Tag Archive | "Port Jefferson"

REVISED: Lady Whalers Dominate Under Homecoming Lights

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By Gavin Menu; Photography by Michael Heller

By Gavin Menu

Pierson High School celebrated homecoming on Saturday with the first night field hockey game in school history, although it was Bridgehampton student India Hemby who was named “Da Playa” of the game following Pierson-Bridgehampton’s dominant 5-0 win over Port Jefferson.

Hemby was awarded the team’s self-made and somewhat tattered player-of-the-game hat after she scored two goals to lead the Lady Whalers to victory. Standing in the glow of the portable lights, with “Da Playa” hat firmly positioned on her head, Hemby joked, “I don’t even go to school here!”

“It’s not my homecoming but playing under the lights in front of all these people was great motivation for us,” Hemby continued, having turned more serious. “It was really fun out here for us.”

The Sag Harbor Booster Foundation raised funds for this year’s homecoming events. According to club member Robert Evjen, the weekend cost roughly $5,000 to put on. The Sag Harbor Booster Foundation, in conjunction with the Sag Harbor Fire Department, Village Police and Mashashimuet Park Board, hosted the inaugural night game under lights in front of a crowd of well over 100 people.

“We felt that having a game outdoors, in the evening, under the lights, was a way to enrich the lives of not only our student athletes, but also transfer that school spirit into community spirit,” said Evjen, who pointed out that the cost of the lights alone was $2,000.

Evjen said the booster club raises funds through community events such as last winter’s Quiz Show and Spirit Night, both of which will occur again this year. Membership is also available for $25 per year, or $150 for a lifetime membership.

“We are fortunate that we have great community support and lots of parents have become members,” Evjen said.

As for the game, the Lady Whalers responded immediately to the electric atmosphere with a first-half goal by Hemby and a dominant second half in which they scored four times. Kasey Gilbride, Claire Kunzeman and Ana Sherwood, a super talented eighth-grader, also scored for the Lady Whalers, while junior goalie Emma Romeo turned in her fifth shutout of the young season.

“It was awesome and a great honor to be the first team to play under lights,” Gilbride said. “We have to thank the Booster Club for everything they did, and the entire community for coming out to support us.”

With the win the Lady Whalers moved to 4-1 in Division III play and 6-1 overall. They have now defeated every other Class C team in Suffolk County. Port Jefferson, which fell to 0-6, Southampton and Babylon have all lost to the young, but energetic Lady Whalers this season.

“I’m excited about that, and now we have to build on it,” head coach Shannon Judge said after Saturday night’s game. “We play Southampton again on October 11, so we’ll really see where we stand then.”

The Lady Whalers played at Miller Place last night after press time and will host Rocky Point today, October 4, at 4 p.m. at Mashashimuet Park.

Lady Whalers Top Lady Royals on Way to Finals

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web 3_LWhalers-Port Jeff Girls Basketball C Semifinal_3272

By Andrew Rudansky


With a trip to the Suffolk County Class C championship game on the line, the Pierson/Bridgehampton Lady Whalers shined, beating the visiting Port Jefferson Lady Royals (6-6), 37-30, in the first round of the girls’ varsity basketball playoffs.

The game took place on Friday, February 17 at 5 p.m., part of a string of Section XI playoff games held at the Pierson High School gym. The game also marked the Lady Whalers’ seventh straight appearance in the Class C post season.

The Lady Whalers featured a more physical offense than their opponent, built off of post play on the inside by sophomore forward Bridget Canavan and junior guard Rachel Saidman.

This season the Pierson/Bridgehampton team averaged 31.7 points per game (ppg) in the regular season while allowing 36.4 points per game. The Lady Whalers did fair better in league VIII play, averaging 35.2 ppg, while allowing only 30 ppg.

In Friday’s win the team used this aggressive style of play to charge the lane, scoring easy layups and getting to the penalty line for free shots.

