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Girls’ Basketball County Title Featured in Southampton Press

March 1, 2011

On February 22, the girls’ basketball team won their sixth consecutive County Championship with a 43-29 victory over Pierson/Bridgehampton. The Southampton Press featured an article on the game.

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Stony Brook Delivers Final Blow in County Finals

The Pierson/Stony Brook girls basketball rivalry was rejuvenated this season as both teams fought tooth and nail last week for the ultimate prize: the Suffolk County Class C Championship.

Pierson drew first blood during the regular season with a 35-33 victory at Stony Brook on January 11, which ended a 12-game losing streak to the Bears. Stony Brook, though, responded with a 40-28 win at Pierson on February 8.

Both teams clashed again in the Class C finals, with the Bears delivering the final blow in the season-long battle, a 43-29 victory last Tuesday, February 22, at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue, to take home the Class C title.

There was one X-factor in all three games this season between the Whalers and Bears, and that was Stony Brook senior Brannon Burke. In Pierson’s lone victory, Burke was held to 15 points. But in Stony Brook’s win in early February, she scored 17 points while also pulling down 15 rebounds. Then, when it mattered most, Burke came through for the Bears, scoring 26 points, pulling down 10 rebounds and going 11 for 12 from the free throw line in the county finals.

Pierson head coach Dennis Case did not have much to say following last week’s loss, though he did credit Burke and her team.

“She’s a great player,” he said. “The game plan was to stop her. We played them three times. We stopped her the first time, we won the game. So, we did beat them this year, but what are you gonna do?”

In the finals, the teams played to a 4-4 tie after the first quarter. But Stony Brook started the second quarter on fire and went on a 12-2 run that was capped by Stony Brook seventh-grader Ariano Odom’s three-pointer. Stony Brook led 19-11 at halftime.

Pierson traded baskets with Stony Brook in the third quarter and still trailed 30-21 heading into the final quarter. With 3:48 remaining in the game, Pierson senior Kaci Koehne stole an in-bounds pass and finished the fast break with a layup, drawing a foul. She then sank the free throw to complete the three-point play and trim the lead to six points.

But that was the closest Pierson would get—thanks to Burke.

Burke scored nine of her game-high 26 points in the game’s final 2:30. She sunk a three-pointer to make it a 35-26 game, then made her final six free throw attempts to finish off the Whalers.

Pierson, which Case said averages 42 points per game, was unusually cold from the floor in the finals. Pierson senior Sarah Barrett scored a team-high eight points while fellow seniors Koehne and Amanda Busiello scored six each.

“We were just cold shooting,” he said “We couldn’t make a shot. It happens. You got to give [Stony Brook] a lot of credit. They played great defense.”

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