The two regular season meetings between the Stony Brook and Pierson girls basketball teams were each decided by just three points. When the two teams faced off for a third time, in the opening round of the Suffolk County Class C playoffs on February 13, it was like two different teams were on the court with the game being decided by almost 20 points.
After playing to 28-25 and 35-32 decisions during the League VIII season, during which Stony Brook went 11-1 and Pierson posted a 7-5 mark, the opening round of the county postseason saw Stony Brook put up 40 points to Pierson’s 22.
“We were very cold on offense, our shots weren’t falling, we couldn’t get anything going,” Pierson head coach Kevin Barron said. “Their defense was extremely tough the entire game. They were hitting shots that they don’t normally hit, shots that they weren’t hitting all season. Everything was going right for them.”
Following the win over the Lady Whalers, the top seed Stony Brook Lady Bears went on to down third-seed Southold in the Suffolk County Class C Championship on Friday. Southold, the 2012 county champion, was the only team to beat Stony Brook during the regular season. Pierson lost to Southold in the county final last season.
“They won the county title, so if I have to lose to a team, I’d rather lose to them,” Barron said. “They beat us three times this year. They were the better team. They’re a good team and they do everything right.”
Stony Brook opened the game against Pierson with an 8-0 run, a rally that set the tone for the remainder of the game, and led 14-7 after the first quarter.
After the first eight minutes, play became sloppy on both ends, with each team turning the ball over and playing rushed basketball. The 14 points scored by the Lady Bears in the first quarter was the only double-digit team scoring for the entire game.
The Lady Bears extended their lead at the half, outscoring their opponents, 9-5, in the second quarter, using a Madison Ryland three-pointer with 30 seconds to go before the break to fuel the intensity of the home team.
After the break, it was much of the same with Stony Brook outscoring Pierson, 17-10.
No Pierson player broke 10 points as Abby Ruiz led the Lady Whalers with eight points while Emily Hinz, Sydnee McKie and Rachel Saidman each scored four points.
The Lady Whalers will graduate eight seniors this year, the first for Barron as the head coach, who said he was pleased overall with the 2012-13 campaign.
“I’m definitely very happy with the season,” he said. “It ended in a disappointing way, and I expected us to be in championship game. Even though we were the fourth seed, I thought our leadership and experience would take us there.
He continued, “It was a great season. We just fell short. I’m very proud of what the girls accomplished.”