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Boys varsity basketball team loses to Pierson

Pierson hosted Shelter Island’s varsity basketball game in Sag Harbor on Friday, Dec. 13th, coasting to an impressive 70-50 victory over the Indians. On Friday the 13th the visitors had no luck at all.

The Whalers jumped out to a quick lead, 24-12 at the end of the first quarter and 43-29 at halftime. Playing on a Friday night in front of a big crowd at Pierson has always been a challenge for the Indians.

Junior standout Henry Brooks was on fire in the first quarter, scoring 15 points. His teammate, sophomore Wilson Bennett, led the Whalers with 16 points, on eight field goals, again all in the first half. Bennett led all scorers with 26 points for the game.

The game was decided early by the Whalers turning up their defensive pressure, especially focusing on shutting down the Indian’s high scorer, senior Lucas Quigley-Dunning, who still managed to score 10 points in the first half.

Nevertheless, senior Dan Martin (11 points) and senior Walter Richards (8 points) picked up the offense in the opening half. In fact, the three seniors combined for all 29 first half points. This allowed the Whalers to concentrate more of their defensive pressure by holding the Indian’s top three scorers in check during the second half, especially in the third period.

Too many turnovers continued to plague the Indians during the second half, providing great scoring opportunities for the home team. The Indians were outscored 20-7 in the third quarter, as Pierson opened up a 27-point lead, 63-36, going into the final quarter.

The best play of the game came in the fourth quarter, as Quigley-Dunning teamed up with teammate Richards on a perfect give and go, resulting in a lay-up for Quigley-Dunning. He finished with a team high 20 points. Richards had 15 points and 14 rebounds and also continued to set numerous screens for teammates trying to open up the Indian’s offense.

The bottom line is that 92% of the team’s scoring (46 of the 50 points scored) came from the three seniors. If the team is going to be successful in the future, other players need to step up and score, and the team as a whole must cut down on turnovers, especially against pressure defenses.

Coach Jay Card Jr. recognizes these weaknesses and will continue to work on better ways of attacking both half-court and full-court pressure defenses.

The varsity traveled to East Rockaway on Saturday for a non-league game. The two teams have been playing one another for the past decade, alternating between home sites.

The Rocks prevailed 50-45 in a very close game, hitting on 8 of 11 free throws in the fourth quarter. The Indians held a 27-25 lead at halftime and 38-36 lead after three quarters. But the Rocks held the scoring edge 14-7 during the final quarter, resulting in a 5-point victory.

The Rocks were led by Aidan O’Connor (20) and Franklin Infante (14) who combined for 34 points.  The Indians were led by Quigley-Dunning (18), Richards (12) and Martin (7) who combined for 37 of the team’s 45 points.