by Benito Vila
After a pre-season that saw the Pierson girls’ drop three games to Class B schools in League VII and League VI, the Lady Whalers started their League VIII schedule with a 53-37 win over Southold at home Friday.
The team overcame adversity off the court before the game, the seniors learning early in the day one of their kindergarten buddies (now in seventh grade) is likely losing a two-year battle with cancer.
According to athletic director Montgomery Granger, putting off the home opener was considered by the administration, but the girls and their coach, Dennis Case, agreed to play as scheduled.
The game tipped off soon after Southold took the JV contest, those Lady Clippers taking control early on. That was not the case in the varsity game, the Lady Whalers running out to leads of 15-6 after the first quarter and 33-18 at the half.
The Pierson varsity left little doubt to the outcome in their game by pushing the score to 45-23 after the third period, that advantage proving to be enough even as Southold cut into the lead in the fourth.
Senior co-captains Sarah Barrett and Samantha James led the Lady Whalers with 15 and 11 points respectively, sophomore Emily Hinz netting seven and senior Kaci Koehne adding 6.
Freshman Bridget Canavan scored five points and senior Amanda Busiello three, with freshman Casey Gilbride, senior Nina Hemby and freshman Katherine Matthers each recording a pair.
The girls’ next league contest comes after the school break, once again at home, Mercy set to make their way to Pierson on January 7.
Whalers Fall in Southold
While the Lady Whalers were enjoying their success at home, the Whalers saw a good start come undone in Southold and the Clippers prevail, 43-34. An 11-5 Southold run in the third quarter proved to be difference on the scoreboard, putting Pierson down 32-21 to open the fourth.
The Whalers outscored the Clippers in the final period but not so much to get back into the game. Skyler Loesch led Pierson with ten points with Tyler Gilbride tossing in seven and Seamus Doyle and Jake Weingartner each adding six, those four seniors doing the bulk of the scoring. Sophomore Jackson Marienfeld knocked in five.
The Pierson boys have a non-league contest set for Tuesday at Hampton Bays and resume league play at Greenport January 7. Their home opener is set for January 11 against Stony Brook.