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02/08/19 2:38pm
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The similarity was sickening to Steve Van Dood.

Once again, the Mattituck High School girls basketball team played Pierson/Bridgehampton/Shelter Island. Once again, Pierson prevailed, 38-32, Thursday night. And, once again, dismal shooting by Mattituck enabled the Whalers to sink the Tuckers. READ

02/18/14 8:36pm
02/18/2014 8:36 PM
Southold/Greenport's Justina Babcock, left, and Pierson/Bridgehampton's Kasey Gilbride both get a hand on the ball. (Garret Meade photo)

Southold/Greenport’s Justina Babcock, left, and Pierson/Bridgehampton’s Kasey Gilbride both get a hand on the ball during the county Class C final in Northport. (Garret Meade photo)

SUFFOLK COUNTY CLASS C FINAL | WHALERS 54, CLIPPERS 49

The Southold/Greenport Clippers were almost there, and that is what made their ending so painful.

After leading for most of the way, the Clippers were just nipped at the finish line. For Pierson/Bridgehampton, it was the best way to win; for Southold/Greenport, it was the worst way to lose. (more…)

01/31/13 10:17pm
01/31/2013 10:17 PM
GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Carley Staples of Southold is swarmed by Pierson/Bridgehampton's Bridget Canavan (24), Emily Hinz (23) and Meg Evjen (00).

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Carley Staples of Southold is swarmed by Pierson/Bridgehampton’s Bridget Canavan (24), Emily Hinz (23) and Meg Evjen (00).

WHALERS 44, FIRST SETTLERS 40

It’s doubtful that anyone could fully appreciate how hard it was for Michaela Christman to watch Southold’s girls basketball team complete one of its greatest seasons ever last year — except Michaela Christman.

The team won the League VIII championship, a Suffolk County crown, its first Long Island championship since 2002, and reached a Southeast Regional final, falling one win shy of a place in the New York State final four. Christman saw much of it, as much as she could take. It wasn’t easy for her.

“Some of the time I needed a break,” she said. “It was kind of hard to watch.”

What was hard about it was being a spectator and not a player. Christman had played in the first few games of that season before her right knee decided it had other plans for her. A torn anterior cruciate ligament put an early end to Christman’s junior season. She underwent surgery, physical rehabilitation, and looked ahead to her senior season in 2012-13.

Christman undoubtedly missed playing. Southold senior Nicole Busso recalled: “Every single game she texted me: ‘How’s it going? What’s the game? What’s the score?’ She is a true basketball player.”

Now Christman, the player, is making up for lost time.

“She worked hard and she came back,” Southold coach Joe Read said. “She plays strong. She’s a tough kid. She has a beautiful shot.”

Christman plays with a brace around her right knee, which after a 44-40 loss to Pierson/Bridgehampton on Thursday night she said was “sore, but it’s fine.”

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Southold senior Michaela Christman, who is tightly defended by Pierson/Bridgehampton's Abby Ruiz, sat out almost her entire junior season with a knee injury.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Southold senior Michaela Christman, who is tightly defended by Pierson/Bridgehampton’s Abby Ruiz, sat out almost her entire junior season with a knee injury.

Christman can play guard or forward. She has been used primarily as a post player lately, with forward Melissa Rogers sitting out her fourth straight game Thursday with an ailing knee and watching from the official scorer’s table. That sounds all-too familiar to Christman, who said, “I know what Melissa is going through right now.”

The First Settlers are grateful to have a healthy Christman on the court again.

“It’s huge having Michaela right now,” Busso said. “I don’t know where we would be [without her]. She’s a huge help down low. She really does everything.”

Christman has rejoined Busso, Rogers and the team’s two other seniors, Sydney Campbell and Carley Staples. That fivesome has been playing together since they were 12, and they have a lot to play for this season. Southold is contending for the league title again, but the upset it suffered at the hands of Pierson/Bridgehampton in Sag Harbor didn’t help. At the start of the day, the First Settlers were tied for first place with The Stony Brook School.

Pierson/Bridgehampton (9-8, 7-4), which may meet Southold (9-5, 8-2) in the playoffs, secured what its first-year coach, Kevin Barron, said may have been the team’s “sweetest” win in two years. When the game ended, the happy Whalers hopped around the court, hugging each other and screaming over their well-earned triumph in a hard-fought, scrappy affair that didn’t see many easy baskets for either side.

Pierson/Bridgehampton, which honored its eight seniors during an emotional pregame Senior Night ceremony, saw three of those seniors score critical points down the stretch. Emily Hinz made a basket despite being fouled by Busso, who fouled out on the play, to snap a 39-39 tie with 43.9 seconds to go in the fourth quarter. A free throw by Abby Ruiz and two more foul shots by Sydnee McKie made it a 44-39 game with 10.1 seconds left.

Kasey Gilbride and Ruiz led Pierson/Bridgehampton with 9 points apiece. Bridget Canavan added 8 points and 11 rebounds.

Busso turned in a tremendous effort, finishing with 12 points, 13 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks. Abby Scharadin played well, too, for Southold, producing 9 points.

