Sports

Sullivan, seniors end careers with two weekend losses

By
Sports Staff Writer
Monday, March 7, 2011

After a season of heart-wrenching losses and upset victories, the men’s basketball team played its final games on a grueling road trip, falling to Cornell 75-66 and Columbia 91-74.

The Bears (11-17, 4-10 Ivy) lost to Cornell (10-18, 6-8) Friday in a game emblematic of the rest of the season. Throughout the year, Bruno fell into the same pattern game after game, grabbing an early lead only to let it drift away as the game wore on. True to form, after building a first half advantage over the Big Red, the Bears watched it slip away thanks to a scoreless final 6:54 minutes.

Bruno faced a myriad of challenges when the team faced the Lions (15-13, 6-8) the following night for the final game of the season. After a late-night arrival in Manhattan the night before, the Bears were plagued by a stomach virus that sidelined guards Garrett Leffelman ’11 and Matt Sullivan ’13. At game time, only eight Bears were able to play, including Tucker Halpern ’13, who was forced to fight through the sickness.

Again, the weekend reflected the year — the Bears had faced unexpected setbacks all season.

They lost captain Peter Sullivan ’11 to a shoulder injury in the middle of Ivy League play and got a major scare when rising point guard Sean McGonagill ’14 had to be rushed to the hospital to receive 20 stitches after a collision in practice.

“We’ve been through a lot,” said co-captain Adrian Williams ’11. “We’ve seen the top of the mountain, and we’ve been at the lowest troughs of the basketball spectrum, so to speak. It was really an emotional thing for us, but we’re just happy that we made it together.”

Saturday’s game marked the end of the careers of Bruno’s four seniors — forwards Peter Sullivan and Chris Taylor ’11 and guards Williams and Leffelman.

The four walked off the court for the final time Saturday, but they left their legacies behind. Peter Sullivan’s 1,361 points rank fourth all-time on the career points list, and he set a school record last season by starting all 31 games.

As co-captain, Williams provided much-needed guidance and support for the young team — McGonagill refers to him as a “big brother.”

He played in 115 career games, more than any player in Brown history.

“Peter (Sullivan) and Adrian (Williams) have been captains for a couple of years now, and they’ve really matured,” said Assistant Coach T.J. Sorrentine. “We’ve got a great bunch of seniors. That class has been great leaders, and they stepped into that role.”

Though the team loses four seniors, the young roster has shown signs of a promising future. In addition to McGonagill,Dockery Walker ’14 showed potential with his rim-rattling dunks and inside presence on offense. Halpern’s ability to score will make him a major player in future seasons.

“I think they have phenomenal talent coming up behind us, so I’m not worried about them at all,” Williams said. “I know they’re going to be a really good team, and we have a freshman point guard leading the way. The whole squad is just young and talented, so I look forward to watching them play and progressing in the future.”

“I think it’s a really bright future,” Halpern said. “We’re getting some really good recruits in, some pieces that we needed, and I think we have a good core sticking around. I really think we’ll have a shot in the next few years to go to the tournament. No question.”

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