Tag Archive | "girls basketball"

Pierson at Top of League VIII Hoops

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Heller_LWhalers-Mercy Basketball '11_4362

By Jacob Sisson

Down 3 entering the fourth quarter, the Pierson/Bridgehampton Lady Whalers (2-6, 2-0) turned to a player they have been relying on all year: Sarah Barrett. The senior guard did not disappoint, scoring all of The Lady Whaler’s seven points in the fourth quarter to lead the team to a 43-41 victory over the Mercy Monarchs (2-4, 1-1). None of her points were as clutch as the two free throws she hit with 15 seconds remaining that gave the Lady Whalers their final advantage.

Barrett’s final push capped a season high 23-point night. The guard added four steals on a night where ball control was fleeting and turnovers were common. As a team, the Lady Whalers collected 14 steals, with senior forwards Samantha James and Kaci Koehne as well as senior guard Amanda Busiello adding three steals each.

James herself had an outstanding night, adding a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds.

“We started out like a house on fire,” said Pierson/Bridgehampton coach Dennis Case. “Mercy stayed with us all game. Our biggest problem all year has been consistency. We made a lot of errors in the game, many of them unforced.”
The Lady Whalers were aided that for each period of sloppy play they endured, Mercy seemed to respond in turn. Much of the credit has to go to the Lady Whaler defense, which constantly applied pressure and harassed Mercy’s ball handlers.

“Down the stretch, we played great defense.” That defense was the real key to Pierson/Bridgehampton’s victory, as they held the visitors to only two points in the fourth quarter. “We needed to overplay [Mercy forward] Amy Boden so she couldn’t power up to the basket. Kaci Koehne shut her down.”

Koehne and fellow forward Samantha James each added two blocked shots to the defensive effort. None were more important than the latter’s swat with 4 seconds left that ended a threatening Mercy possession, allowing the Lady Whalers to run out the clock for the win.

The game was a tense, back-and-forth affair, with no team able to assert their hold on possession. Person/Bridgehampton held a slim 26-23 lead at halftime thanks in large part to the work of James, who scored 10 of her 12 points and had 10 of her 13 rebounds in the first half. Also lending well to the cause was sophomore guard Emily Hinz, who had six points and three assists in the first 16 minutes.

Mercy roared back in the third quarter, outpacing the Lady Whalers 16-10, and entering the fourth quarter up 39-36.

As if “clutch” was her middle name, Barrett sprung into action. Barrett’s intensity helped inspire the defense to clamp down and take the wind out of Mercy’s sails. After a Mercy free throw, Barrett hit a three-pointer to draw the Lady Whalers within one. A jumper from the foul line halfway through the fourth quarter gave the Lady Whalers their first lead in the fourth. Another free throw drew Mercy level with just under four minutes remaining.

The score would stand at 41-41 for what felt like an eternity as both teams struggled to score. Mercy was trying to assemble their offense when the quick hands of Hinz knocked the ball into the path of Barrett. Without a second thought, Barrett took off to the basket. While her layup didn’t fall, she was fouled and went to the line for two free throws.

Barrett’s first free throw fell much to the delight of Pierson/Bridgehampton supporters.

“After Sarah made the first free throw, I called a timeout to set up our defense. If she had missed, we would have to play solid defense and not foul. After she iced the second shot, we knew we would have to put pressure on their guards to protect against the three-pointer.”

Mercy managed to get the ball inside as the seconds ticked away, Mercy had one last look at the basket until James arrived to remove the threat. While Barrett’s free throws put the Lady Whalers ahead, James sealed the deal.

As the final buzzer sounded, Case pumped his fist with delight. Case had pointed out earlier in the season that Mercy would be one of Suffolk County league VIII’s main title contenders and this game would be key to their championship hopes.

The win wasn’t just about the performances of one individual. The victory came down to hard work and determination of the entire Lady Whalers squad.

“The key to the win was total teamwork and focus in the final minute of play,” said Case.

Extend Lead in League

For the second game in a row, senior guard Sarah Barrett hit a game winning shot with less than 30 seconds to go Tuesday night, extending the Lady Whalers’ lead at the top of Suffolk County league VIII standings. Barrett’s heroics with 30 seconds to go put the Lady Whalers (3-6, 3-0) up 35-33 against the Stony Brook Bears (2-3, 1-1) in what was a matchup of the league’s top two teams. It was a defensive struggle, as both teams found offense hard to come by. Neither team scored in the double digits until the third quarter when each team had 10 points. Despite the low scoring game, Barrett once again led the team with 15 points while Samantha James had 12.

