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02/16/17 11:36pm
02/16/2017 11:36 PM


There will be plenty of outstanding memories for the members of this year’s Southold/Greenport girls basketball team. There was the playoff-clinching victory over The Stony Brook School last Saturday. The momentous accomplishment of Madison Tabor scoring her 1,000th career point. READ

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01/02/16 3:39pm
01/02/2016 3:39 PM

Southold basketball player Pat McFarland 010216

The emergence of Greg Gehring revitalized Southold’s offense and gave the First Settlers a high school boys basketball tournament title over the holiday break. But not even Gehring’s inspired play, or Pat McFarland’s scoring ability, was enough Saturday when the First Settlers ushered in the new year with a loss.

Steady shooting by Pierson — from deep range, too — enabled the Whalers to register a 69-57 victory at Southold High School.


02/12/15 10:51pm
02/12/2015 10:51 PM
Pierson coach Dan White consoles Southold senior Liam Walker following Walker's final game for the First Settlers. (Credit: Garret Meade)

Pierson coach Dan White consoles Southold senior Liam Walker following Walker’s final game for the First Settlers. (Credit: Garret Meade)


Sooner or later, the end comes for all of them, the great players and the no-so-great alike. On Thursday night, it was Liam Walker’s turn to make his exit from his storied high school basketball career.

The final result seemed virtually assured by the time the fourth quarter started, so Walker and his Southold teammates couldn’t help but see the end coming. When it became official with the final buzzer at Pierson High School, Walker carefully untucked his jersey, took off his wristband and joined his teammates as they lined up to shake hands with the Pierson players. Disappointment was written across the senior’s face.

Just like that, the high school career of one of the best players to wear a Southold uniform came to an end.


12/06/14 11:01pm
12/06/2014 11:01 PM
From left, Chris Dwyer, Will Gildersleeve and Joe Tardif with Mattituck's newly won prize. (Credit: Garret Meade)

From left, Chris Dwyer, Will Gildersleeve and Joe Tardif with Mattituck’s newly won prize. The Tuckers are champions of the first Kendall Madison Tip-Off Classic. (Credit: Garret Meade)


It’s just two games into the high school boys basketball season, and Mattituck already has a title and a shiny new addition to its trophy case.

Chris Dwyer, Dan Fedun and Parker Tuthill scored 14 points each while Mattituck’s defense played tough in a 67-59 defeat of Pierson in the final of the first Kendall Madison Tip-Off Classic on Saturday night in East Hampton High School’s dark gym. (more…)

01/28/14 10:58pm
01/28/2014 10:58 PM


With the Suffolk County League VIII boys basketball game all but decided, Pierson’s Robbie Evjen burst through the middle of the lane to attempt a layup. He was sent flying to the floor as a result of a pushing foul by Southold’s Liam Walker with 49.1 seconds to go. The Pierson bench was unhappy with the foul, and Pierson coach Dan White exchanged heated words with Southold coach Phil Reed, a conversation that resumed after the game.

Clearly, these teams don’t share a fondness for each other. (more…)

02/12/13 8:48pm
02/12/2013 8:48 PM
GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Greenport's Austin Hooks, who got into early foul trouble, maneuvering near Pierson's Ian Barrett under the basket.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Greenport’s Austin Hooks, who got into early foul trouble, maneuvering near Pierson’s Ian Barrett under the basket.


When the Greenport boys basketball team is on top of its game, whipping passes around the court and draining one outside shot after another, it is a sight to behold.

Tuesday night was not one of those occasions.

The story of Greenport’s season could be summed up in one word: inconsistency. Certainly, when the Porters are playing well, they can give an opponent a lot to worry about. But Tuesday’s Suffolk County Class C outbracket game was one they would prefer to forget.

With the exception of the game-opening basket, Greenport never led and was ousted by Pierson, 63-41, in Sag Harbor. No. 2 seed Pierson (12-7), the defending county champion, will have the opportunity to retain its title Thursday when it will play top-seeded Stony Brook (14-3) in the county final at Westhampton Beach High School.

