Tag Archive | "basketball"

Bees and Ravens Even Up

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By Benito Vila

Last Tuesday saw the Bridgehampton Killer Bees and the Ross Ravens open their League VIII varsity boys’ basketball season with tough on-court lessons. The Bees rallied from an eight-point deficit to overtake the Pierson Whalers before ultimately losing in overtime, while the Ravens had league-favorite Greenport make off with a one-sided win.

Fortunes changed for both Monday, each team evening up their league marks at 1-1. The Bees outmaneuvered Mercy at home, 57-55, a Jamal Hires lay-up at the buzzer becoming the game-winner. The Ravens clawed their way past Smithtown Christian, Liam Chaskey’s 22 points leading the Ross attack.


Hugs in the Hive

Killer Bee coach Carl Johnson was able to get his players “to spread the ball around a lot” in creating scoring opportunities and building a 17-point third quarter lead. Using a zone press, the Monarchs made a game of it, the visitors gaining the lead late in the game.

But timely scoring by Pablo Londono (6 points), Cesar Banados (12 points), Jeremy Carsten (8 points) and Ainsley Wyche (22 points) kept the Killer Bees close. The Hires game-winner set off a celebration in the Hive that had Coach Johnson happy to see “everybody hugging everybody.”

After the holidays, the Bees host Greenport, Tuesday, January 6 at 4 p.m. and Smithtown Christian, Friday, January 9 at 4:30 p.m. The team’s first league road game is Monday, January 12 at 4 p.m. on Shelter Island.


Ross Rallies, Rolls

Sag Harbor’s Chaskey, the Ravens’ freshman guard, took charge late in Monday’s win, tossing in 12 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter. In sparking that Ross run, Chaskey helped turn a tight four-point 38-34 lead at the end of the third quarter to a comfortable 11-point cushion at the final buzzer. Brandon Pettaway also fired in 15 for Ross with Taylor Wilson adding 11.

Ross opens 2009 on Shelter Island Tuesday, January 6, and travels to Pierson Thursday, January 8; both games tip off at 5:45 p.m. The Ravens are home for Stony Brook, Monday, January 12 at 6:15 p.m. and for Mercy, Wednesday, January 14, at 4 p.m.

Shootout at the Hive

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By Benito Vila

It was standing room only in the Bridgehampton School gym Tuesday evening, the Killer Bees varsity basketball team hosting the Pierson boys in the League VIII opener for each squad. Tuesday’s contest was a close battle between two young and up-and-coming teams; the Whalers coming away with a 62-59 overtime win.

In years past the hoops-only rivalry has seen the Bees sting the Whalers often, especially in “the Hive” as their remarkably undersized gym is known locally. There was a buzz in the building Tuesday well before tip-off, long-time friends greeting each other and then sitting on different sides.

The game proved to be a thrilling roller coaster ride for both sets of fans, the Whalers going up eight at 18-10 to start to start the second quarter and the Bees building an eight-point cushion mid-way through the third at 37-29. Pierson rallied to within one to close the third and pulled ahead 47-44 with 3:12 to go in the fourth.

Whaler forwards Joe Dowling and Nick DePetris powered that 18-7 run, the pair scoring 14 of Pierson’s points in the go-ahead push. But Bridgehampton bounced back, Ainsley Wyche shooting in a three-pointer and Nate Hochstedler lifting the Bees up 49-47 on a steal and breakaway bucket with 2:30 remaining.


A Wild Finish

That frenetic pace, the product of having high school players on an elementary school-sized floor, continued the rest of the way, the emotion swinging from one-side of the room to the other on every point. In the final minute neither team could put the game away, Pierson holding a 54-52 lead with 57 seconds left but the possession arrow pointing towards the Bridgehampton bench.

In that last minute, both teams showed their youth in turnover-prone decision-making that prompted the ball to go the other way. The ball stayed on the Bees’ end for three shots, the Whalers unable to clear the rebounds back up-court.

