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Number of Factors Led to Pierson Playoff Loss to Stony Brook

February 16, 2018

On Wednesday evening the girls’ basketball team upset 2nd-seeded Pierson in the semifinals of the Class C tournament, 47-44. Here is the recap of the game from Drew Budd of The East Hampton Press.

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A “perfect storm of events” led to the Pierson/Bridgehampton girls basketball team’s 47-44 loss at home to Stony Brook in the Suffolk County Class C semifinal on Wednesday night.

That’s the way Lady Whalers head coach Kevin Barron described his team’s defeat, which, by some, could be characterized as an upset. Just a week prior on February 7, Pierson had taken care of the same Stony Brook team, 52-28, at home. But Stony Brook had defeated Pierson, 49-45, on its home court back on January 19.

The storm Barron was referring to on Wednesday night began when Celia Barranco had some early foul trouble, then she suffered a head injury that forced her to miss much of the game. Still, thanks to Stony Brook’s best player Beth Felix, one of the top scorers in the county, facing early foul trouble herself, Pierson led by as many as 12 points.

Stony Brook, though, slowly clawed its way back as Felix found her groove in the second half, and the Lady Bears finally took the lead with just under a minute remaining. Now trailing by three points, and without one of their top offensive weapons in Katie Kneeland, who fouled out with 2:43 remaining in the game, the Lady Whalers had a number of scoring opportunities in the final seconds but couldn’t convert on any of them.

Stony Brook, with the win, advanced to play Mercy in the county final on Monday night.

“We just never pulled away as much as we did the last week when we played them when we kind of controlled the whole game and our offense was really clicking,” Barron said. “Give them credit, they made some really nice adjustments. They weren’t just depending on Felix to put the ball in the hoop. She had 24 points but she was distributing the ball well to her post players and they were finishing their layups and shots from the foul line.”

One of his players on Thursday, Barron said, described it as feeling “helpless” out on the court as the lead slowly faded.

“They knew something needed to be fixed but they were having trouble fixing it and felt the game unraveling,” he said. “I was calling timeouts, trying to calm them down, they just weren’t executing.”

With no seniors in the starting lineup, Barron said his young team found it difficult to play consistently throughout the season. The Lady Whalers won five of their first six games to start the season, then hit a bit of a lull, losing five of eight from December 14 to January 19. With just three players graduating this spring in Shannon Sloane, Cassie Arbia and Liz Lesser, Barron is hoping that his team can find that consistency next season.

“Sometimes when you have a team they have to mature together, and that was my message to them after the game, they never really played consistently throughout the season,” he said. “They started off really hot, hit a mid-season cold streak and got a little hot at the end of the season, but bottom line, they weren’t consistent all the way through.”

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