The first half started as a back-and-forth defensive slugfest, neither team allowing the other to lead by more than a few points. Pierson/Bridgehampton struggled to find their shot in the half, missing wide open jumpers and failing to convert on offensive rebounds. Luckily for the home team, their competitors were fairing just as poorly.

The Pierson Lady Whalers went to the locker room at the half with a 20-13 lead after they held the Lady Royals to just 2 points in the second quarter.

Coming out of the locker room, Port Jefferson scored 4 unanswered points and were looking like they were just getting streaky. This came to a grinding halt when the Lady Whalers answered with a dominant 10 point run of their own. The run was led by senior guard Sariah Cafiero, who finished with a team leading 8 points, 5 rebounds, 6 steals and 1 assist.

From there the Lady Whalers led by 10 or more for most of the second half, showing that their late season struggles were a thing of the past.

Saidman finished with 7 points, 4 rebounds and 1 steal. Junior guard Emily Hinz had a strong game as well with 6 points, 4 rebounds and 1 steal. Canavan and forward Julia Schiavoni both led the team with 8 rebounds each in the game.

The Pierson/Bridgehampton squad made several defensive mistakes in the game, handing out a flurry of poor fouls and putting the Port Jefferson team in the bonus early in the fourth quarter. However, even at the line the Lady Royals failed to produce, going 5-14 in the fourth quarter.

The Lady Whalers finished the regular season in third place with a record of 7-5 in League VIII, stumbling into the playoffs after they lost their last two league games.

This playoff win on Friday helped make up for the Lady Whalers’ disappointing performance in the team’s Senior Game, the last regular season home game, against the Stony Brook Bears on Monday, Feb. 13.

The team will face off against the undefeated first seed playoff team, the Southold Lady Settlers, on a neutral site at St. Josephs College in Patchogue. The game, played for the Suffolk County Class C title, will be held on Monday, February 20 at 8 p.m.

Ladies Need Win for County Title

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By Benito Vila

It was truly a tribal experience in Mashashimuet Park yesterday evening, over 100 voices cheering, Pierson varsity softball down 5-4 in the bottom of the fifth in game two of the Class C championship series, Lady Whalers at second and third, one out, needing a run to tie and a win to take the title.

That’s as good as it got for the home side, Port Jefferson Lady Royal pitcher Michiko McGivney setting down two Pierson batters on strikes and keeping her team in the lead. McGivney then put the game out of reach in the top of the seventh, a bases-loaded, two-out single to left putting the Lady Royals up 8-4 and coolly quieting the Lady Whaler faithful.

In the bottom of the seventh, Sam Federico started up the cheers again, smacking a single to right, taking second when Katie Osiecki also socked a one-out single to right. But then the promising rally came undone, a quick shortstop-to-second-to-first double play killing any chance of a Pierson comeback.

The best-of-three Class C series now even, one game apiece, the Lady Whalers travel to Port Jefferson tomorrow for game three of the series. Pierson took game one there Saturday, 5-2, Federico and Kaci Koehne sparking the attack and pitcher Melanie Stafford keeping the defense sharp in throwing a complete game five-hitter.

The winner of tomorrow’s series finale moves into the state tournament and the “Super Regional” semi-finals at Mitchell Field in Hempstead on Tuesday, June 9. That semi-final match-up pits the Suffolk Class C Champ against the Nassau champ at 1 p.m., the winner there playing a regional final at 4 p.m.

After yesterday’s loss, Lady Whaler coach Melissa Edwards said she would focus on hitting and fielding work in practice today. Looking ahead to tomorrow’s do-or-die contest, she added, “We will continue to work on building our confidence at the plate and our reactions to the ball in the field. Bloop hits that fell in and quiet bats let the game get away. We go there knowing we hit first. We know we need to attack early and we plan to. And when we get in the field, we have to move a whole lot better to keep them off base.”

