OT Win Puts Whalers Over Royals; Will Face Stony Brook Bears for Championship

Posted on 17 February 2012

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By Andrew Rudansky

If one thing was proven this basketball season, it was that the Pierson Whalers know how to play defense. The Port Jefferson Royals (5-9) now know this first hand, after they lost to the Whalers in a, 36-35, grueling overtime Class C playoff game on Friday, January 17 at 7 p.m.

Pierson flew into the playoffs with a second place record of 10-4, using their defensive talents and ability to sink 3-pointers to roll over their opponents.

All year long they held their League VIII opponents to an average of just 46.2 points per game (ppg), all the while scoring an average of 50.9 ppg.

Pierson finished with several signature wins this season, including a close 49-45 win at Stony Brook against the first place Bears on February 13, and a 73-57 blowout over their cross-turnpike rivals, the Bridgehampton Killer Bees, at home on January 27.

Port Jefferson, a league VII team, struggled against bigger schools like Southampton and Hampton Bays, but still gained enough Class C wins to earn the third seed in the playoffs.

Friday’s game against the Royals was a first round playoff game for the Suffolk County Class C Championship.

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The Whalers struck first in the matchup, scoring 4 unanswered points on unguarded layups. Port Jefferson quickly fired back, leading to a close back-and-forth struggle during the first half. While many of Pierson outside shooters were quiet, they went just 2-10 from behind the arc, sophomore point guard Ian Barrett lifted the team by driving through the lane.

Barrett led the team in scoring in the game with 13 points, adding 5 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal.

Inside, senior forward Sam Miller and sophomore forward Loesch were able to do some damage at the post. Miller led the team in rebounds with 7, adding in 8 points, while Loesch finished the day with 5 rebounds and 7 points.

During the game, the whole team was dominant on the glass, snatching 30 rebounds total, with five separate players grabbing at least five of them.

Conversely the Royals were having trouble penetrating Pierson’s close man defense. They were, however, having no trouble with their outside shot, scoring most of their points in the first half off of 3-pointers and long 2s.

The score was kept low throughout the game, and at the half, the Royals were in control of only a paper-thin 21-20 lead.

It was all Pierson in the third quarter, mostly thanks to junior forward Patrick Sloane. One of the team’s top defensive players, Sloane was able to stifle Port Jefferson at the point, limiting them to just 2 points in the third quarter.

Sloane finished the day with 5 points, 6 rebounds and a game leading 4 steals.

Pierson controlled a 9 point lead in the fourth quarter, but the tenacious Royals fought their way back to a tie in the closing minutes of the game. The Royals took the last shot of regulation, a long 3-point shot which sailed way off mark, never hitting the basket.

Tied at 32 at the end of regulation, the game went into a 4 minute overtime period.

Once again, Pierson displayed championship-caliber defense, limiting the Royals to just 3 points in the extra period. Down by 1, with two seconds on the clock, Port Jefferson had the last shot of the game. This time it was an off balance 3-point shot that never made its way to the basket. Loesch scored all four of Pierson’s points in overtime, just enough to seal the hard fought victory.

After the game the Whalers’ faithful rushed the courts, filling the gym with chants of Pierson pride and hopes for another patch on the Wall of Champions.

The Whalers will next take on the first seed Stony Brook Bears at the Suffolk County Community College campus at Selden on Monday, February 20 at 6:30 p.m. The winner of that game will walk home with the Suffolk County Class C title.

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15 Responses to “OT Win Puts Whalers Over Royals; Will Face Stony Brook Bears for Championship”

  1. John Barrett says:

    Go Whalers!!! Coach White said it best: “It’s not about winning or losing; it’s about giving your all and working together as a team!” This Pierson varsity team has character and grit and kudos to Coach White and his staff for bringing out the best in our boys! Good luck on Monday against Stony Brook and a big thanks to Coach White for giving the Sag Harbor parents and fans a season to remember! I’m a little biased: I’m Ian’s Dad! You make me proud son!

  2. Anthony says:

    The crowd not mentioned here also had the worst sportsmanship , yelling and screaming on foul shots and not to mention older grown ups running up and down the court. The poeple out there should be ashamed of them selfs showing no class. Not to mention Port Jeffersons best player didnt start the game due to a dislocated knee but still managed to play in the game. id have to say that they got a little lucky that happen to port jeffersons best player.

  3. whalers forever says:

    Anthony if you remember correctly the home town crowd was very loud and very spirited and yes there were a lot of them compared to your side, BUT it was the AD who went to your side and asked the “ADULTS” to stop screaming “Port Jeff” during our foul shots first, it was then and only then that our “KIDS” have to be spoken to and as far as your STAR player, let me say that, that is what happens in sports sometimes they get hurt or sometimes they sick and other players step up and that’s why its called TEAM sports…and his behavior and attitude wont get him a sportsmanship award either…so the game was played and Whalers won…and the crowds will be there on Monday and we will play our hearts out again because that’s what we do! Great job boys! Go Whalers!

  4. PJ Nation says:

    Okay and for the Pierson fans to do that back was okay? … and yes it is a team sport and that does happen to players. My point on saying that they were lucky that it had happened to port jeffs player…And either way if its a team sport or not PJs best player was better then any pierson player is and will ever be.

  5. whalers forever says:

    No it wasn’t OK what I am saying is that Port Jeffs fans were Adults, and Pierson were Kids..and your player might be better but Pierson’s TEAM is heading off today to playoff’s. Go Whalers!!!!

  6. whalers forever says:

    All I can say is “Class C” champs…guess our TEAM is pretty good…Great job Whalers!

  7. PJ Nation says:

    I give em credit for that today. That kid hit a clutch shot at the end. And nah chill dont say they “Pretty good” lol Pj still betta then them and thats my word and all of Sfflk knows that … If they were in leauge 7 it wld be totally different. Good job though its nice to be a county champion My team last year (Port Jeff) won it against Greenport and if you want to talk about a “pretty good” team check out MSG Varsity bc they were there with the huge cameras and taped and announced the whole game…wondering why that didnt happen this season? …congrats pierson

  8. whalers forever says:

    Why Thank you!

  9. Darren Gengarelly SR. says:

    Port Jeffs “best ” player was by far #2. He played defense. Had the shooter that came in late played defense Pierson would have been in trouble. Great job Pierson!!!!!! It was truly a team effort.

  10. PJ Nation says:

    Yes that game because there “best” player was hurt. If you didnt notice the brace on his knee. He dislocated it 2 days before that game and still managed to play and have a good amount of points….Now that we look at the run Pierson has had we can see they played a League 7 team Center Moriches and got killed and lost by 30.. Port Jeff lost to Center moriches by about 7 points. O well … i guess that shows something about League 7 compared to 8..

  11. whalers forever says:

    And you wouldn’t have made it into the play offs to be beat by Pierson because your record wasn’t above 500..if you weren’t put down to league 7.

  12. PJ Nation says:

    what?… if Pj was put into leauge 8 they would of had once of the best records and if pierson was in leauge 7 they wouldnt of won any games and none of them would have been close except maybe Mattituck…point is look how they play CM and get killed by 30..Pj player was hurt Pierson won. Pj player wasnt hurt and plays CM only lose by 7 and he had 33 pts…People are laughing at Pierson right now its actually funny

  13. whalers forever says:

    LOL yes they can all laugh when the banner gets hung for C and C/D Champions!

  14. PJ Nation says:

    im laughin at how they lost by 40 in the LIC..Thats embarrising ..

  15. PJ Nation says:

    no comment back for a couple months… lol thats funny. Really is embarrassing ..

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