By Gavin Menu; photography by Michael Heller
The Pierson boys basketball team’s offensive attack has been firing on all cylinders this season, although the Whalers now will have to overcome a broken nose suffered by senior point guard Ian Barrett during practice on Sunday.
According to head coach Dan White, Barrett will likely miss the next two weeks but should be back in action for the bulk of the league schedule in January.
“It’s better than a limb,” White said of the injury.
In three games so far, the Whalers are averaging 72 points per game and were 2-1 overall going into last night’s showdown against League VIII and Class C favorite Stony Brook, a game that was postponed from Tuesday because of poor weather.
But despite the cold weather, the Whalers and their senior captains, Barrett and Forrest Loesch, have remained hot during the early stretch of the season. Loesch has picked up right where he left off last year and is averaging 20 points per game after scoring 21 to lead Pierson in a 79-49 dismantling of visiting Smithtown Christian on Friday.
Prior to his injury this week, Barrett was off to a strong start as well. He had 13 points on Friday and had one of the best games of his career during a 68-41 win over Bridgehampton on December 10, benefiting from the absence of Tylik Furman, the Killer Bees’ starting point guard, who is also out with an injury, a torn meniscus that according to head coach Carl Johnson is expected to heal in the coming weeks.
Barrett finished with 21 points, eight rebounds and six assists against the rival Bees, punctuating a strong offensive performance for the Whalers.
“It’s a product of them playing together for a long time,” White said about his players’ production so far this season. “And that includes the younger guys. We’ve run very similar offensive patterns for several years now and we have weapons.”
The Whalers dominated the glass against the Killer Bees as well, with junior Robbie Evjen grabbing 20 rebounds to go with Duncan Bennett’s 16. Loesch had 18 points in the win and scored 21 against Smithtown Christian, while Sean Sloane and Micah Hemby added 15 points apiece.
“Forrest and Ian have great mental ability to create,” White said. “And they’re both doing a great job of drawing guys and creating for other players. Sean Sloane, Micah Hemby, Cooper Marienfeld, Ben Kushner, those guys all have the ability to knock down open shots.”
Pierson is scheduled to play Southold tomorrow night, December 20, at 6:15 p.m. During the holiday break, the team will host Shoreham-Wading River in a non-league game on December 27 at 12:30 p.m. before traveling to scrimmage Center Moriches and Central Islip at Center Moriches on December 30.
The league schedule will resume Friday, January 3 with a game at Shelter Island at 2 p.m.