Saturday’s Win

In describing the game one win, Coach Edwards reported, “We got on the bus ready to win, and the whole bus ride there I felt something different with this team. They were all upbeat and smiles. We got to the field, did our warm-ups and got ourselves ready to go.”

“We jumped up early, scoring three in the first inning. Natalie [Abbene] led off with a single that got us fired up, then Kaci and Sam singled. With Sam’s single scoring Natalie. Katie came up and hit a single to score Sam and Kaci.”

The Pierson girls put together a two-run rally in the fourth, Coach Edwards recounting, “Nat led off with a single, Kara [Gengarelly] singled, and then Sam Fed hit a bomb to left, a triple, that scored both Nat and Kara.” On the day, Federico went three-for-four, with Koehne, Pintauro, Abbene and Osiecki all going two-for-four.

Coach Edwards said afterwards, “It was a great day for our bats. Nat sparked the game right from the beginning by beating out a bunt, Sam’s triple in the fourth was a monster, and Melanie’s pitching was great. She hit her spots and our defense was there behind her all game with great plays by Sam, Katie and Nat in particular.”

 

Whalers Stun Port Jeff for County Championship

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By Benito Vila

It was over almost as soon as it began Thursday as Pierson outplayed Port Jefferson in game two of the best-of-three Class C championship, taking the county title in a 13-1 rout. The Whalers held off the Royals, 8-6, in the series opener in Mashashimuet Park Tuesday, a nail-biter that ended with the bases full of Royals and the go-ahead run at first base.

Both sides expected much of the same intensity in the rematch at Port Jefferson Thursday, but instead 14 Pierson batters made their way to the plate in the top of the first inning with the Whalers posting eight runs before they even took the field. After retiring the Royals easily in the bottom of the first, the Whalers came in and batted around again, re-taking the field for the bottom of the second up, 12-0.

From there the Pierson boys had an easy time of it, starting pitcher and senior tri-captain Joe Mascali making pitches that further frustrated his Port Jeff hosts. In all, Mascali threw six innings of two-hit ball, striking out four and walking only one. There were no errors in the field behind him, the only miscue coming in the middle innings on a high pop that eluded him although he quickly made up for that from the mound.

Classmate and tri-captain Casey Crowley relieved Mascali for the seventh, struggling with his control at first but finding a way to strikeout the side and set off the Whaler celebration. The one-sided win gives Pierson its eighth county title and its first since 2006 and improves the team’s record to 15-8 overall after a 12-6 season in League VIII play.

On the way home, parents, friends and fans alike organized an impromptu parade, fire department trucks greeting the team bus on the Bridgehampton Turnpike and escorting it up and down Main Street, players hooting, hollering and waving their shirts out the bus’ safety windows. Back at the school, family members gathered for more pictures and a final re-telling of what was a series of odd occurrences that all seemed to benefit the Whalers.

And it all started in that first inning, a lead-off walk to Casey Crowley kicking off a sequence that saw three more walks, two hit batsmen, two errors and some timely hitting. By the end of the 14-batter Whaler first, Crowley had walked and scored twice and Kyle McGowin had two hits and three runs batted in.

McGowin ended the day three-for-three with four RBIs, with Dane Riva, Tyler Gilbride, Gavin Kudlak and senior tri-captain Ryan Miller each coming home with two hits apiece. Riva, McGowin, Miller, Kudlak and first baseman Joey Dowling all made plays in the field that kept the Royals from finding their way around the bases.

The Whalers take on the county’s Class B champion next Friday, May 29, with the winner of that C-at-B game traveling to the Class A champion on Monday, June 1 for the county’s small school title.

Pierson can advance in the state tournament by outlasting Nassau County champ Oyster Bay in the Long Island Class C Championship and Southeast Regional on June 8.

Let the Games Begin: Pierson Opens Class C Championship Today — And Wins!

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By Benito Vila

It’s school budget vote and school board election day throughout New York today and it would seem that hopes and dreams hang in the balance everywhere around the state.

