Tag Archive | "Lady Whalers"

Lady Whalers Play For It All

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By EJ Yennie

The Pierson Bridgehampton Lady Whalers (12-5-0) and the Port Jefferson Royals (14-3-0) face off in a three game battle for the Suffolk County League VIII Championship on Friday, May 27 at 4 p.m. in Port Jefferson.

The series looks to be great match up, with the Lady Whalers and the Royals sharing some striking similarities. For one, each team has only lost to the other in League VIII play; with their other losses coming against teams in league VII and League VI. Secondaly, both the Lady Whalers and the Royals have mercied (won by more than twelve runs by or in the fifth inning) every other team in League VIII at least once this season.  Lastly, both teams have remarkable Junior pitchers.

As Pierson Lady Whaler’s Coach Mellissa Edwards put it “We always play well against Port Jeff-this year we want to play well and win.”

Coach Edwards remains confident in her team’s ability to take two of the three games needed to win the series.  “The key to my team is to stay relaxed and confident in their abilities. We’ve played them in the past: this year it is our time to win.”

The second game of the series will be at home, behind Pierson High School, on Tuesday, May 31 at 4 p.m.  If a final game if needed to determine the winner it will be held in Port Jefferson on Thursday, June 2 at 4 p.m.



Lady Whalers Set for Play-Offs

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By E. J. Yennie

The Pierson/Bridgehampton Lady Whalers finished their regular season with a sound thumping of the McGann Mercy Lady Monarchs last night, 13-3 in a game cut short due to rain.

But perhaps the most important game of the week was beating their chief rivals, Port Jefferson on Monday night, 4-3, on the Royals home turf.

In Monday’s game, the Lady Whalers (11-5) gave up two runs to the Lady Royals (14-3) in the first inning.

But the Lady Whalers responded in the second when Kaci Koehne doubled, advanced to third on a stolen base, and then scored the first run for Pierson. Samantha James scored after her, on a throwing error to tie the score.

Port Jefferson regained the lead in the third.

Down 3-2 in the fifth, with two outs, Alexa Lantiere reached first on a throwing error. Kasey Gilbride tripled to left field, scoring Lantiere for the tying run. Koehne was walked. In a double steal attempt, Gilbride headed home as Koehne reached second. The Royals made a play for the plate too late and Gilbride scored the go ahead run.

Pierson, now 11-5, is guaranteed a bid in the play offs. Port Jefferson and Pierson-Bridgehampton are the only two teams in League VIII with a .500 record needed to clinch a spot in the play offs.


Win over McGann Mercy 13-3

The Lady Whalers final regular season game was cut short in the fifth, this time because of rain, but they still dominated, with a 13-3 victory against McGann Mercy(6-8-0).

With only five innings of play, Sariah Cafiero had three RBIs. Kaci Koehne scored four runs for the Lady Whalers, including a solo home run. Melanie Stafford was 2 for 3 with two RBIs.

Play-off Bids

On Tuesday, Coach Melissa Edwards said “Mercy may get a bid if they petition, depending on the seedings meeting on Friday.”

But on Wednesday, according to Ted Stafford, the Lady Whalers score keeper, the Mercy coach has decided not to petition for a right to play in the playoffs, leaving Port Jefferson and Pierson to challenge each other for the championship.

The schedules and fields for playoffs will be posted on the Sag Harbor School web site early next week.


Lady Whalers’ Softball Comes Out Strong

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By E.J. Yennie

Though the softball season has just begun, on Monday the Pierson Lady Whalers continued to show their dominance on the field by chalking up another impressive win, this time against the Stony Brook Bears.

After two cancellations due to rain and flooded fields, the Lady Whalers finally faced the Lady Bears at Pierson on Monday, with Stony Brook being noted as the home team. After allowing three hits and a run in the bottom of the second, the Lady Whalers found themselves in the unusual position of being down 1-0. Up until this point in the season, the Whalers have crushed the competition, even forcing a mercy ruling on their last two opponents.

It took until the fourth inning, but with one out and Samantha James on base, Nina Hemby got the team back on track with a base hit that advanced James to third. A sacrifice pop by Kaci Koehne followed and brought James in, tying the score. Stony Brook pitcher Linda Devine got out of the top of the inning with a strike out. But when Pierson pitcher Melanie Stafford took the mound in the bottom of the fourth, she made short work of the Stony Brook girls with a ground out followed by two strike outs.

