By Gavin Menu; photography by Michael Heller
It took some time—two eight-minute quarters, to be exact—for the Whalers to wake up Friday evening.
Thankfully, it was the Sag Harbor Booster Club’s Third Annual Spirit Night and a raucous home crowd inspired the Pierson boys basketball team to a second-half surge and a 62-47 victory over visiting Shelter Island.
Seniors Forrest Loesch and Ian Barrett had something to say in the result as well, scoring 23 and 18 points, respectively. Junior forward Robbie Evjen, who had 14 points and 18 rebounds in a win over Southold on January 28, continued his strong play and finished with 17 points and 14 rebounds.
Things were decidedly less spirited on the road Tuesday night, however, as the Whalers fell to Greenport, 61-49, to all but eliminate any chance of catching first-place Stony Brook for the League VIII title.
The Whalers will host the winless Knox school today, February 6, at 6:15 p.m. before traveling to Ross for the regular-season finale tomorrow at 6:15 p.m. Stony Brook would need to lose its last two games against Southold and Shelter Island for Pierson to have a shot at sharing the league title, which is an unlikely outcome.
Despite Tuesday’s loss, the Whalers held strong in second place at 11-3 in League VIII, and have locked up the second seed behind Stony Brook in the Class C playoffs, which are tentatively set to begin on Tuesday, February 11. Pierson will most likely host an opening round game against either Southold or the Ross School, depending on how the season plays out over the next two days.
The county Class C final at Longwood High School is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, February 15 at 2:30 p.m.
Friday night’s game against Shelter Island was played before a capacity crowd on Spirit Night and the Indians arrived ready to play, battling Pierson and keeping the game close through the first two quarters. Eventually Loesch, Barrett and Evjen took over the game, and the Whalers dominated during a 15-2 third quarter to pull away.
The script was flipped against Greenport on Tuesday with a tight game at halftime tipping in favor of the Porters during an 18-7 third quarter. Austin Hooks led Greenport with a game-high 24 points while Gavin Dibble chipped in with 19.
Loesch finished with 23 points for Pierson and Barrett had 12.