Knowing his squad is the only Class C representative in Suffolk County this season, Pierson/Bridgehampton girls basketball head coach Kevin Barron wanted his players to focus on one thing: dominating League VI.
Through the first half of the season, the Lady Whalers have done just that.
Pierson won, 47-38, at Mattituck on Monday night, finishing the first half of its league season undefeated at 8-0 (9-3 overall) and in sole possession of first place. The victory also guaranteed that the Lady Whalers will finish their league season with a .500 record or better. With no Class C competition in Suffolk, there’s no telling what the postseason might be like for Pierson, but as Barron said, if the team’s focus continues to be on dominating its competition, everything will take care of itself.
“We’re just trying to keep this rolling. Our focus is dominating the league. That’s what we want to do,” he said. “Because they know that we’re C ‘champs’, or whatever you want to call it, I told them our goal should be those sectional games when we play the ‘B’ champion, then move on to the Small Schools Championship. That’s when we’re going to play the tougher competition and that will get us ready for the Nassau champion and regional playoffs.”
Mattituck came into Monday’s game undefeated as well, but Pierson took a lead in the first quarter that it never relinquished. Chastin Giles had 19 points and eight assists and Katie Kneeland added 19 points and 10 rebounds.
Prior to Monday’s game, Pierson defeated Greenport/Southold, 51-27, at home on Friday night, a game it led 19-4 after the first quarter and 45-21 after the third. Kneeland led the Lady Whalers with 17 points, Giles scored 10 points and Aziza El scored all nine of her points in the third quarter. Phoebe Arkinson scored all six of the Lady Whalers’ points in the fourth and was tough on the boards throughout the game.
It was a good bounce-back game, Barron said, after the Pierson’s 51-41 victory at Smithtown Christian on January 9. Pierson found itself trailing by a point at halftime of that game—the first time it had trailed at the half of any league game so far this season—but it held the much improved Lady Knights to a three-point third quarter. Kneeland had 20 points, Carly Browngardt scored 14 and Giles had 13.
Pierson’s schedule turned over to its second half this week. It hosted Hampton Bays on Wednesday and will play at Center Moriches on Thursday, January 17, at 7 p.m. After an eight-day layoff, it will host Port Jefferson on Friday, January 25, at 5 p.m. on what is Spirit Night at Pierson.