A base hit by Alexa Lantiere started the Whalers off right in the fifth inning. Lantiere then proceeded to steal second, and then third, putting her in scoring position with no outs. Devine opted to walk Lindsey Warne, who promptly also stole second. A base hit followed by Kasey Gilbride that drove Lantiere in, and that’s when Pierson started racking up the runs.  By the top of the fifth, Pierson was up 6 to 1. When it was Pierson’s turn to take the field, Stafford again faced three and retired three. Stony Brook opted for a pitching change in the top of the sixth, which held the score to 6 to 1.

After being ahead by more than 12 runs, Pierson’s last two games were called in the fifth inning. But after five on Monday, the Lady Whalers weren’t yet finished with the competition. With no runs added to the board in the sixth, the Pierson girls went into their first seven inning game of league play this season. That’s when the Lady Whalers really hit their stride, scoring seven runs against the Lady Bears while letting up only one in the bottom of the inning, for a final score of 13 to 2.

Port Jeff 15, Pierson 3

The Port Jefferson Royals watched from the dugout on Tuesday afternoon as Pierson players and coaches raked and removed tarps, readying the infield for the Pierson Whalers’ first league game of the season. The rain stopped and the field was ready, but apparently the Whalers weren’t as they fell to Port Jefferson 15 to 3.

By the bottom of the fourth, the Whaler’s were down 13 to nothing and struggling to avoid a shut out. For three innings, they left men on base with no score. The fourth proved to be more of the same. Sean Romeo was tagged out at first. Forrest Loesch drove the ball to right field, landing at first but was tagged out stealing second. Colman Vila walked, but the inning ended with a pop out by Tyler Gilbride, stranding Vila and leaving Pierson scoreless.

The Royals scored two more runs in the fifth before Pierson got to bat. Sean Hartnett bunted his way onto base but was tagged out at second in a double play off the bat of Jake Weingartner. Aaron Schiavoni earned a base after being hit by a pitch, but the inning ended with him stranded after a pop out.

Pierson brought Gavin Kudlak to the mound in the top of the sixth to close the game. A base hit, two strike outs and a tag out ended Port Jefferson’s side of the inning.

First up in the bottom of the sixth, Kudlak drove the ball down the left field line to earn him a spot on first. When the Royal’s fielder overthrew the ball to first, Kudlak took second, arriving just before the ball. Sean Romeo’s grounder to third base proved to be Kudlak‘s undoing: he was tagged out in a rundown between second and third. Loesch was walked. Vila loaded the bases on a hard shot which the second baseman fumbled. Gilbride hit a foul pop that was caught for the second out. Hartnett kept a careful eye on the ball and was walked in, allowing Pierson to get on the scoreboard with Romeo walking in.

As the sun began to set in the top of the seventh, Pierson started to rally. Kudlak allowed one walk before striking out three in a row.

In the bottom of the seventh, Frank Romeo was walked by Royal’s pitcher, Tyler D’Accord. After Mike Heller struck out, Kudlak had a base hit. Sean Romeo was walked, loading the bases. Loesch had a base hit, bringing in Frank Romeo and forcing out Sean Romeo. A hit by Vila was missed by the shortstop, allowing Kudlak to score. Gilbride loaded the bases once again with a base hit, but a pop fly to center ended the game, 15-3.

Pierson will face Port Jefferson at home again on Friday, April 8. Next week they will be in Southold on Tuesday, April 12 and will be facing Southold at home on Wednesday, April 13.

Varsity Softball Sets Out for Championship

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By Jacob Sisson

“I don’t want to lose any games this season.”

Those are bold words from Pierson/Bridgehampton Lady Whalers softball coach Melissa Edwards on the eve of the 2011 softball season. Considering that Edwards and the Lady Whalers graduated just two seniors last year, that goal could be a reachable reality.

“We’re definitely taking this season a day at a time, but there’s no reason that we shouldn’t be headed upstate this season,” says a confident coach Edwards. The Lady Whalers are hoping to improve on last year’s 14-4 mark that saw them finish second in Suffolk County’s League VIII.

“A lot of the team was on the field hockey squad this year, so they got to go up and experience the state tournament. I know they’re all eager to get back up there again.”

Despite last year’s excellent league record, the Lady Whalers met with disappointment in the first round of the Suffolk County Class “C” tournament, losing in the semi-finals against Mercy. Many of League VIII’s top talents have moved on, but that isn’t the case for the Lady Whalers.

“We’re bringing back a lot of our top talent from last year. We’ve got a great group of seniors who are really going to be the center of our team this year.

