On Monday night, the Pierson Varsity girls basketball team had a nail-biting finish against the Southold Settlers, only narrowly taking the win 51-48. It wasn’t a packed gym on Monday, but the fifty or so that were there went crazy as the Lady Whalers won the game with only a few seconds left on the clock.
At the end of the first quarter, Pierson was leading the Settlers 15-11, but by halftime, Southold managed to tie the Lady Whalers at 25 points. The third quarter was where the Pierson girls lost their momentum; they only scored six points to Southold’s 17. Case said the girls were making the rebounds, but were not converting; so as the girl’s went into the fourth quarter they fell behind, 42-31.
The Lady Whalers dropped further, and with only four minutes left in the last quarter Pierson was behind by 13 points.
But that’s when things changed, and in those last four minutes the Lady Whalers, on a remarkable tear, scored 16 points
Ala Pinckney, a Bridgehampton senior who plays for Pierson, took command and recorded the majority of the final tally, nailing two unanswered three-pointers. With less than 30 seconds left in the game, Pierson was down by a mere two.
Pinckney tossed another three-pointer, putting Pierson in the lead by one and igniting the crowd.
Pinckney again got possession and, dribbling down court, was fouled with just seven seconds left in the game.
“I told the official, if this goes in I need a timeout so that I could set up my defense,” Coach Dennis Case said.
Pinckney made both shots, putting Pierson ahead 51-48.
With just 3.8 seconds remaining in the game, the Settlers called a time out. Southold set up their play, using their “biggest girl” according to Case, during this, their final possession. The girls who were not on the court, were sitting on the edge of the bench, eyes focused on the court.
Case said at this point, the worst that could have happened, if the Settlers sank a three-pointer, would’ve been a tie
As the Settlers moved the ball in play, sophomore Sarah Barrett forced a steal and Pierson never gave up possession as the clock ran out.
“It was the most amazing game I’ve ever coached,” Case said on Wednesday.
He has been coaching for 21 years, ten years of which were spent coaching girl’s basketball at the college level.
Case and the girls stood up and embraced each other, cheering and screaming with excitement as they were joined by people in the stands – most of whom were cheering, and those who weren’t were shocked and awed by the end result.
“It was one of the most exciting games I’ve ever had,” Case said,
“It was amazing,” he said, emphasizing the word “amazing”.
Case said that Southold’s best player and highest scorer was shut down to just seven points by Pierson on Monday. High scorer for Pierson, senior, Katie Oseicki grabbed 21 points in total that game, earning Pierson 13 points in the first quarter alone.
“She had a great first quarter,” Case said, “And Ala [Pinckney] had a great fourth quarter.”
Pinckney scored 13 points in the final quarter, earning 19 points total during the game.
Oseicki grabbed two three-pointers for the team and Pinckney had a total of three during the game, Barrett also had a three-pointer on Monday.
The girls only need one more win to make it to the playoffs, according to Case.