A whole different set of educational intangibles are in play at Mashashimuet Park this afternoon, the 2009 Pierson varsity baseball Whalers hosting the Port Jefferson Royals at 4 p.m. to open the Suffolk County Class C championships. The county title will be bestowed on the winner of a best-of-three series, game two set for Port Jefferson Thursday and game three, if needed, back in the park

Saturday at 11 a.m.

The Whalers took the regular season series, two games to one, winning 4-3 and 5-1 and losing 6-5. The two one-run games were hard-fought nail-biters, both teams playing with an intensity and flair that satisfied coaches and fans on both sides.

It is expected that the teams will send their aces to the mound today, Kyle McGowin for the Whalers and Brendan Duffy for the Royals.

The Whalers completed the season 12-6, third in the league, just ahead of 10-8 Port Jefferson. A pair of Class B schools finished first and second, 14-4 Southold/Greenport earning the tie-breaker over 14-4 Center Moriches.

 

 

Two Wins Lift Ladies Into Tourney With Port Jeff

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By Benito Vila

Game on the line. It’s the way every athlete dreams of playing. That sort of intensity has become part of the Pierson varsity softball of late.

Going into the week, the Lady Whalers needed a pair of wins to be eligible for playoffs. In earning the first 5-0 on the road in Southold Friday and then clinching their spot Saturday 4-3 in extra innings at Mercy, the team experienced playoff pressure and came away on top.

That was not the case Tuesday in Mashashimuet Park, the girls seeing a 1-0 lead evaporate in the top of the seventh against league-leader Hampton Bays. Lady Whalers’ coach Melissa Edwards saw base hits by the Lady Baymen and sloppy play in the field “snowball in the wrong direction”, Pierson coming into their last at-bat down 4-1.

Three strikeouts around a single were not enough to undo the damage done, the Lady Whalers’ league mark falling to 8-7 on the seniors’ last home game. Despite the sudden loss, the girls and their families celebrated their season with a post-game cookout festooned with balloons, posters and flowers.

 

Port Jeff and more Port Jeff

 

Yesterday the entire team made its way to Hampton Bays to scout first- round playoff opponent Port Jefferson. Tomorrow the Lady Whalers go west to play those same Lady Royals in Port Jeff to conclude the regular season.

The best-of-three series between Pierson and Port Jeff that opens tournament for the Lady Whalers will crown the county’s Class C champion. The winner will move further into the county tournament and also into regional play in the state tournament.

Game one of the Class C title series is set for Saturday, May 23 at 11 a.m., most likely in Port Jeff, unless the Lady Royals lose their last two. Coach Edwards is hoping to keep her team sharp next week by scheduling scrimmages with other playoff eligible teams and practicing in the park.

“Whatever we do,” said Coach Edwards Tuesday, “We’re going to hit. Our offense needs work. We have to pick it up a notch or two now. Nothing makes games easier to win than scoring runs.”

 

Timely Hitting

Scoring wasn’t a problem last Friday, the Lady Whalers posting two runs in their first at bat. Natalie Abbene led off the game with a single, moved to third on a Katie Osiecki base hit and scored on a Samanthe Federico sacrifice fly. A passed ball later brought in Osiecki, the team taking the field for the first time with an immediate advantage.

Pitcher Melanie Stafford settled in within the circle and kept the Lady Clippers quiet, allowing the Lady Whalers’ 2-0 lead to hold up. A Southold error jump-started a Pierson rally in the sixth, Danielle Schiavoni getting on, Brianna Hand singling her to second and Abby Gawronski singling her home to put Pierson up 3-0.

The Lady Whalers pulled away in the seventh, adding two more runs on RBI singles by Hand and Megan Pintauro to make the score 5-0. A single by Federico and a walk to Kaci Koehne set up the rally.

Stafford finished the game with a two-hitter, striking out 10 in recording her fourth win of the year.