“We’re looking for a lot of leadership from our returning players. We’ve got seven or eight returning starters and with that I expect a lot.

“Offensively we should be pretty solid throughout the lineup, we have speed and power so I am expecting big things. Last year I focused a lot on our defense, but this season I am pretty confident in that and now it’s time to manufacture runs, get them on and get them around.

“We’re going to be very good from the top of the lineup to the bottom. We’re not going to be relying only on our one-through-five hitters. We’re going to be solid from the leadoff hitter to the number nine hitter.”

Those seniors are going to be critical, as the team is looking to leapfrog over perennial League VIII contenders Port Jefferson in the chase for the league title. The Royals finished last season with a 15-3 record, including winning both of the two teams’ matchups. The Lady Whalers’ only other losses came against Babylon and Bayport-Blue Point, who finished at the top of last season’s league seven standings.

“I’m expecting big seasons from Kaci Koehne, Kasey Gilbride, and Melanie Stafford.

“I have an amazing infield returning. With Melanie on the mound, we get really solid pitching. We have Catherine Musnicki as the catcher, Samantha James, who is one of the best defensive first baseman, I’d say, on Long Island, Lindsey Warne and Alexa Lantiere as our second basemen, Kaci Koehne holds down the short stop area, and Kasey Gilbride, who has grown so much as a softball player this past summer and winter will be at third. She can get to balls you’d never think anyone can get to.

“In the outfield I have Nina Hemby, Sariah Cafiero, and Julia Schiavoni, with help from Lindsey Warne and Alexa Lantiere. Newcomers India Hemby and Rebecca Spechenbach will see time in the outfield primarily and some infield here and there.”

Pierson/Bridgehampton gets their first crack at the top of the league when they welcome Port Jefferson to town on April 6. Other key matchups on the road to the post season will come on April 27, when the Lady Whalers welcome Bayport-Blue Point and on May 4 when the Lady Whalers head to Babylon.

The season closes on a high as the Lady Whalers square off against Port Jefferson and Mercy in back-to-back away matchups in the final two games of the 2011 regular season.

With that kind of roster, and that kind of motivation, you can see where coach Edwards gets her confidence.

Championship Hopes Get Away from Lady Whalers

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By Jacob Sisson

The Pierson/Bridgehampton Lady Whalers’ girls basketball season came to an end on Tuesday in the same way it did one year ago, with a loss to top-seeded Stony Brook in the Suffolk County Class “C” championship tournament. This year, The Lady Whalers’ playoff run ended with a 43-29 defeat at Saint Joseph’s College in the Class “C” championship game.

Instead of last year’s semi-final defeat, the Lady Whalers pushed their way into the county championship game for the first time in the six years that Pierson/Bridgehampton coach Dennis Case has been at the helm. The game was a bitter pill to swallow for a team that had beaten the Bears once this season, and had the confidence and momentum to win a second time.

“We had a very successful season,” said Case. “It’s the first time we’ve been to the county final, at least in the six years I’ve been coaching. We’ve been to the playoffs those six years, but it’s the first time we’ve been to the final.

“We made a good showing. We played hard; we never gave up the whole game. We played hard from the tip-off to the very end of the game. You can’t complain at all. The kids played with a lot of intensity. That’s the way they’ve played all year.

“We lost a couple games because of a few different things, a couple times because of shooting, but overall we did fine.”

The Lady Whalers picked the wrong night to lose their shooting touch. While the Lady Whalers were successful in playing intense defense and fighting for every ball – the team had 11 steals, six of which came from senior guard Sarah Barrett – they could not match that level in their shooting.

Collectively, the team shot 11 of 58 from the field, including a paltry 20 percent from inside the arc and only hitting 1 of 8 three-point attempts. While Stony Brook was enjoying wild success from the free-throw stripe, Pierson/Bridgehampton struggled, hitting only 6 of 13 attempts.

“We had cold shooting, that’s for sure. We played very good defense, but we just couldn’t finish. We had a tough time putting the ball in the hole. On top of that, we just didn’t shoot well from the foul line. We must have missed eight or ten foul shots. But that’s the way the game goes.”

While the Lady Whalers attempted to mount a comeback in the second half, things became dire when Stony Brook was given shot after shot from the free-throw line. As a team, Stony Brook hit 10 of 12 free throws in the final quarter to put the game on ice and give them their wide winning margin.

