Bears Shackle Pierson Once Again

This evening, the boys’ basketball team traveled to Sag Harbor for a non-league tilt with Pierson and came away with a 46-26 win, the 11th victory in their last 12 match-ups with the Whalers dating back to 2014.

Blue & White shots weren’t falling early as the Whalers built a 12-8 lead after the first quarter. Pierson’s margin grew to 16-8 with 6:55 left in the second quarter after scoring buckets on their first two possessions, but the Bears would hold them scoreless for the next 14:40 of game time while unleashing a game-breaking 22-0 run. They closed the second quarter with a 13-0 spurt to turn their eight-point deficit into a five-point halftime lead. Owen Sobel ignited the run with a layup plus the foul. An Andy D’Alessio steal and score cut the deficit to 15-16 with under two minutes left, but the Bears still trailed by a point with under 30 seconds left when D’Alessio simply took over.

The senior was fouled on a 3-point attempt, but hit only one of his three free throw attempts. He made up for the missed opportunity by stealing consecutive in-bounds passes and scoring a layup and a 3-pointer to close the half on a personal 8-0 run.

The Bears opened the second half with a 9-0 run thanks to consecutive buckets by D’Alessio–which increased his personal run to 12-0–a 3-pointer by Jai Narain, and another D’Alessio score. The Whalers finally ended their drought with 2:15 left in the quarter, but the damage had already been done. The Bears won the final frame 11-6 to cruise to the 20-point victory.

D’Alessio led all scorers with 17 points. Narain added 9 points and 6 assists while Sobel notched 7 points and 10 assists. Seamus Scanlon (7), Colin Scanlon (3), Rex Eshirow (2), and Christian Bunn-Livingstone (1) rounded out the scoring for the Brook.

The story of the game was the Blue & White defense, which held the Whalers under 30 points for the first time since their loss in the 2013 County Championship game, which the Bears won 57-27. The Whalers have long been a potent offensive threat, but the Bears have simply had their number. In the 287 games the Whalers have played since the 2004-05 season, they have been held under 30 points just four times, three of which have come at the hands of the Bears who, along with tonight’s game and the 2013 County final, held them to 29 points on Jan. 14, 2009 in a 50-29 win in Sag Harbor.

The Bears’ defensive success tonight was partly achieved by shackling Pierson’s top scorer, Henry Brooks, who had been averaging 22.0 points per game coming into the match-up, but netted just five tonight in the Whalers’ lowest point output in at least 14 years.

The Bears are back on the court on Saturday night in the 4th Annual Silent Night Game vs. Smithtown Christian.

For two quarters, it was just like old times — Pierson and Stony Brook going head-to-head for boys’ basketball small-school supremacy. But this was no Class C championship game, and Stony Brook is longer a true rival since the school now competes outside of Section XI as a private school.

But still, the Bears and the Whalers sparked up the old rivalry for an early-season, non-league meeting on December 13 and the Whalers jumped out of the gate fast on their home court to lead the game late in the first half. The team soon grew flustered, however, and committed a series of turnovers that led to a five-point deficit at halftime. Pierson scratched only 10 points together in the entire second half, and lost, 46-26.

“We’re still figuring things out, figuring out our rotation,” Pierson head coach Hank Katz said. “Every defensive possession is huge for us because our scoring is not going to come in bunches.”

~ Sag Harbor Express


Last 12 Games vs. Pierson

Dec. 13, 2018@ PiersonW 46-26
Jan. 15, 2018@ Stony BrookW 61-50
Feb. 1, 2017@ Stony BrookW 69-49
Jan. 13, 2017@ PiersonL 62-63
Feb. 13, 2016Suffolk County ChampionshipW 51-44
Feb. 2, 2016@ Stony BrookW 63-49
Dec. 12, 2015@ PiersonW 50-36
Feb. 16, 2015Suffolk County ChampionshipW 44-39
Feb. 4, 2015@ Stony BrookW 43-42
Jan. 6, 2015@ PiersonW 68-65
Feb. 15, 2014Suffolk County ChampionshipW 62-36
Jan. 24, 2014@ Stony BrookW 56-34


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