Giles Leads Lady Whalers to Spirit Night Victory

Pierson's Chastin Giles soars up for two during the Lady Whalers game vs. the Southold Lady Settlers during 2018 Spirit Night in the Pierson High School gymnasium on Friday, 1/26/18

Chastin Giles put on a matinee show at Pierson High School for Spirit Night on Friday, doing so with the town’s entire basketball community, kindergarten through 12th grade, looking on from the sidelines.

Pierson’s dynamic sophomore point guard turned open-court steals into layups and her razor-sharp passing set up teammates with easy layup attempts in the early going of a 49-32 victory over Southold/Greenport that pushed the Lady Whalers to 7-4 in league play this season, still a few games behind Class C rival Mercy and Class B Mattituck, which was undefeated in League VII as of Monday morning.

Giles scored eight first-quarter points on Friday but many of those early layup attempts, including a few of her own, fell off the mark and Southold kept things close in the opening game of the Sag Harbor Booster Foundation’s seventh annual Spirit Night celebration.

Pierson’s Katie Kneeland takes an elbow to the head as she goes up for a basket

Following a pep rally and competition between high school classes, the gym at Pierson was mobbed — literally packed to the walls — with children, coaches and parents involved with Sag Harbor Youth Hoop, which has ballooned to include 175 boys and girls this season, many of whom attended Spirit Night for a “parade of players” and a series of exhibition games during breaks in the varsity action.

Giles and her teammate fed off that excitement and jumped out to a 13-2 lead halfway through the first quarter. The second quarter was marred by a series of missed shots and turnovers, however, and the Lady Settlers cut the lead to seven at halftime. They trailed by eight early in the fourth quarter and were riding some momentum until Giles scored seven straight points for the Lady Whalers to put the game out of reach.

“By far this was the best game she’s played all season,” Pierson head coach Kevin Barron said about Giles, who finished with a season-high 23 points. “She’s fixing a lot of stuff that we’re asking her to fix, which is great.”

Junior Katie Kneeland finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds to complement Giles on the offensive end, and Celia Barranco grabbed 10 rebounds.

Pierson was scheduled to play at Babylon on Wednesday, January 31, and will close out the regular season with home games against Stony Brook, on Wednesday, February 7, at 4:30 p.m., and Mercy on February 8 at 6 p.m.