By Gavin Menu
February 8. Pierson High School. 6:15 p.m.
Circle your calendars and program your smart phones because the rematch between Pierson and Stony Brook could be the most anticipated game of the League VIII boys basketball season after what went down Tuesday night.
Playing at Stony Brook, a frantic second-half rally by the Whalers fell short as Pierson lost its first league game of the season, 51-50, to the defending league champion Bears.
Pierson fell to 6-1 in league play while Stony Brook improved its league-leading record to a perfect 6-0. The Whalers will look to get back on track tomorrow, January 18, when they travel to the Ross School for a 6:15 p.m. tipoff. On Tuesday, January 22, Pierson will return home to play Smithtown Christian at 6:15 p.m.
The Whalers fell behind 24-14 after the first quarter against Stony Brook and slowly climbed back into the game, once again riding the hot hand of junior Forrest Loesch, who continued his hot streak with a game-high 23 points.
Patrick Sloane was the only other Whaler to score in double figures with 10, while Jake Bennett chipped in with eight.
Pierson cut the lead to 33-28 at halftime and was within three points going into the fourth quarter. But a frantic finish fell short and ended with Stony Brook’s Andrew Daniel hitting two free throws with five seconds left to ice the game with a four-point lead. A last second three-pointer was not enough in the end, although Pierson had outscored the Bears 36-27 after the first quarter, giving the Whalers’ faithful hope going into the second half of the league schedule and the rematch with Stony Brook next month.