Over the course of two non-league games, the Pierson girls basketball team saw its offense go from stagnant to potent.
The Lady Whalers mustered just 14 points in a 39-14 home loss to Westhampton Beach on December 4, but bounced back on Saturday morning with a 28-25 win over Center Moriches.
In the win over the Lady Red Devils, Pierson scored as many points in the fourth quarter as the team did in the entire game against Westhampton Beach. Senior forward Bridget Canavan led the way for Pierson with 13 points, 10 rebounds and five steals, while senior guard Kasey Gilbride added eight points. Senior guard May Evjen hit a pull-up jump shot from the foul line with 40 seconds left and her team down by one to give Pierson the win, and Canavan added two foul shots to provide the final margin. She also hit a three-pointer late in the fourth to cut Center Moriches’s lead to two, helping to set up Evjen’s winning jumper.
Pierson head coach Kevin Barron said his team’s effort on defense, particularly in the second half, was a big factor in the win. “We decided to put some pressure on them and use our speed with the full-court press in the second half,” he said. “Center Moriches had trouble handling it and committed turnovers.”
Center Moriches was missing four starters for the game, as they were taking SAT tests.
In the loss to Westhampton Beach, Barron said his team’s inability to put points on the board was a combination of tentativeness on his team’s part along with a strong defensive effort by the Lady Hurricanes.
“I have to give credit where it is due—Westhampton played a great defensive game,” he said. “I feel like they wanted the ball more, which created a lot of steals and fast-break points for them. However, looking back, I knew that was not us. We seemed very tentative on offense, and we were not aggressive at all toward the basket.”
Barron noted that the fact that his team took only five foul shots on the night was an indication that the players were not aggressive enough on offense.
Canavan led Pierson with five points, while Gilbride added four.
ON THE SCHEDULE: Thursday, 12/12, at Mattituck (non-league), 4:30 p.m.; Friday, 12/13, vs. Mercy, 4:30 p.m.; Tuesday, 12/17, vs. Stony Brook, 4:30 p.m.