 

Extra Innings

 

Stafford was also the pitcher Saturday at Mercy, continuing her string of shutout innings into the home fourth. By then, Pierson already had a 1-0 lead, an Osiecki double, a Pintauro single and a Schiavoni sacrifice fly accounting for the lone run.

In the fourth, Mercy made the most of three singles, a walk and a groundout, the quick flurry by giving the Lady Monarchs a 2-1 lead. Pierson regained the lead in the sixth, singles by Federico and Koehne and an error loading the bases and the runs scoring when Pintauro was hit by a pitch and Schiavoni singled.

The 3-2 Lady Whaler lead was short-lived, an infield error in the bottom of the sixth putting a Mercy runner on and a second infield error bringing her in. A scoreless seventh sent the game into extra innings, every pitch and every at-bat becoming ever more meaningful to both sides.

The Lady Whalers broke through in the eighth, a Pintauro double putting pressure on the Lady Monarchs. Pinch running for Pintauro, Alicia Tagliasacchi took third on an infield error and scored on a Lindsay Warne ground out to put Pierson ahead 4-3. Stafford pitched a scoreless eighth to close out the win for the Lady Whalers and clinch the team’s playoff berth. Federico, Koehne and Pintauro all went two-for-three in the game.

 

Come Undone

 

Playoff intensity was palpable Tuesday, the ladies hosting first place Hampton Bays and the game going into the fourth 0-0. The team broke through in the bottom of the fourth, a Pintauro walk, Hand bunt single, Gawronski single, a force out and a Kara Gengarelly single earning Pierson a 1-0 lead.

Stafford sustained that slim margin into the seventh, the Lady Whalers taking the field needing just three outs to secure second place in the standings and take the top Class C seed. Those lofty notions quickly came undone when the Lady Baymen suddenly banged out three hits. When the dust finally settled, Hampton Bays was up 4-1, Pierson learning a valuable lesson about playing under pressure, the game on the line.

 

Not So Perfect Ending for Whalers

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By Benito Vila

It seemed a perfect finish Friday. The Pierson baseball Whalers were on the field in Mashashimuet Park in the top of the seventh, up 5-4, after taking the lead in the bottom of the sixth and needed just three outs to sweep a three-game series from Port Jefferson and move within one game of clinching a playoff berth. 

When Whaler relief pitcher T.J. Arreguin induced the first Royal batter to pop out to Tyler Gilbride at second, a feel-good buzz went through the Pierson crowd on the third base side. That turned out to be the emotional high point for the home team when moments later a three-base error, a pitching change, a walk, a balk and a passed ball left Pierson down 6-5, merriment turned to sudden befuddlement and disbelief.

Coming up in the home half the first, two Whalers went down, but Joey Dowling gave the faithful something to cheer about by lining a single to center. Dane Riva stepped in, worked the count and drilled a ball down the third base line that looked destined for left field. Instead, the ball hit the bag and caromed up generously to the Royals third baseman, who fired across the infield to get Riva by a step for the last out.

The late-inning loss leaves Pierson at 8-4 in League VIII play and 8-6 overall, two wins short a post-season berth in the Suffolk County Class C tournament. The win clinched a spot for the Royals, who at 10-5 are the Whalers’ likely first-round opponent.

The rain Tuesday washed away the opener of a three-game set with 10-2 Southold, the revised schedule calling for the Whalers to host the Clippers yesterday and then travel there Thursday and Friday. Next Tuesday, Pierson has Smithtown Christian coming into the park Tuesday and Friday for a pair of 4:30 p.m. starts, the Whalers traveling to the Crusaders Wednesday. Those six games conclude the varsity regular season.

 

A Win Away

 

The Whalers went to play the Royals a roundabout way last Wednesday, an accident on 27 East sending them into Riverhead and getting them to the field 40 minutes late. A 4-3 Pierson win in the series opener the day before shortened the trip a bit and put pressure on Port Jeff to prove themselves.

