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.
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.