“The third quarter we were hanging for a while, and then it seemed like they got on a good streak where they were knocking down threes and we just couldn’t recover,” Greenport coach Al Edwards said. “We were just not strong enough to keep fighting waves like that. After a while we were just on our heels, you know, just can’t recover.”

Tuesday was not Greenport’s night in a number of ways. Injury and foul trouble cost Greenport (10-8) the use of its two best rebounders, Billy Doucett and Austin Hooks. Doucett sprained his left ankle and exited the game with 1 minute 39 seconds remaining in the first quarter. It was the end of the senior’s high school playing career. Hooks picked up his third personal foul early in the second quarter and didn’t return to the game until 5:27 into the third quarter. By then Pierson was holding a 40-29 lead.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Timmy Stevens of Greenport, firing a shot over Pierson's Ian Barrett, led the Porters with 17 points.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Timmy Stevens of Greenport, firing a shot over Pierson’s Ian Barrett, led the Porters with 17 points.

“We picked up the momentum and moved the ball more and made some good shots, but when we lose one of our best rebounders, it’s kind of hard to battle back from that,” said Greenport sophomore Timmy Stevens, who led the Porters with 17 points. “They’re a scrappy team. They move the ball, they do everything. It’s kind of hard to defend them.”

Jake Bennett was undoubtedly the player of the game. Bennett, one of six Pierson seniors playing for the last time in their home gym, provided the Whalers with 18 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. But perhaps just as valuable was the contribution he made that didn’t show up as clearly on the statistics sheet.

Pierson, as it usually does, assigned Bennett to guard the opposing team’s most dangerous offensive player. In this case, it was Gavin Dibble, a genuine long-range threat. Dibble, with Bennett in his face much of the time, was held to 11 points.

“They had a great game plan,” Edwards said. “They take Gavin out of the game — most teams do that — and then they put the best defender on him so that he’s not a factor, and he’s not the one that beats you.”

Pierson coach Dan White has seen Bennett blanket opponents before. “He’s something else,” White said. “He’s rare. I’ve played a lot of basketball, and I’ve never met anyone like him.”

And Bennett wasn’t the only one. The Whalers brought hustle and energy to the court. Greenport’s shots weren’t dropping for a reason. The Porters shot 33.3 percent from the floor and made only 7 of 25 field-goal attempts in the second half.

“Our defense is our backbone,” said White, whose team had 7 more rebounds and 9 less turnovers than Greenport.

For a while, though, Greenport played its best basketball without Doucett and Hooks on the court. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Stevens and Dibble enabled Greenport to cut Pierson’s lead to 33-29. But then Pierson’s transition game led to some easy layups. The Whalers closed out the third quarter on a 14-2 run, Ian Barrett scoring 7 points during that spurt.

“We don’t have anybody who’s 6-4, jumping, dunking, knocking down threes,” White said, “but I have a lot of kids who play year-round, work on their skills and play for each other and care for each other.”

Barrett put up 16 points and 8 rebounds for Pierson, and Patrick Sloane added 14 points and 8 rebounds. Joey Butts provided 6 assists.

Matt Dibble of Greenport passed for 8 assists.

Bennett said the victory was good medicine for Pierson. “We were struggling in that last half of the season,” he said. “We were struggling to get through games. Practices were starting to lack energy.”

Now, he said, “We’re ready to roll.”

Greenport’s inside game — its Achilles’ heel — was exposed, especially when Doucett and Hooks were on the bench.

“That’s the story,” Edwards said. “Which team is going to show up? Are we going to hit the jumpers? Are we not going to hit the jumpers? Are we going to have a halfway good inside game? You can’t win without an inside-outside game.”

With its playoff loss, Greenport bids farewell to its seniors: MATT DIBBLE, BILLY DOUCETT, CHRIS MANWARING, BRYANT RIVAS and RICH WYSOCKI.

