By Gavin Menu
Kevin Barron, the head coach of the Pierson/Bridgehampton girls basketball team, did not mince words while praising one of the best groups of female athletes to come through Pierson in years.
It was senior night Tuesday at Pierson, where the girls followed an emotional pre-game ceremony with a 43-20 win over Stony Brook. Pierson recovered from a mid-season rut and won three straight games over the last week to qualify for the Suffolk County Class C playoffs, which are tentatively scheduled to begin on Saturday, February 18, though an outbracket game could be added earlier.
Senior Isabel Peters, a three-sport athlete who Barron described on Tuesday as “one of the most dedicated athletes I’ve ever coached,” drilled four three-pointers and finished with 13 points and six rebounds against Stony Brook to lead the Lady Whalers to a 9-6 record in League VII, and 13-6 overall.
Nia Dawson, who according to Barron is “one of the most dynamic players in our league,” made the play of the night late in the second quarter. She fought for a loose ball near half court, dribbled in a circle as she fell to the floor, and raced up court before drilling a long-range three-pointer that sent the home crowd into a frenzy.
Prior to the game, Barron and the rest of the crowd honored the team’s five seniors, including Peters, Dawson, Alyssa Kneeland, Lottie Evans and Lily Kot. Together the group has elevated the basketball program to championship heights, and as a group made lasting impressions in other sports from tennis to volleyball and soccer to softball. They will graduate in the spring but not before making one last charge through the Class C playoffs.
Waiting will be rival Port Jefferson, which has amassed an impressive 14-1 league record and will be the top-seed in the Class C playoffs. Southold/Greenport, which was 7-8 as of Wednesday, will likely earn a playoff spot regardless of its final record and will likely play Pierson in an outbracket game, with the winner advancing to face Port Jeff for the county championship at Riverhead High School on February 18.
In a way, the playoffs will start early as Pierson will close out the regular season with a game at Port Jeff on Thursday, February 9 at 4:30 p.m.