WHALERS 58, FIRST SETTLERS 43
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.
Part of the explanation may be familiarity. Players on both teams have faced each other before, in other sports, too. Also, Pierson may not have been too pleased with its 2-point loss to Southold last month. It was probably the same feeling Southold experienced on Tuesday night when Pierson got its revenge with a 58-43 victory in Southold’s gym. It was the seventh win in eight games for the Whalers (10-4, 10-2).
Southold’s shooting woes (23.6 percent) and difficulty keeping Pierson off the boards (the Whalers held a 45-34 rebounding advantage), didn’t help the First Settlers (8-7, 7-6), who had hoped to clinch a playoff berth. Southold needs one win from its remaining three regular-season games in order to reach the postseason for the first time in three years.
A basket by Sean Sloane gave Pierson the lead for good late in the first quarter and kick-started an 11-3 run that put the Whalers ahead, 25-18.
Southold’s difficulty putting the ball in the basket was too much to overcome. In the respective four quarters, the First Settlers shot 5 of 15, 2 of 10, 3 of 16, and 3 of 14. They missed 15 of 29 free throws.
Pierson made 38.7 percent of its field-goal attempts.
Two Pierson players recorded double-doubles. Pierson’s big scoring threat, Forrest Loesch, led four Whalers in double figures. He produced 18 points (8 of 15 from the field) and 11 rebounds. Evjen finished with 14 points and 17 rebounds.
Ian Barrett added 12 points and 6 assists while Sloane had 11 points.
Walker’s 19 points led Southold. Patryk Mejsak played what his coach called his best game of the season, coming off the bench for 8 points and 9 rebounds.
A total of 34 fouls were whistled (20 by Pierson) and three players fouled out in the fourth quarter: Pierson’s Drew Harvey and Loesch, and Southold’s Kenji Fujita.