Lady Whalers Primed for League Schedule, Boys Win Before Holiday

Pierson's Chastin Giles flies to the hoop as the Lady Whalers took on the Babylon Lady Panthers at Pierson on Friday, 12/22/17
Pierson’s Chastin Giles flies to the hoop against Babylon on December 22. Michael Heller photos

By Gavin Menu

Sometimes, in the early going of a sports season, it’s not wins and losses that tell the whole story. The Pierson-Bridgehampton girls basketball team, for example, played its best game of the season in a 51-48 loss at Comsewogue, according to head coach Kevin Barron.

Which is not to say there hasn’t been plenty of winning for the Lady Whalers so far this season. After a sleepy holiday break with just one non-league game, a 57-22 loss to Patchogue-Medford on December 27, Pierson is 7-3 with the bulk of the league schedule still ahead.

And it will begin against the toughest competition League VII has to offer with a game at Mattituck on Monday, January 8, at 5:45 p.m. The Tuckers, the defending champions from a season ago, are a perfect 5-0 atop the league standings and handed Pierson its only league loss of the year so far back on December 6.

Katie Kneeland shoots over a Babylon defender.

“I don’t think we’re playing our best basketball yet,” Barron said Tuesday after the holiday break had ended. “We’ve slowed down a little bit lately. We’ve taken a couple steps back. We have to be more consistent and having these two weeks off from game play we’re going to focus on getting back to basics a little bit.”

Playing in their home gym against Babylon on December 22, the Lady Whalers won their seventh game of the season, 54-44, with Chastin Giles and Celia Barranco working a beautiful inside-out game all night long. Both finished with 15 points, while Katie Kneeland contributed a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

In past years, Pierson has competed in the Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament at Hampton Bays High School during the school break. But with Class C rival Southold/Greenport scheduled to compete again, Barron decided to take a pass. The Lady Whalers faced Southold four times last season, once in the holiday tournament, twice during the regular season and again in the playoffs, which he said was too much.

“I want to play other opponents,” Barron said, adding that some tougher tests can only help the team improve.

Against Patchogue on December 27, much of the team struggled with Kneeland the only Pierson player to score in double figures with 13. The team came out flat from the start, Barron said, and trailed 21-3 after the first quarter.

Following Monday’s game at Mattituck, Pierson will play another road game at Mercy on Wednesday, January 10, before returning home to face Center Moriches on January 17 at 6:15 p.m.

Pierson Boys Win One for the Holidays

The Pierson boys team entered the holiday break on a high note with a 60-49 win over Port Jefferson on December 20. The game was tight and was largely decided in the fourth quarter, when the Whalers outscored the visiting Royals, 20-11. Will Martin led Pierson with a season-high 32 points, while Henry Brooks added 12. E.J. Burke had 14 rebounds for Pierson, which improved to 2-5 for this first stretch of the season.

The Whalers were set to begin the bulk of their League VIII schedule with a home game against Shelter Island on Wednesday night after press time. The team will travel to Greenport on Wednesday, January 10, for a 6:15 p.m. game and will host Southold on Friday, January 12, also at 6:15 p.m.