Tag Archive | "Pierson basketball"

Lady Whalers Claim Suffolk Hoops Title

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The Pierson girls basketball team celebrating its win over Southold in the Suffolk County Class C final on Tuesday.

The Pierson girls basketball team celebrating its win over Southold in the Suffolk County Class C final on Tuesday.

By Gavin Menu; photography by Michael Heller

Clearly there’s something special going on with the current class of female athletes at Pierson High School. For the third consecutive season dating back to last spring, the Lady Whalers are champions of Suffolk County.

This time it was the girls basketball program solidifying its return to prominence with a 54-49 victory over Southold in the Suffolk Class C Championship at Northport High School on Tuesday afternoon, giving the Lady Whalers their first county title in basketball since 2000. This coming on the heels of the program’s first League VIII title in 22 years.

“I told these girls we had a chance to be the best team in 20 years,” head coach Kevin Barron said. “And they ran with it.”

Next up for Pierson is the Suffolk B-C game this Saturday night at 6 p.m. against Hampton Bays at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue, with the winner advancing to the Suffolk Small Schools title game against the Class A champion on Monday at Farmingdale State College at 5 p.m.

The Long Island Championship, likely to be played against Nassau’s Friends Academy, will double as a state regional semifinal on March 4 at 4 p.m., also at St. Joe’s.

Pierson withstood a barrage of three-point baskets by Southold in the first half on Tuesday and clawed back to overcome a 12-point first-half deficit in the game’s final two minutes.

Kasey Gilbride and Erica Selyukova, the staples who connect Pierson’s last three championship teams in softball, field hockey and basketball, were crucial down the stretch, with Gilbride, who played the entire fourth quarter with four fouls, hitting a reverse layup with 2:09 remaining to tie the game at 49 apiece. Moments later, a foul shot by Isabel Peters gave Pierson the lead, and Selyukova’s full-court baseball pass found a streaking Bridget Canavan, who put the Lady Whalers ahead by three with 13.3 seconds to play.

Selyukova, who finished 12 points and 16 rebounds, iced the game by hitting two foul shots with less than 10 seconds to play.

“You can ask anyone, even our opponents, and every team says they don’t know who to guard because we have so many great players,” said Gilbride, who led Pierson with 13 points. “It makes it really hard on our opponents.”

Canavan contributed a solid all-around game and finished with eight points, eight rebounds and four blocks. Senior Ashley Nill had four points off the bench, and May Evjen scored all nine of her points in the first half before fouling out with just over three minutes gone in the third quarter.

“I was nervous when May went out,” Barron said about Evjen, the team’s co-captain alongside senior Eilis Sheil. “She got that fourth foul so quickly, and I turned around to put in a sub, and she got her fifth.”

Barron praised Peters, who is just a freshman, for performing well in such a big game.

“Isabel stepped up, for a freshman, that was unbelievable,” Barron said. “Without her we would have been in deep trouble.”

Justina Babcock finished with 12 points for Southold and Carrie Gehring ended her decorated career with 11 points and 16 rebounds. Gehring’s fifth foul with 1:59 remaining gave Peters the foul shot with which she gave Pierson the lead for good.

Bridgehampton Lives to Fight Another Day

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Bridgehampton will play at Greenport in a Suffolk County Class D semifinal on Wednesday, February 12 at 6 p.m.

Bridgehampton will play at Greenport in a Suffolk County Class D semifinal on Wednesday, February 12 at 6 p.m.

By Gavin Menu; photography by Michael Heller

The Suffolk County Class D playoffs were scheduled to begin last night, February 12, with a veritable frenzy of competition compared to years past as four teams including Greenport, Smithtown Christian, Shelter Island and Bridgehampton kicked off the 2014 boys basketball postseason.

The top-seeded Porters were scheduled to host Bridgehampton last night in a game that occurred too late for this edition. The Killer Bees successfully petitioned Section XI, the county’s governing body of athletics, for a berth despite finishing the regular-season with a sub-.500 record against League VIII competition.

Coverage from last night’s game is available at sagharboronline.com. The winner will have advanced to play either Smithtown Christian or Shelter Island for the Class D Championships at Longwood High School at noon on Saturday.

In recent years, only two Class D schools have faced off for the county championship. But parity ruled the ranks this season, with Greenport, Smithtown Christian and Shelter Island all finishing with 8-8 records in league play. Bridgehampton finished 7-9, but was 5-3 against Class D schools, which was the determining factor in Section XI’s decision to let the Bees compete.

“Right now, we’re all the same, and anyone can beat anyone on any given night,” head coach Carl Johnson said on Monday after the Section XI brackets were announced. “Whoever is playing and executing the best is going to win the game.”

Bridgehampton had a chance to stamp its own ticket to the postseason last week, but suffered a 68-64 loss to Greenport at home on Thursday, February 6. The Bees led by as many as 17 points in the first half, but Greenport’s Angel Colon emerged from halftime on fire, scoring 10 straight points to trim Bridgehampton’s lead to 40-37 in a matter of minutes.

Foul trouble was a major factor all night as well, with both Josh Lamison and Tylik Furman, Bridgehampton’s top two players, fouling out in the fourth quarter. The Bees have a short bench and regularly play their starting five the distance when foul trouble is not a factor.

Furman finished with 25 points against Greenport, while Lamison had 19.

“We’re going to have to re-think our strategy, and try to keep the game close while they’re on the bench with foul trouble,” Johnson said on Monday.

Gavin Dibble, who also fouled out in the fourth quarter, led Greenport with 25 points while Colon finished with 16.

The Killer Bees’ role players, including Henry Kotz, Kevin Feliciano, Matt Hochstedler and Max Cheng, played hard down the stretch alongside regular starters Anaje Lamb and Jerome Walker, but the team lacked the offensive firepower to hold a three-point lead when Furman joined Lamison on the bench with 5:04 remaining. Greenport closed out the game with a 9-0 run.

The Bees finished the regular season with a 53-30 win over Knox on Friday.