Whalers Frenzy at Annual Spirit Night in Sag Harbor

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A large contingent of students filled the stands to cheer on the Whalers against Southold on Spirit Night on Friday.

A large contingent of students filled the stands to cheer on the Whalers against Southold on Spirit Night on Friday.

By Gavin Menu; photography by Michael Heller

Pierson’s annual Spirit Night, organized by the Sag Harbor Booster Foundation, played out in front of packed house Friday night in the high school gymnasium, where a celebratory mood was damped in the end by a series of three-point attempts that failed to drop in the waning seconds of the night’s main event—a boys basketball game against rival Southold.

Pierson's Will Martin goes up for tough shot against Southold.

Pierson’s Will Martin goes up for tough shot against Southold.

The Settlers trailed by as many as eight points in the second half, but came charging back in front of a wild crowd of students and fans to escape with a 60-57 victory. Pierson’s Will Martin and Sean Sloane had opportunities to tie the game in the final seconds, but their shots were off the mark as the buzzer sounded.

Still, the night was seen as a resounding success with not a seat to be had in the home bleechers. Both the middle and high school choruses sang the national anthem, and the Robotics Club came out for a demonstration.

Earlier in the evening, the Lady Whalers basketball team put its stamp on the night with a 43-26 win over visiting Mercy. Pierson’s Katie Kneeland, a freshman with plenty more Spirit Nights ahead, finished with a game-high 12 points, while Nia Dawson, with 11, and Isabel Peters, with 10, also came through with double figures.

The Lady Whalers, who lost 57-36 to first-place Mattituck on January 20, improved to 6-2 in League VII and 10-5 overall as a result of

Friday’s win. They now will have to wait for another team to upend Mattituck (9-1) to have a chance at a league title, although the Class C postseason will arrive early next month regardless.

The Pierson boys, which had been the midst of a four-game winning streak including a 69-57 win at Southold on January 2, fell to 4-2 in League VIII and 7-6 overall.

Pierson's Nia Dawson shoots against Mercy.

Pierson’s Nia Dawson shoots against Mercy.

Pierson's Sean Sloane shoots as the Whalers took on the Southold Settlers during Pierson Spirit Night at the Pierson Gymnasium on Friday night, 1/22/16

Pierson’s Sean Sloane in traffic.

Pierson's Andrew James shoots as the Whalers took on the Southold Settlers during Pierson Spirit Night at the Pierson Gymnasium on Friday night, 1/22/16

Andrew James shoots as the Whalers took on Southold for Spirit Night on Friday.

The Pierson High School Robotics Team gave a demonstration during halftime during Pierson Spirit Night at the Pierson Gymnasium on Friday night, 1/22/16

The Pierson High School Robotics Team gave a demonstration during halftime during Pierson Spirit Night at the Pierson Gymnasium on Friday night, 1/22/16

The new Pierso High School Cheerleading Squad performed a routine during halftime of the boys game during Pierson Spirit Night at the Pierson Gymnasium on Friday night, 1/22/16

The new Pierso High School Cheerleading Squad performed a routine during halftime of the boys game during Pierson Spirit Night at the Pierson Gymnasium on Friday night, 1/22/16

A large contingent of students filled the stands to cheer on their team during the basketball game between the Pierson Whalers and the Southold Settlers during Pierson Spirit Night at the Pierson Gymnasium on Friday night, 1/22/16

Whalers pride was on full display on Friday night at Pierson.

The Pierson Whalers basketball team bursts through a banner onto the court as they as they are cheered on by their cheerleaders prior to their game against the Southld Settlers during Pierson Spirit Night at the Pierson Gymnasium on Friday night, 1/22/16

The Pierson Whalers basketball team bursts through a banner onto the court as they as they are cheered on by cheerleaders prior to their game against Southld on Friday night.

Pierson High School Athletic Director Eric Bramoff, at left, raises a cheer for all of the elementary school basketball teams during the halftime of the Lady Whalers basketball game against the McGann-Mercy Lady Monarchs during Pierson Spirit Night at the Pierson Gymnasium on Friday night, 1/22/16

Pierson High School Athletic Director Eric Bramoff, at left, raises a cheer for all of the elementary school basketball teams during the halftime of the Lady Whalers basketball game against Mercy.

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