By Gavin Menu
Two defending Suffolk County basketball champions came to Sag Harbor last Wednesday night and both left Pierson High School having lost to the surging Whalers.
The Pierson-Bridgehampton Lady Whalers opened the night with a dominant 49-18 win over Stony Brook, the team that knocked them from the playoffs a season ago. For the second consecutive game, senior Eilis Sheil led the way with 16 points and seven rebounds. May Evjen had another tremendous all around game, scoring 13 points to go with seven rebounds, four blocks and four steals.
But the big surprise of the night came in the late game, where the boys team also welcomed Stony Brook, last season’s league and Suffolk Class C champion. Senior Forrest Loesch played the game of his career, scoring 36 points to lead the Whalers to a 66-58 win.
Both teams returned to the court on Friday and posted disappointing results, however, with both teams losing to Southold. The boys, playing at home but without injured guard Ian Barrett, lost a tight game, 57-55, to fall to 3-1 in League VIII play.
The Lady Whalers also dropped to 3-1 after losing, 47-43, to Southold on the road.
Loesch Leads Way for Boys
The boys’ win over Stony Brook was made all the more impressive considering the team was playing its first game without Barrett, its starting point guard who is recovering from a broken nose he suffered in practice. The Whalers came out strong in the first half and immediately asserted their dominance on the defensive end.
“That game comes down to one thing, you have to be in it early, and we were,”
head coach Dan White said. “You have to believe.”
White said guards Sean Sloane and Cooper Marienfeld played well in Barrett’s absence. Sloane, who is only a freshman, scored 18 points and Marienfeld chipped in with six. Robbie Evjen led the way on the glass with 10 rebounds.
“My mentality was Forrest was going to need 8-10 assists, because with Ian out, they were going to be all over him,” White said. “He shot the ball extremely well. He hit five threes, he pulled up and didn’t get offensive fouls. He was very composed.”
The Whalers led Southold by five at halftime, but were unable to close out the second half as they did against Stony Brook. Loesch once again led the team with 28 points, while Sloane finished with 11. Liam Walker had 34 points for Southold, including the game-winner with 1.9 seconds remaining.
Pierson will play a non-league game tomorrow, December 27, at home against Shoreham-Wading River at 12:30 p.m. The team will kick off the New Year and resume its league schedule with a game against Shelter Island on January 3 at 2 p.m.
Up and Down Week for Girls
Unlike the boys team, the girls came out and dominated Stony Brook from the start, taking a 26-13 lead into the half. Complimenting Sheil and Evjen on the offensive end was freshman Isabel Peters, who scored nine points, and Erica Selyukova, who finished with five.
The Southold game was much tighter and the Lady Whalers again led at halftime, but only by two points. The lead slipped away late in the fourth quarter with Southold’s Cindy Van Bourgondien hitting a three to give her team a three point advantage, a lead that held up in the end.
Sheil led the Lady Whalers again in scoring with 15 points. Evjen added 11 points and Bridget Canavan scored seven.
The Lady Whalers, who dropped a non-league game to Sayville by a score of 50-36 on Monday, will compete in the Hampton Bays Holiday Tournament on December 27, with an opening round game at 11 a.m. A non-league game against East Hampton at home on January 3 will be followed by a league game at Mercy on January 6, with both games tipping at 6:15 p.m.