Boys & Girls Teams Struggle as League Opener Approaches By Jacob Sisson
Both the Pierson/Bridgehampton Whalers and Lady Whalers basketball teams came within inches of their first wins of the season as the Lady Whalers dropped their Tuesday home matchup against Mattituck 29-27 despite a valiant fourth-quarter comeback. The boys team hosted East Hampton and pushed all the way into overtime before being edged out 53-51. The Whalers came into their second game of the season knowing exactly what they were up against. It was the second meeting between the Whalers and East Hampton in as many weeks as the 0-2 Whalers faced 2-2 East Hampton, of League VI, last week falling 44-33.
Pierson/Bridgehampton was eager for revenge, and thanks to 12-point games from seniors Seamus Doyle, James Sloane and Jake Weingartner, Pierson/Bridgehampton held a 38-32 lead heading into the fourth quarter. A fifteen-point fourth quarter from East Hampton, compared to Pierson/Bridgehampton’s nine, drew the two teams level at 47 as the final whistle blew, and the two squads were headed to overtime.
Overtime was a low scoring affair, and with only six seconds remaining, the best either Pierson/Bridgehampton or East Hampton could muster was four points each. Despite all their efforts, a late foul sent East Hampton’s Thomas King to the line to shoot two free throws with only six seconds left. King hit both shots, putting the Whalers in a two-point hole. Despite the team’s best efforts, the Whalers could not answer and dropped their second game of the season 53-51. Despite the loss, the game was a good sign for the Whalers, who start their League VIII season this week with a trip to Southold on Friday night. Pierson/Bridgehampton’s young squad showed good progress both in scoring more freely against the same team that limited them to just 33 points one week prior, and excellent mental progress to push East Hampton to overtime. The Whalers now face a 1-1 Southold team coming off of a 49-39 win against Rocky Point.
The Whalers were not the only Pierson team to take part in a nail-biter of a game. The Lady Whalers faced a difficult opponent in Mattituck, who, despite their 2-4 non-league record, play in Suffolk County’s League VII, a step higher than Pierson/Bridgehampton’s League VIII. Despite the challenge, the Lady Whalers were ready to fight for their first victory, having dropped their previous four contests to begin the season. Things did not look good for the Lady Whalers, as they seemed to leave the blocks flat, only mustering four points each in the first two quarters. Entering halftime, the Lady Whalers were looking at the daunting task of reversing an 11-point deficit, having started the third quarter down 19-8. While the offense could still not figure out how to break down the Mattituck defense, the Lady Whalers’ defense began to shoulder some of the load. The Lady Whalers gave Mattituck a taste of its own medicine in the third quarter, holding their opponents to four points. Despite the rise in intensity on defense, Pierson/Bridgehampton could only muster six points and entered the third quarter trailing 23-16. The Lady Whaler offense finally decided to wake up in the fourth quarter, matching the intensity the defense was showing for the second half. Determined to close down the gap between the two teams, the Lady Whalers scored 13 points in the game’s final eight minutes. Sadly for Pierson/Bridgehampton, it was narrowly too little, just too late, as Mattituck was able to score six in the fourth to run out 29-27 winners. Despite the loss, the real star of the show was Pierson/Bridgehampton senior guard Sarah Barrett, who scored 17 of Pierson/Bridgehampton’s 27 points to lead the way in the Lady Whalers’ comeback attempt. Senior forward Samantha James chipped in five points in the loss. The Lady Whalers also get their League VIII season started on Friday as they welcome Southold to town. Southold has an 0-2 non-league record thus far this season, dropping games to Hauppauge and Westhampton 58-21 and 44-34 respectively.