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Whalers Fall to Stony Brook, Again

February 16, 2015
Pierson's Sean Sloane is surrounded by Bears (Photo credit: Sag Harbor Express)

Pierson’s Sean Sloane is surrounded by Bears (Photo credit: Sag Harbor Express)

The following was written by Gavin Menu for the Sag Harbor Express:

A look of disappointment spread across the face of Pierson senior Robbie Evjen as he left the locker room following his team’s 44-39 loss to Stony Brook in the Suffolk County Class C Championship game at William Floyd High School on Monday.

It was, after all, the third consecutive year the Bears got to celebrate a Suffolk title and the third straight class of Pierson seniors who had their careers come to a sudden and tearful conclusion at the same time.

Perhaps making the loss even more painful on Monday was that the game was right there for the Whalers’ taking. Led by the ferocious play of Evjen down low, Pierson turned a five-point halftime deficit into a 34-29 lead going into the fourth quarter. The lead grew to six with less than six minutes to play, until a stifling full-court pressure by Stony Brook and a pair of late three-pointers pounded the final nail in the Whalers’ coffin.

“We were up six when they put it on us,” Pierson head coach Dan White said about the Stony Brook press, which led to a slew of late turnovers. “I spent 20 minutes a day on it for four days. We were in the right spots; we just didn’t make the right decisions. That press in the fourth quarter really took our momentum away.”

Stony Brook advanced and will face Bridgehampton, the Class D champion, in the Suffolk C-D game on Saturday back at William Floyd. The Bears will also continue on in the New York State Class C tournament with a Southeast Regional Final at Suffolk Community College in Selden on March 13.

Evjen closed out his decorated career at Pierson with a game-high 20 points. His dominance was evident every time he touched the ball, the only issue being that the Whalers were unable to consistently feed him in the post.

“He’s a match up nightmare,” White said about Evjen. “He’s a hell of a player and the first thing I thought about when the game ended was now I don’t have him anymore.”

Stephen Musnicki chipped in with seven points and Andrew James and Sean Sloane added six points apiece. Ben Kushner and Keith Ellis,

the only other seniors on this year’s team along with Evjen, were held scoreless.

“Mike Hickey’s a good coach and Ben likes to get his looks off of Robbie,” White said about Kushner, the second-leading scorer for Pierson this year. “They didn’t double with Ben’s guy and Ben didn’t get his looks. Some nights you just have a night like that.”

Both Evjen and Kushner said afterwards on Monday that this year’s team was extra special for them.

“This team, we had really good chemistry,” Evjen said. “It wasn’t like previous years where it circulated around two or three players. Everyone worked as a unit.”

“This was my favorite season,” Kushner added. “I’m going to miss those guys.”

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