Whaler Girls and S.I. Boys Are Still In

Pierson High School girls basketball team bested Southold-Greenport 54-49
May Evjen, at right, and her teammates found Southold, which the Whalers defeated at home on Jan. 27 to nail the lid down on the school’s first league championship in 22 years, to be a far tougher opponent in the county Class C championship game. Craig Macnaughton

    The Pierson (Sag Harbor) High School girls basketball team won its first county championship since the year 2000 by besting Southold-Greenport 54-49 at Northport High School on Feb. 18.

    The county Class C champions, who were led by Kasey Gilbride, a senior guard, who scored 6 of her 13 points in the all-important fourth quarter, and by the tall sophomore center, Erica Selyukova, who had 17 rebounds and blocked five shots, had nailed down the lid on the school’s first league championship since 1992 by defeating the Settlers 54-38 in Pierson’s gym on Jan. 27.

    But the North Fork team, which came up empty on 23 heaves from beyond the arc in the Jan. 27 encounter, hit five 3s in the early going of the county championship game, prompting the Whalers’ coach, Kevin Barron, to switch from a zone to a man-for-man defense in the second half.

    Pierson trailed by 6 points when the fourth quarter began, but wound up champions thanks to a 13-2 run that encompassed the final period.

    The Whalers are to play the Nassau Class C champion in a state regional semifinal at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue Tuesday, at 4 p.m. The winner of that game will advance to the regional final at New Rochelle High School at noon on Saturday, March 8. The Final Four games are to be played at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy over the March 14-16 weekend.

    The Shelter Island boys, who won that school’s first-ever county championship by defeating Greenport 73-66 on Feb. 15, are also to play in a (Class D) regional semifinal on Tuesday, at the Westchester County Center in White Plains. The opponent and time had yet to be determined as of earlier this week.

    The Class D boys regional final is to be played at the State University at New Paltz on March 8, and the Final Four is to be contested at the Glens Falls Civic Center over the March 14-16 weekend.

    The Pierson girls were routed 62-35 by Hampton Bays, the county B champion, in the B-C game Saturday, but that game was moot insofar as the state tournament was concerned. Selyukova led the Whalers in scoring that day with 14 points. Hannah Reed had 15, and Alexis Fotopoulos had 14 for the Baywomen.

    As aforesaid, the last time the Pierson girls (then combined with Shelter Island) won a county championship was in 2000, though they did not win a league championship that year, losing out to Stony Brook.

    The 2000 team, coached by Gary Hull, was led by Robyn Bramoff (now Robyn Mott, East Hampton’s junior varsity girls coach), whose number was retired after the season, in honor of her 1,000-point career.

    Bramoff and her teammates defeated Southold 30-19 in the county Class D championship game, in which Bramoff scored 12 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and had 8 steals and 5 blocks.