If Tuesday was any indication, turning 17 is going to be a great time for Mac Bohuny.
Celebrating his 17th birthday, Bohuny scored a season-high 16 points with 16 rebounds in Stony Brook’s 52-33 victory over East Rockaway in the Class C regional semifinal at Suffolk CCC — Selden.
“I was talking with one of our assistant coaches before the game,” Bohuny said, “and I was saying ‘I’m turning 17, so I’m trying to reach 17.’”
And although he just missed his mark, it didn’t take Bohuny long to show this was going to be a special day. The junior scored Stony Brook’s first five points in a 19-4 first quarter. He had 10 points and 10 rebounds at halftime as he worked himself into prime position near the basket.
“Defense is something that always comes to me,” he said, “so when I come into the game I like to focus on my shot, being aggressive and that’s what I did coming into this game and it worked out.”
Senior guard Chester Kayonga added two three-pointers during the 19-4 run and facilitated the Bears’ terrific ball movement.
“I realized the games we lose, we never start the game trying to attack the rim,” Kayonga said. “We tried to set the tone of the game strong.”
East Rockaway (7-14) didn’t make the game as easy as the final score indicates. The Rocks, led by Long Island leading scorer Danny Fusco’s 22 points, cut Stony Brook’s lead to 34-28 entering the fourth quarter. But senior Luke O’Connor wasn’t going to let the Bears (15-4) lose.
O’Connor scored eight of his 17 points in the fourth quarter, including completing a three-point play at the start of the period. Brandon Providence added seven fourth-quarter points off the bench.
“We just came out to win the game,” O’Connor said. “That’s the first thing. These are my last games as a senior, so of course this is the biggest stage it could be on, so it’s a great feeling getting the win.”
And for the Bears to advance past the Class C regional, they have to defeat the team that knocked them out last season, Haldane, Friday at 6:45 p.m. at Pace University.
“I’m hungry for this game,” Kayonga said. “I want to see how far our team, our chemistry has brought us and I know we have a chance.”
“Being it’s for a playoff game I don’t think we could have much more fire,” Bohuny said, “but for sure it’s an extra boost.”