Both teams moved through the first two frames without scoring, the sun starting to set behind center field. Pierson’s Gavin Kudlak drew a walk to open the Whaler third and Kyle McGowin made the score 2-0 by slicing a home run over the 325’ sign on the fence in right center.

Whaler pitcher Casey Crowley made that lead hold up, he and his fielders setting down the Royal batters without a run through the first five innings. In the top of the sixth, with the sun now directly in the batters’ eyes, Pierson added to their lead, a two-out rally making the score 5-0.

Those three runs came courtesy of a hit batsman, Crowley being plunked on the calf on an errant curveball to get the rally started. Kudlak drew another walk to put runners at first and second for McGowin, who doubled to center to drive in Crowley, Kudlak holding up at third. The pressure on the Royals to keep the game close, Ryan Miller doubled to left to bring in Kudlak and McGowin and put Pierson further ahead.

Before the Royals came to bat, the umpires stopped the game for 20 minutes to allow the sun to set. The first batter to step in against Crowley after the delay homered on the first pitch, but that was all the Royals were able to put together against the Pierson senior who struck out eight, walked four and gave up just three hits in pitching his second complete game win in four days.

 

A Good Game

 

A lead-off walk, followed by a stolen base, fielder’s choice and sacrifice fly, put Port Jeff up 1-0 in their first at-bat Friday. Pierson tied the score in their half of the inning, Crowley singling, taking second on a wild pitch, staying there on a walk to McGowin and coming in on an errant double-play attempt.

Whaler starter Joe Mascali, pitching through a hamstring strain, breezed through the second but saw two long hits land in the outfield and the Royals take a 2-1 lead in the third. His teammates put him back in the lead, 3-2, a high-bounding Gilbride chopper off the plate bringing in two runs and making the most of a McGowin walk and a Port Jeff error.

The Whalers extended the lead to 4-2 in the fourth when Mark Mahoney walked and Joe Dowling tripled. When the Whaler side was set down, it marked the fourth consecutive inning a Pierson runner was left in scoring position, an easy event to miss because of the score but one noticed along the foul lines and in the dugouts.

The pain of failing to bring those runners in was felt in the fifth, the Royals tying the score on a single, a walk and a hard hit double. After 85 pitches and a gritty effort, Mascali was relieved for the sixth, Arreguin coming in and setting down the Royals one-two-three.

The crispness of that inning sparked the Whaler attack in the bottom of the sixth, Riva and Crowley working out a pair of one-out walks and a Kudlak RBI single giving Pierson a 5-4 lead. But, once again, just as in the home fifth, Whaler runners were left on second and third, allowing the Royals to keep the game close.

 

The Unthinkable

 

When Arreguin retired the first Royal batter in the seventh, all seemed right in the Whalers’ world. The three-base outfield error that followed unnerved the reliever, who sent a pitch halfway up the backstop. That prompted a visit from Pierson coach Sean Crowley, who, in turn, summoned McGowin, from third in hopes of having his “ace” set down the next two Royals hitters for the save.

That was not be, the first Royal batter McGowin faced worked out a walk to put Port Jeff runners at first and third. A walk-off steal of second looked to be of no consequence until McGowin threw to first from the stretch, unaware of the steal, to balk in the tying run.

The Royals then turned to pressure up on the Whalers, a squeeze play seeing the ball bound past Pierson’s catcher as the go-ahead run came in safely, joy turning to a gut-wrenching churn on the Whaler side. McGowin gathered himself on the mound and set down the next two Royals, hoping his teammates could now keep him from a ten-pitch loss.

The throw to nip Riva at first, set off a celebration for the Royals who clinched a playoff berth with their win and left the Whalers to gather at home and consider what could have been. In the quiet there, Coach Crowley complimented his team on their effort and encouraged the Whalers to look for the good in the game.