Pierson/Bridgehampton scored the first 9 points of the third quarter — including three straight baskets by Meg Evjen for her only 6 points — to build a 28-17 lead. But Southold gradually whittled away at the lead, tying the score at 34-34, 35-35 and 39-39.

Shooting troubles spelled Southold’s doom, though, especially in the first three quarters when the First Settlers shot 9 of 32 from the field.

Southold was undoubtedly feeling the affects of a hard-played game the day before when it defeated Port Jefferson. That may partly explain why Pierson/Bridgehampton outrebounded the First Settlers, 43-28, and pulled down 23 offensive boards.

“This team loves playing Southold,” Barron said. “It’s always a competitive game, and then on top of that, it’s Senior Night for us. The girls have had this game circled all year. I told them before the game, ‘Show the rest of the league that we’re for real.’ ”

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01/08/13 10:00pm
01/08/2013 10:00 PM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Shannon Quinn of Southold facing defensive pressure from Pierson/Bridgehampton’s Emily Hinz.

FIRST SETTLERS 47, WHALERS 41

As far as escape acts go, this one wasn’t bad. Meet the escape artists of Suffolk County League VIII girls basketball: the Southold First Settlers.

After trailing by as many as 13 points and losing one of its best players to injury, Southold somehow clawed its way back and pulled off a 47-41 triumph over visiting Pierson/Bridgehampton on Tuesday night. It was the fourth win in five games for Southold (4-3, 3-1).

The victory did not come without a price, though. Sydney Campbell left the game with a jaw injury. Campbell, whose jaw collided with the head of Pierson/Bridgehampton’s Sydnee McKie-Senior during a scramble for a loose ball, left the game with 7 minutes 8 seconds to go in the fourth quarter. The senior was attended to by emergency rescue personnel in the team’s bench area before being later rolled out of the gym on a gurney to a round of applause from the fans.

“I don’t know exactly what happened,” Southold forward Nicole Busso replied after being asked about the play in which Campbell was injured. “I just turned around and saw a lot of blood, to be honest.”

Southold coach Joe Read said Campbell was “scared because she couldn’t close [her jaw]. It didn’t break, though, I didn’t think.” He added: “I’m praying that she’s all right and nothing’s wrong. Forget basketball, I want her to be healthy.”

Before her departure, Campbell had provided Southold with 10 points in what was a somewhat odd, most definitely ugly game. The teams combined for 67 turnovers.

“It was a win, but it wasn’t a pretty win,” said Busso.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Southold’s airborne Melissa Rogers attempting a shot over Pierson/Bridgehampton’s Abby Ruiz.

Neither side shot well from the field in the second half. Pierson/Bridgehampton went 4 of 18 and Southold went 3 of 17. The big difference in the game, though, was at the free-throw line, where Southold shot 24 of 39. Pierson/Bridgehampton made 7 of 14 free throws.

Southold earned its first lead since 1-0 when a free throw by Justina Babcock 32 seconds into the fourth quarter made the score 34-33. Later in the quarter, Pierson/Bridgehampton (5-6, 3-2) drew even at 39-39 thanks to a 3-pointer drilled by McKie-Senior and a free throw by Emily Hinz.

But Southold finished strong. A big 3-pointer by Babcock started a game-ending 8-2 run and had Read exulting on the sideline. Busso and Melissa Rogers both made two free throws apiece down the stretch for the First Settlers.

“It kind of slipped away from us,” Pierson/Bridgehampton coach Kevin Barron said. “You got to play 32 minutes against good teams, and Southold’s a good team.”

Pierson/Bridgehampton forward Bridget Canavan clearly wasn’t pleased afterward. “It made me upset because we could have played so much better, and our passes, it was like hot potato,” she said. “We didn’t know what to do. We were scared, I guess.”

Rogers finished the game with 9 points, 4 rebounds, 4 steals and 4 blocks. Busso had 5 points, 10 rebounds, 3 blocks, 1 assist and 1 steal. Babcock had 8 points.

Canavan paced Pierson/Bridgehampton with 13 points, 4 assists, 4 rebounds, 3 steals and 3 blocks. McKie-Senior chipped in 8 points.

Southold may have surprised Pierson/Bridgehampton by not going with its usual starting lineup. Instead, Read sent out an all-junior starting five of Shannon Smith, Shannon Quinn, Cindy Van Bourgondien, Megan Van Bourgondien and Busso.

But things weren’t flowing for the First Settlers in the early going. Pierson/Bridgehampton opened the game by taking a 15-2 lead. Canavan and Abby Ruiz combined for 13 of those 15 points for the Whalers. It was a near-disastrous start for Southold, replete with what Busso called “devastating plays.” Busso said: “I honestly think that this game was more mental than physical. We knew what to do, but it wasn’t … coming together at all.”

Meanwhile, the Whalers had to be feeling good about the way things were going for them up to that point. “I thought that we had this game,” said Canavan.

By late in the second quarter, though, Southold cut that lead to 22-20 when Michaela Christman hit a short-range jumper, capping a 9-0 spurt for the First Settlers. They were on their way to a rather dramatic turnaround.

Canavan said it was a tough loss, but a “good loss” because it taught her team a valuable lesson.

“Never give up,” she said.

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