On the game's first possession, Asaiah Wilson sank a long three-pointer. Moments later, Andrew Daniel converted a short-range conventional three-point play. A tone was set. The suspense was over early.
The Stony Brook School, seeded No. 1, scored 10 straight points in the first quarter, went on a 9-0 run in the second quarter and supplemented those offensive bursts with smothering defense to down No. 2 Pierson, 62-36, Saturday and win its second consecutive Suffolk C title and fourth in the last five years.
"We have some program momentum," coach Mike Hickey said of the Bears, who advance to the Suffolk C-D game against Shelter Island on Wednesday and also move on to a state regional semifinal against Friends Academy on March 4 at Farmingdale State.
They also have a varied offense. Wilson, a guard, led the way with five three-pointers and 18 points, forward Bryce Jackson came off the bench to score 12 points and center Andrew Daniel added nine points and a flurry of blocked or altered shots. "We have inside and outside weapons," Hickey said.
They also harassed Pierson's high-scoring Forrest Loesch, limiting him to six points, 15 below his season's scoring average. The Whalers, who handed Stony Brook (17-1) its only loss on December 18, when Loesch scored 36, finished 13-6.
"I thought they were vulnerable to a switching zone," Hickey said of his defensive strategy that worked to perfection. "We understand our system a lot better than we did in December."
Stony Brook defeated Friends Academy for the Long Island Class C title last year, but fell to Pine Plains in the regional final. "This year, our goal is to make it to the Final Four," Hickey said, referring to the state semifinals and finals at Glens Falls.
For that, the suspense is building.