting in the summer and heard about our sailing program," Hickey said. "When I heard he was 6-6, I asked his father if he played basketball. His father said, 'He once scored 70 points in a game.' "
Of course, that was in Thailand, but clearly the sailor could navigate his way around a basketball court, too.
"He had to get tougher. After a couple of scrimmages against good teams, he asked me, 'Is that how you play here?' " Hickey related. "I told him, 'Welcome to Suffolk County basketball.' But now he's a battler."
In helping Stony Brook advance to Saturday's state Southeast Regional final at SUNY-Old Westbury at 2 p.m. against the Section I/IX winner, Daniel righted the Bears' ship with his exceptional fourth quarter, which included several key rebounds as well as those much-needed points.
"It's a great feeling to look up at the scoreboard and see three seconds left and you're ahead," Daniel said. "It's a feeling that's tough to match."
Winning score at night is a sailor's delight.