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01/20/12 10:12pm
01/20/2012 10:12 PM

GARRET MEADE FILE PHOTO | Winston Wilcenski taking a jump shot in his final game for Southold on Tuesday night in Greenport. Southold coach Jeff Ellis said Wilcenski is no longer a member of the team.


Winston Wilcenski, arguably the best player in League VIII and one of the best in Suffolk County, is no longer a member of the Southold High School boys basketball team.

“He’s no longer with us,” Southold coach Jeff Ellis told The Suffolk Times in an interview Friday night.

Ellis declined to get into specifics about the senior guard’s separation from the team. “We’re just going to keep it as an internal matter,” he said. “We’re moving on.”

Ellis said the break between Wilcenski and the team occurred following Southold’s 56-50 loss in Greenport on Tuesday night. The coach said he wasn’t surprised by the situation. Wilcenski didn’t play in the season-opening game last month because of what Ellis also referred to as an “internal matter” at the time.

The First Settlers lose an undoubted talent in Wilcenski.

“He’s a good player,” Ellis said. “He’s a 25-point-a-game player. He’s one of the top players in the county. Life throws some curveballs at you, and we have to stay the course and focus on what we got to do as a team.”

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Liam Walker, a freshman, started in Winston Wilcenski's place in Southold's game against Pierson on Friday night.

Now, midway through the season, Southold is, in a sense, starting over again.

“I think our team is a new team now because Winston’s gone now,” Southold guard Kyle Clausen said. “It’s definitely going to be a huge adjustment and I think every game will be a building block.”

In Southold’s first game without Wilcenski on Friday night, Pierson thrashed the First Settlers, 61-39, at Southold High School.

Pierson, a team without any big-name players like Wilcenski, has a bunch of good players who work well together. It’s the sort of team the “new” First Settlers would like to emulate.

“That’s going to be our goal for the end of the season, to just be like Pierson because they move the ball around, play really hard, up in your face defense,” Clausen said. “That’s what we want to be.”

Southold got a good look at improved Pierson (6-5, 5-2), which received points from nine players and 32 points from its bench. Jake Bennett scored 11 points and Jackson Marienfeld added 10 for the Whalers.

The Whalers closed out the first half on a 13-2 run and then scored the first 9 points of the third quarter for a commanding 42-17 advantage. Patrick Sloane scored all 7 of his points during that third-quarter spurt.

“We hit a surge, and then we kind of just took off,” Pierson coach Dan White said. “We just took it to them, and we didn’t take the foot off the gas. We kept pushing and pushing and pushing.”

With point guard Ian Barrett (9 assists) running the offense, Pierson played a complete game and controlled the paint, as evidenced by a 38-25 rebounding edge. Its defense limited Southold (3-7, 3-3) to 36.4-percent field-goal shooting. The First Settlers shot 1 of 8 in the second quarter.

“Defense and ball pressure,” said Barrett.

In completing the first half of its league schedule, Pierson finds itself in the enviable position of needing only two more league wins to reach the playoffs for the first time in three years.

“I have kids who have a passion to compete, to play the game and to have fun succeeding with each other,” White said. “No one cares about who scores the most. They’re all about the same talent-wise, so it’s just, ‘Let’s get a win,’ and I’m very fortunate to have kids like that. There are no selfish attitudes.”

Clausen led all scorers with 14 points. No other Southold player had more than 4 points. Liam Walker, a freshman, started in Wilcenski’s place, but Ellis said he was still unsure how the reconfigured lineup will look.

“We got to stay united and just stay the course,” said Ellis.

Asked how his players have handled the situation, Ellis said: “They’re dealing very well with it. They want to be together. They want to be a team. They want to focus on getting better, and I think they’re in a good place mentally. It’s going to be tough. We know it’s going to be tough, but we’re going to get through it.”

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