Lady Whalers 1 and 1 this week

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As the Pierson girl’s varsity basketball team prepares for their first league game this Friday against Shelter Island, they are still playing very competitively in their non-league games, according to Coach Dennis Case.

On Friday, Pierson played Mattituck and according to Case, the Lady Whalers played a great game, despite their loss. Mattituck lead Pierson in the end, 58-43.

“They are a very good team,” Case said, “But we played hard and we played well. We may have been able to beat them,” he added.

Case said the girls were good on their breaks and were able to get the ball down the court, but weren’t able to follow through with baskets. Mattituck dominated under the boards and was able to get 26 rebounds that game, helping them maintain their lead over the Lady Whalers.

Pierson was down eight points at the end of the first quarter 18-10 and at the half they trailed the Lady Tuckers 36-22.

During the third quarter Pierson gained some momentum and scored 15 points to Mattituck’s 14, but it wasn’t enough — Pierson was still behind 13 points with 37 to Mattituck’s 50.

“I can’t complain though,” Case said, “The Mattituck coach told me we were the first to beat their press all season.”

Senior Katie Osiecki earned 29 points for Pierson that game, with Samantha James the second highest scorer, following her with six points. Oseiki scored nearly half of her total points in the first quarter, gaining 12 points for her personal record.

Case also said the girls played well considering they were down a starter — their Bridgehampton player, Ala Pickney, who sat the bench and cheered her team members on. She is also not expected to play during Friday’s game.


Last Wednesday, Pierson played Rocky Point and won 45-35. During the first half, the Lady Whalers tied the Lady Eagles at 22.

“They really pulled away in the fourth quarter,” Case said. He added the girls were up by 13 points and nearing the end of the fourth the Mattituck girls banked a three-pointer, only slightly closing that gap.

“Actually three of the girls scored double figures in that game,” Case said. Osiecki scored 12 points that game, helping to lead the Lady Whalers to their victory. Coming in as a close second in terms of points for the team seniors Pinckney and Gabrielle Arondel tied at 11 points. Samantha James, a tenth grader, was also a high scorer, gaining nine points for the team.

This Friday the Lady Whalers have their first league game against the Indians on Shelter Island at 4 p.m. On Monday, Pierson will go head to head with Longwood, in a non-league match-up.

Case said the focus point for the girls during these next few games will be rebounding. He also pointed out that the Lady Whalers should practice their patience, and he hopes that will make them better players.

Girls basketball looking good prepping for League Games

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The season may not be in full force just yet, but the girl’s basketball team had just enough practices this week to play their first scrimmage against East Hampton on Monday.

Both JV and Varsity managed to outperform the competition, with no final scores to report, however, because it was not a league game.

Although the girls won, varsity coach Dennis Case said that his team still has a lot of work to do. “Our guards are sharp,” Case said, “and our forwards are looking good.” Case said he has his starting guards, but he is still trying out different combinations for the starting line-up.

“We tried a bunch of combos on Monday,” Case said of choosing his starters, “and some looked better than others.” Case said senior Katie Osiecki looked solid on Monday and scored well for the team. Sophomore Sami James played well at forward, according to Case. Ala Pinckney, a senior, will be a starter this season along with Sarah Barrett a sophomore who also played on varsity last year as a freshman.

“We took a good look at the kids on Monday,” Case said, “and we are optimistic, if we can learn to rebound more within our league.” Rebounding, Case said, will be important this season and added that there are some taller kids in their league where the girls may face some tough competition.

“We have to play a mental game, the girls need to slow down and cut down on mistakes,” Case said, but added, “we have the quickest guards in the league; we just have to be patient.”

Other players on varsity this season include seniors Gabi Arondel, Alicia Tagliasachi, Diana Rodriguez, Arielle Chase and Nell Kruszynski. Eleventh graders Alexia Faraguna and Brittany Scala are also set to play this year. The varsity girls played Miller Place yesterday, Wednesday December 3.

JV coach Haley Luzim said her girls played well against East Hampton on Monday. “The girls were aggressive, they ran our plays nicely and had many steals and rebounds,” Luzim said on Wednesday. Tenth graders on the team this season include Amanda Busiello, Catherine O’Brien, Cindy Alvarez and Nina Hemby. Ninth graders include Sarah Cafiero, Sam Kemper, Amber Pagano, Ryan Duffy, Emily Hinz and Rachel Saidman.

Luzim said the girls still need some work however, “We need to focus on making more lay-ups in our next game on Friday.” The JV girls will play Hampton Bays on Friday at 6:15.