When traveling was called against Bridgehampton with seven seconds left, some of the Whaler faithful started up to leave, seemingly satisfied to game was finished. But that was not the case, the visitors sitting back down when Wyche and Hochstedler closed in to deny an in-bound pass and Hochstedler hit a jumper to tie the score at 54-54 with two seconds on the clock.



With :00 on the clock and the score even, overtime seemed a forgone conclusion to the crowd but the two coaches and the referees gathered at the scorers table for what was obviously a meaningful discussion. Unheard by most was a whistle blown before the buzzer in the final second signaling a foul on Bridgehampton during Pierson’s final in-bound pass.

That call earned the fouled player, Dowling, two free throws. The crowd was hushed, the nine other players on the court gathered at behind mid-court, as Dowling toed the line, the pressure on the Pierson captain to make a shot and end the game.

Having shot 8 of 10 from the line at that point, it seemed Dowling was the right player in the right situation for Pierson. As fate would have it, both shots bounced away, negating a Bridgehampton protest and forcing overtime.

The extra period saw both sides struggle to control the ball, the Bees scoring first two minutes into the five-minute frame. Those points came when Wyche made the most of a steal and Cesar Banados sank a free throw. Fouls under the Pierson basket sent Whalers Nick DePetris and Luke Kirrane to the line, with each netting one to keep the score close.

With just 2:22 remaining, an in-bound play to Dowling put Pierson up 58-57 and a breakaway bucket by the captain with 1:33 remaining made up for the missed free throws and gave the Whalers a 60-57 lead. Pierson pushed their run to eight points when point guard Dylan Hmielenski scored on a floater in the lane with 49 seconds left, making the score 62-57 visitors.

Adding to the drama of the finish was Bridgehampton battling for the ball and controlling possession for most of the game’s final 39 seconds. But the Bees managed to tally just two points, those coming from Evan Marzan at the free throw line, making the final 62-59 Pierson.


Coaches Agree

When asked the difference in the game, Bridgehampton coach Carl Johnson simply said, “Joey Dowling. Every time they [Pierson] needed a basket to stay in the game, he came through. When they needed a rebound he got it.” In all Dowling totaled 24 points, 18 in the second half and four in OT, and pulled down 17 rebounds.

Reflecting on Dowling’s effort and leadership, Pierson varsity coach Fred Marienfeld said, “I need that kid on the floor. He played every minute and had no fouls. He hustles; he scrambles; he gets after loose balls. There’s nothing he won’t do.”

Both coaches cited the intensity of play as positive, each hoping it carries over into this week’s contests, the Bees hosting Mercy tomorrow at 5 p.m. and the Whalers heading upstate for a weekend tournament. The coaches also noted their teams need more work on rebounding, free throws and offensive execution.

In identifying key contributors, Coach Johnson pointed to the play of junior guard Wyche, who led the Bees with 25 points and is “quickly learning to be a leader, a coach on the court.” He also liked the hustle of Hochstedler, who created several turnovers and scoring opportunities, adding, “This might have been a breakout game for him; a big confidence booster.” Mainly, he applauded the team as whole, saying, “They came out a little nervous, kept playing when they were down and gave me all they could give me. They never gave up.”

Meanwhile, Coach Marienfeld praised the play of forward Luke Kirrane (eight points) and the effort of his sophomores, particularly Hmielenski and Tyler Gilbride who “did a good job up top both ways” after starting guard, senior Casey Crowley (seven points) fouled out late in the third period. When senior sixth man Nick DePetris (13 points, six rebounds) fouled out in overtime, Coach Marienfeld had sophomore Skyler Loesch step in to fill a big spot at forward.


Joey D.

After the game Tuesday, Dowling described his focus going into Tuesday’s game saying, “I really wanted that one. We had to get it, especially since we started 0-3 [in non-league], all games we should have won [two of the losses coming in overtime].”

In describing that moment alone at the line, Dowling humbly expressed a dislike for those sorts of pressure situations and was surprised to learn that he was 8 of 10 before those two avoided the net. He said the best part of the game “was how everybody came together at the end, the young guys stepping up when we needed them.”