It was a sloppy start to the game that seemed to set the tempo for the Lady Whalers. Only eight points were scored in the first quarter, with the score tied 4-4 after the first period.

The second quarter brought little relief for the Lady Whalers, as their shooting woes continued. The team went 3 of 16 from the field (the Lady Whalers shot 5 of 29 in the half), and could only add another seven points to their total. Stony Brook, on the other hand, had an explosive quarter. Driven by the efforts of forward Brannon Burke, Stony Brook scored 15 points to push their lead out to a halftime advantage of 19-11. Burke finished her night with 26 points, 11 from free-throws, and was singled out by coach Case as Pierson/Bridgehampton’s main adversary.

Sarah Barrett began to heat up in the second half, and tried to will her team back into championship consideration. Key steals and subsequent fast breaks seemed to put the wind back in the Lady Whalers’ sails for a time, and brought them back to within six with just 3:50 left in the fourth quarter.

It was not to be, however, as it began to rain Stony Brook free-throws that dug Pierson/Bridgehampton into a hole it could not climb out of.

The loss, however, was not for lack of effort, as the Lady Whalers defended doggedly to the last, and gave everything they had to break down a difficult Stony Brook defense. In the offensive half, the Stony Brook’s defense limited Barrett, Pierson/Bridgehampton’s top scorer, to eight points, while fellow seniors Amanda Busiello and Kaci Koehne finished their nights with six points each. Seniors Samantha James and Nina Hemby as well as sophomore Emily Hinz all had three points, with James hitting the team’s only three-pointer.

Koehne, Busiello and Barrett led the team in the rebounding category, with six each, on a night where Stony Brook’s height advantage left Pierson/Bridgehampton wanting. Koehne also had three blocks in an effort to disrupt Stony Brook’s shooting.

It was the end of a long road for Pierson/Bridgehampton’s five seniors who waved their final goodbyes to Lady Whalers fans. That elite group included Barrett, Busiello, Hemby, James and Koehne, who have grown and matured as a group both this season and earlier in their careers.

“We’re going to miss five seniors,” said Case of his stellar senior class. “We’re going to miss that group, that’s for sure. They’re all talented, so we’ll have to rebuild next year. But we’ll rebuild next year with four returning players, plus a bunch of kids from the JV, so hopefully we’ll be there.”


Lady Whalers Go On to Face Stony Brook for County C Championship

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By Jacob Sisson

The Pierson/Bridgehampton Lady Whalers (9-10, 8-3) moved one step closer to their goal of winning the Suffolk County Class “C” Championship by seeing off the Bishop McGann-Mercy Monarchs (9-8, 8-4) 35-32. The Lady Whalers now move on to face the Stony Brook Bears (12-5, 11-1) on Tuesday in the championship game to be played at Saint Joseph’s College in Patchogue at 5 p.m.

It was the second time this season a game between the Lady Whalers and the Monarchs came down to the wire, as the score remained tied at 30 with only 1:30 left on the clock.

Pierson/Bridgehampton managed to edge their way ahead in the final 90 seconds, and while it looked like a missed free-throw might give Mercy a way back into the game, senior forward Kaci Koehne grabbed one of her 17 rebounds to seal the win.

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It was a back-and-forth affair with both teams canceling each other out across the game’s first three quarters. After 24 minutes of play, Pierson was down 27-26, and needed a fourth quarter rally to extend their season.

Pierson/Bridgehampton eked out a nine-point quarter, and held their opponents to a mere five points, to give the Lady Whalers a big momentum boost heading into Tuesday’s county championship.

It was a defensive struggle between two teams who had their two major scoring threats mostly silenced throughout the game. On the Lady Whalers’ side, senior guard Sarah Barrett was held to well below her season average with a mere five points, while Mercy’s Amy Boden could only muster three, all from the free throw stripe. In the first meeting between the two teams, Barrett erupted for 23 while Boden led Mercy with 15.

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Stepping into the gap for Saturday’s matchup was senior forward Samantha James, who scored 13 points. Senior guard Amanda Busiello and sophomore guard Emily Hinz each had six points, with the former hitting a clutch three-pointer late in the fourth quarter, the only one of the night for the Lady Whalers, to give Pierson/Bridgehampton its winning margin.

Kaci Koehne added three points to her 17 rebounds, while freshman Kaci Gilbride hit a pair of free throws to score her only points of the game.

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Pierson/Bridgehampton’s win erased some bitter memories for the Lady Whalers, who lost their previous meeting 40-31 in a game that was played in Mercy’s home gym. Home-court advantage seemed to be key in a matchup largely even on paper, as the Lady Whalers came away victorious in both games played on their own home floor.

