By Benito Vila
There was no way of knowing which way the basketball season would go for the Pierson Lady Whalers this winter. With only one returning starter, several players new to the sport and a number of eighth graders coming out for the team, coach Dennis Case acknowledged at the time, “This will certainly be a rebuilding year or two but I feel we are going in the right direction.”
The girls surprised their coach a bit, coming in at 7-5 and earning the number four seed in the county playoffs. Unfortunately that finish matched them against undefeated Stony Brook in a first round semi-final last Tuesday.
The Lady Bears prevailed 51-28 in that game before going onto earn the county Class C title last Friday in a 40-16 drubbing of Southold.
Stony Brook takes on Class B champion Center Moriches tomorrow with a chance to play for the county’s small school championship next week. The Lady Bears will also move into the state Class C tournament once the county tournament is complete.
A Bright Future
In talking about his girls’ elimination game this week, Coach Case said, “We could not generate offense in the first quarter and that was the difference, we were down 22-3. In the second quarter we only gave up five points. We adjusted nicely on ‘D’ with everyone helping out.”
“The last three quarters they outscored us by only four. We played hard the entire game. I was proud of my team’s intensity throughout.”
Looking ahead, Case added, “We have a bright future. We had four eighth graders on the floor at times at the end of the season. Next year we will be better and more experienced. We are joining a spring league in Hampton Bays starting in April and the Brookhaven League this summer.”
Overall, Coach Case called the season a “success”, and there are few who will dispute that, his team reaching the county playoffs for the fourth consecutive year and junior co-captains Sami James and Sarah Barrett both being selected All-League.
Winter Sports Banquet
Pierson’s wintertime varsity and JV student-athletes will be honored March 4 at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium. The basketball and cheerleading teams will be acknowledged, along with the shared-sports athletes who competed in bowling, swimming and wrestling for East Hampton.
After the auditorium festivities, each team will also celebrate individually in separate classrooms with friends and family before everyone comes together again for ice cream in the cafeteria.
The shared sports athletes from the fall, who missed out on that ceremony, will also be recognized at the March 4 event.