Whalers Home Tuesday

The weekend has the Pierson boys in playing in Syracuse and Rochester as part of the annual Charles J. Finney School tournament, an event the team won last year. They are back for school on Monday and open their home schedule Tuesday at 5:45 p.m. against 1-0 Shelter Island in the Pierson gym.

 “That’s this team’s only league home game for 2008,” noted Coach Marienfeld. “It’d be great if these guys could get themselves an early Christmas present upstate and then show everyone their best Tuesday. After six games away, I’m sure everyone will be glad to be home.”


Pierson Hoops: Youth is Served

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By Benito Vila 

When Pierson varsity basketball coach Fred Marienfeld selected his captain, junior Joe Dowling, he sent a clear message to his team: the younger guys have to step up.

Last season the Whalers were 9-5 in league play and 13-6 overall. They gave up Keith Robinson, Zach North, Steve McCarron, Matt Paul and Zach O’Connell to graduation when the clock ran out in a first-round playoff loss to eventual Suffolk County Class C champion Port Jefferson.

“The goal this year”, explained Coach Marienfeld after practice on Sunday, “is what it’s always been; to get to the playoffs. With six sophomores on a ten-man roster, we have our work cut out for us. They’re all going to have to grow up quick.”

The team has only two seniors, guards Ryan Miller and Casey Crowley. Forward Luke Kirrane joins Dowling in representing the juniors. The sophomores moving up are forwards Seamus Doyle, Skyler Loesch and Jake Weingartner and guards Tyler Gilbride, Brooke Hartnett and Dylan Hmielenski.

 “We have some talent to work with. But we’re going to be the ultimate ‘young guns’,” cautioned Coach Marienfeld. “There won’t be any easy games for us and it’s a good thing we know that going in.”

Coach Marienfeld sees defending champion Greenport as “by far” the best in the league, with Stony Brook and Mercy “making up the second tier.” Bridgehampton, Shelter Island, Smithtown Christian and Ross round out the rest of the schedule.


Scrimmages and Games

Pre-season play tips off on Saturday, the Whalers heading to Long Lane in East Hampton to scrimmage the Bonackers at 10 a.m. On Monday, the boys have Southampton coming in to scrimmage at 5 p.m., which is their only home match-up until December 23 when Shelter Island visits.

Between next week and that pre-holiday homecoming, the team will see plenty of local action, traveling to Mattituck, December 12 for a non-league contest, and opening league play at Bridgehampton, December 16. The Whalers are also scheduled to return to Rochester the weekend of December 19 to 21 to defend a title earned last year in a tournament hosted by the Charles J. Finney School.


Paul Plays On

Whaler basketball alumnus and Pierson 2005 graduate Max Paul is a senior at the United States Merchant Marine Academy and the starting center on the Mariners’ basketball squad. Paul is averaging 12.5 points and 6 rebounds per game in the early going, his team off to an 0-2 start out of conference. The Mariners met SUNY Maritime there last night and travel to Wesleyan on Sunday.


Hardcourt Hustle and Youthoop

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With whistles, squeaks and a lot of thumping, Pierson’s varsity and JV basketball teams held their first practices yesterday, opening up the high school winter sports schedule. Leading the Lady Whaler varsity for the fifth consecutive season is Dennis Case, with his daughter, Pierson special education instructor Haley Luzim, guiding the JV girls.

The Whaler varsity will have Fred Marienfeld at the helm for the fourth consecutive season, with Christian Johns, who is also a Pierson special ed instructor, returning to the boys’ program as JV coach.

Pre-season scrimmages start over Thanksgiving weekend with non-league games tipping off the following week. The Whalers make their home debut December 1 in a 5 p.m. scrimmage against Southampton. The Lady Whalers are home for the first time December 3 at 4 p.m. in a non-league match-up with Miller Place.

Both teams open league play on the road but not far away, the boys at Bridgehampton December 16 and the ladies on Shelter Island December 19.


Youth Hoop Sign-Ups


With the high school and middle school hoopsters working at their game, Sag Harbor Youthoop Basketball is holding its player registration. Forms for the in-house weekend program are available at the elementary school, with sessions for players K-through-6 starting there on December 6.