Home field advantage goes right out the window as Pierson/Bridgehampton heads to Saint Joseph’s to face Stony Brook on Tuesday. Stony Brook won Suffolk County’s League VIII with an 11-1 record, but lost their only league game of the year in a key home matchup against the Lady Whalers.

Pierson/Bridgehampton will be looking for revenge for not only their 40-28 road defeat on February 28 to the Bears but also for last year’s 51-28 loss to Stony Brook in the Suffolk County Class “C” semi-finals. The Lady Whalers have come a long way since last year’s playoff loss, and with five seniors leading the way, the Lady Whalers will have one goal in Tuesday’s championship game: win.

Lady Whalers Rout Lady Royals

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By Jacob Sisson

The Pierson/Bridgehampton Lady Whalers (8-9, 8-3) are making sure they hit the playoffs in full stride after coming home from their Friday night trip to Port Jefferson to face the Royals (0-14, 0-12) 62-30 winners. It was the second time this year the Lady Whalers have seen off the Royals, having won their only previous encounter, 67-19. With the win, the Lady Whalers remained in a tie for second place in Suffolk County’s League VIII with Bishop McGann – Mercy (9-7, 8-3). The two teams are in a shootout for second place in the overall league standings, as league leaders Stony Brook (11-5, 10-1) wrapped up the regular season title with an overtime win over Southold on Monday.

Against the Royals, things looked over only eight minutes in as the Lady Whalers powered to an 18-4 first quarter lead. Despite the halftime scoreboard reading a more modest 26-13, the Lady Whalers outscored the Royals 36-13 in the second half, including a 21-7 fourth quarter, to put the game well out of reach and secure their eighth league win of the year.

Three seniors led the Lady Whalers, as they have done routinely throughout the season. The night’s top scorer was Samantha James, a senior forward, who had 18 points, which marked her season high. Just behind her was senior guard Sarah Barrett, who continued her excellent year with 16 points. Also breaking double figures on the night was senior forward Kaci Koehne, who also had her best night of the season, with 11 points. Helping to make sure the Royals had no shot on the night were Nina Hemby with six points, Amanda Busiello and Bridget Canavan with four points and Rachel Saidman, who had three points.

Pierson/Bridgehampton welcomes Shelter Island (5-9, 5-6) to town on Wednesday for the regular season’s final game. The Lady Whalers will have to be careful against Shelter Island, as a win will earn them a playoff berth.

Wednesday’s game will be the final regular season game, and final regular season home game, for the team’s five departing seniors – guards Sarah Barrett and Amanda Busiello and forwards Samatha James, Kaci Koehne and Nina Hemby. Those players make up a fearsome starting lineup on their own and each will be looking to impress in their final 24 minutes of regular season basketball in the gym they call home.

Pierson/Bridgehampton will be playing for a post-season home game on Wednesday, as a Lady Whalers win coupled with a Mercy loss will bring the playoffs to Pierson’s home court on Saturday afternoon. Mercy will play league leaders Stony Brook at home on Wednesday. Regardless of the outcome, the Whalers will face Mercy on Saturday for the right to travel to the Suffolk County Class “C” County Championship game to face the winner of the other playoff outbracket matcup – Stony Brook and Southold.

Pierson at Top of League VIII Hoops

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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.

Ladies Look Ahead

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By Jacobsp Heller_LWhalers-Barrett H Sisson


The Pierson/Bridgehampton Lady Whalers girls basketball team (1-6, 1-0) may have had a tough schedule of pre-season matchups, but following a productive week off, it is onward and upwards for a team gunning for the Suffolk County Class “C” championship. Despite losing their first six games of the year to non-league opponents, Pierson/Bridgehampton picked up some momentum and confidence with a 17-point league eight victory over Southold to draw the curtain on 2010.

Despite the slow start to the campaign, Lady Whalers’ coach Dennis Case prefers to focus on their most recent win than their string of defeats.
“We went 0-6 in non-league contests. It took us a while to start playing good ball. We opened our league season with a strong win by 17 over Southold. Hopefully this will carry over.”

It truly did take time for the Lady Whalers to coalesce on offense, having been held to less than 30 points in their first three games. Much of Pierson/Bridgehampton’s troubles could be traced to their murderer’s row of opponents, having played league seven’s Southampton (6-1, 0-0) twice, Mattituck and Hampton Bays (5-3, 0-0), league six’s Shoreham/Wading River (1-5, 0-1) and league five’s Eastport/South Manor (4-4, 1-1) once each.