In talking about the outcome yesterday, Coach Crowley said, “I hope they can now appreciate what they have to do when the pressure gets turned up a notch. We have to focus on every pitch, every situation. Over the years as a coach, I’ve seen kids and teams who don’t take what they’re doing seriously enough. Not this group. If anything, they were too hard on themselves. It’s a tough loss, but we can turn this into a learning experience and, now, with the playoffs starting in two weeks, we already know what it feels like to be in that kind of pressure situation.”

 

 

Whalers Clinch Playoff Berth in Win Over Smithtown Christian

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By Benito Vila

When things come together for team, it’s a beautiful thing to watch. And so it was last night as the Pierson boys’ basketball team prevailed 52-31 over Smithtown Christian to close out a tumultuous season by earning a berth in the Suffolk County Class C tournament.

A pre-game ceremony honored Whaler seniors Casey Crowley and Ryan Miller and the pair combined with junior captain Joey Dowling to put Pierson up 6-0 in the first quarter. A 15-2 run in the second quarter pushed the lead to 25-3, Miller and Dowling making the most of their opportunities.

Dowling led the charge in the second half, scoring eight to give him 19 points for the game; he was also a dominant force underneath, pulling down 16 rebounds. Miller came away with 13 points and Crowley five.

The win in the season finale, pushed Pierson’s league mark to 7-7 and took the sting out of losses to first-place 14-0 Greenport and second place 11-2 Stony Brook earlier in the week. The 73-45 loss to the Porters came at home last Friday, all-time Long Island scoring leader Ryan Creighton posting 28 points despite the tenacious defensive efforts of Tyler Gilbride and Skyler Loesch.

Monday found the Whalers in Stony Brook, down 17-7 to the Bears after the first quarter. Although Pierson closed the deficit to two in the third, the home team held on and won 48-39, making the game against the Crusaders last night a crucial “must win” if the Whalers were to play on.

 

Tuesday in Port Jefferson

As the county’s number four seed, Pierson travels to number one-seeded Port Jefferson Tuesday to play the Royals, who went 10-4 in League VII. The number three-seeded Mercy Monarchs (9-5 in League VIII) make their way to number two Stony Brook Tuesday. The winners of those games meet in Longwood at 3 p.m. next Friday, February 20 for the Class C championship.

In facing the Royals, the Whalers will match up against a team that has sharp outside shooters and strong inside play. Port Jefferson averaged over 60 points per game in League VII, while surrendering just over 40. Pierson meanwhile averaged just over 50 points per game and gave up 40 in League VIII.

 

Solid Tests

In Friday’s loss, Pierson faced a quick and physical Greenport team that used a defensive press to pick up points on turnovers and steals. The Porters took a 17-6 lead in the first quarter, but a pair of Crowley free-throws and Dowling buckets underneath with six minutes left in the second cut that lead to seven, 19-12. That run was undone by a 12-2 spurt by the Porters that gave the visitors a 31-14 halftime lead.

The second half saw Pierson score 31 but it was not enough to keep pace with the Porters’ attack, which scored 42. Crowley led the Whalers in points with 14, Dowling adding 12 and Luke Kirrane 8.

Pierson boys’ varsity coach Christian Johns said afterwards, “Our goal defensively was to make them earn points in the half-court. We tried to shorten the game and limit their transition baskets. I thought our intensity was there right from the opening tip and really didn’t drop off. Our guys definitely came forward and got after them. Obviously, Greenport is an extremely talented and athletic team that will make you pay for even the smallest mistake, their undefeated record shows that.”

In describing the loss to Stony Brook, Coach Johns explained the challenge his team faced from the start. “They hit a couple three-point shots in the first that got them going and forced us to play from behind. After we adjusted defensively and got the ball into our shooters’ hands, the game was much more even.”

 “Early in the third, we were within two but couldn’t seem to narrow the gap. They are a very fundamentally sound team and when they have a lead they are able to work the clock to maintain it. Both this game and Greenport were solid tests heading into our final game of the regular season.” Dowling led the scoring Monday with 14, Crowley contributed 11 and Jake Weingartner six.