Lady Whalers Fall, Riverhead Wins

Gordon M. Grant

The Pierson/Bridgehampton Lady Whalers have a long history of coming together at crunch time—the team usually finds itself in the Suffolk County Class C playoffs and wins more than its share of titles.

The locals were looking to advance to the County C finals on February 14 when as, second seed, they took on Stony Brook at home. A win would have catapulted the Lady Whalers into the title game against Mercy. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be—Stony Brook pulled an upset, coming away with a 47-44 victory after trailing most of the game.

It didn’t help that the team’s high scorer, Katie Kneeland, was whistled out of the game with just less than three minutes to play. But credit the Lady Bears who didn’t fold despite being down by a dozen points, when high-scorer Beth Felix, who had also been on the bench in foul trouble, returned to action and began heating up, and the Pierson lead slowly evaporated.

Felix was on fire down the stretch despite playing with four fouls, and when the Whalers tried to team-up on her, she dished off to open teammates. Pierson at this point was also playing without Celia Barranco, who went out with a possible concussion, and locals simply lacked the firepower to keep up with Felix, who finished with 24 points. Chastin Giles tallied 21 for the locals.

Pierson finished with an 11-9 mark for the season and 8-6 in League VII play.

One East End girls team is alive in the playoffs—Riverhead. The Lady Blue Waves pulled off one of the biggest shockers in the Suffolk County Class A tournament; upending sixth seeded North Babylon 57-43 on the losers’ court Friday. The Lady Bulldogs held a slim lead for most of the game but the Waves surged late in the fourth behind the scoring of Kim Ligon and Faith Johnson-DeSilvia.

Riverhead outscored the losers 19-10 down the stretch to capture the victory, which earned the local another home game, this one against Brentwood. That game was scheduled for yesterday after The Independent went to press.

Faith Johnson-DeSilvia led the winners with 22 points and Lignon finished with nine. Kate McCarney contributed 14. Riverhead improved its record to 15-6, and North Babylon finished with a 17-4 mark. The Lady Waves are riding a four game winning streak.

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