“I feel that the strongest point this season is that we are finally playing together as a team.”

“Leading the way has been this year’s leading scorer Sarah Barrett, as well as Sam James. Both are seniors,” said Case.

Barrett has been the real bright spot in the Pierson/Bridgehampton offense in the 2010-2011 season, leading the team in five of their seven games and amassing 63 points in those games. Barrett’s best nights came December 10th against Eastport/South Manor and on December 14th against Mattituck, where the senior guard exploded for 17 points.

Complimenting Barrett on the offensive side of the ball is fellow senior Samantha James. The 5’11” forward added 11 points against Southold to help the Lady Whalers right the ship and get their first league win on December 17th.

Beyond the team’s two stars, Case has a full outfit of talented and experienced players to rely on. “Amanda Busiello at guard and Kaci Koehne and Nina Hemby at forward are all seniors. Nina is back from taking her junior year off from basketball. She adds strength to our front court.”
“Emily Hinz is a sophomore guard and has been very valuable to us this year. Kaci Koehne has led the team in rebounds so far this season.”

Indeed, Hinz has been the team’s most consistent scorer beyond James and Barrett. Hinz was third on score sheet against Southold, having contributed 7 points to the team effort. Busiello, too, has been a reliable source of points throughout the season.

Looking forward, Case is hoping that the Lady Whalers’ win against Southold will “carry over this Friday against Mercy,” a team Case had previously pointed to as “our main competition for the top spot.” With Pierson/Bridgehampton’s offense and defenses both starting to click – the Lady Whalers have outscored their opponents 80-64 in their last two games – there’s no reason that momentum shouldn’t carry over, despite the three-week lull in games.

Bishop McGann-Mercy comes into this Friday’s home game sporting an identical 1-0 league eight record and a 2-3 overall record. The Monarch’s league win also came at the hands of Southold, who fell 43-35 on Monday. The Lady Whalers will have to contain Amy Boden if they hope for success on Friday, with the Monarch player having scored 28 points in the team’s last two games.

Case and the Lady Whalers will need to forget about the first six games of their season and instead ride the confidence they earned in their dominant win against Southold. If they can keep in mind the lessons they learned in 2010, there’s no reason the Lady Whalers can’t be fighting for the Suffolk County Class “C” championship later this season.

Lady Whalers’ Hoop Wrap Up

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Girls Basketball

12/11 Pierson/Bridgehampton 38 – 53 Hampton Bays
Senior guard Sarah Barrett continued her torrid start to the season, scoring 14 points to lead the Pierson/Bridgehampton Lady Whalers (0-5, 0-0) against Hampton Bays. Hampton Bays, of League VII boasts a 1-1 non-league record, with no league games played. The Lady Whalers’ second game in as many days was the consolation matchup of the Hampton Bays Fast Break Tipoff Tournament, after losing their opening round matchup with Eastport/South Manor.

Pierson/Bridgehampton dug themselves an early hole, with the scoreboard after the first quarter showing 21-11 in favor of Hampton Bays. Despite the slow start, the Lady Whalers kept things close through the second and third quarters, entering the fourth quarter down only 34-32. Hampton Bays turned on the after burners in the fourth quarter, outscoring Pierson/Bridgehampton 19-6 to finish off the game 53-38. Barrett had 14 points while Emily Hinz six points and Amanda Busiello and Bridget Canavan each contributed four.

12/10 Pierson/Bridgehampton 31 – 48 Eastport/South Manor

The Pierson/Bridgehampton Lady Whalers faced tough opposition in the opening round of the Hampton Bays Fast Break Tipoff Tournament versus League V’s Eastport/South Manor (2-2, 0-0). Against possibly the schedule’s toughest foe on paper, Pierson/Bridgehampton was able to keep the scoreline manageable through the first half, before being doomed by a runaway third quarter.

Pierson/Bridgehampton was down 21-14 when the first half whistle blew, but Eastport/South Manor outscored the Lady Whalers 18-5 in the third to put the game well out of reach. Pierson/Bridgehampton did manage to outscore Eastport/South Manor in the fourth 12-9 but the Lady Whalers could not overcome the 48-31 final score. Leading all scorers on the night was Sarah Barrett with 17. Senior forward Samantha James added six while senior guard Amanda Busiello chipped in four points.