Chastin Giles can steal and score. The combination made the junior point guard a deadly force in Pierson/Bridgehampton/Shelter Island’s first win of the season. She finished with a game-high 13 points, eight rebounds, and six steals to spark the Whalers in a 51-17 win over Center Moriches December 12.
“We wanted to have fun,” Giles said. “We played together, the energy was up, my teammates set me up well to get shots off.”
Carly Browngardt scored all her eight points in the first quarter. Her first two buckets, the first for the Whalers, both tied the game, and her third gave her team the lead for good. Pierson scored 13 straight to close out the first quarter with a 17-4 lead and extended the margin to 35-12 at halftime. Giles shined in the second quarter, converting two of her steals into easy layups.
“My teammates were covering their girls and that made it easy for me to step in and steal the ball,” she said.
Celia Barranco (nine points and 10 rebounds) opened the second quarter with her second three-pointer of the game.
“Celia Barranco hasn’t played on the outside since she was in fifth grade and she’s been hitting threes all season,” head coach Kevin Barron said. “Carly is coming into her own. Chastin is doing her thing. And this is all without Katie Kneeland, who’s been one of our leading scorers the past couple of seasons, who’s out with a wrist injury.”
Barron said he was most impressed by his defense, which held the Red Devils to five second-half points.
“The defense was outstanding,” he said. “It’s exactly what we wanted to see, and it was a great team effort.”
Freshman point guard Sofia Mancino (nine points) found the basket all four quarters.
“We tried to improve on our rebounds and trust in each other to get the job done,” Mancino said. “And we did that today. We moved the ball well on offense when they were playing zone — they played tough, but we played our hearts out. I try to remain positive and work my butt off. Anybody’s spot can be taken at the snap of your fingers. Being a freshman and getting to this level is an amazing feeling and I’m just grateful for the opportunity.”
Barron said he liked what he saw from his young guns.
“Sofia’s a firecracker — she’s the one diving on the floor,” he said. “And Chastin came off the bench and made some great passes and played completely unselfish basketball. I told her I want to see more defense from her this season and she’s been getting those easy steals and converting them into transition points the other way.”
Phoebe Arkinson added eight points on two field goals, a three-pointer, and a free throw, and Aziza El rounded out the scoring with four points in Pierson’s first League VI game of the season.
The Whalers suffered three 20-point differential nonleague losses to start — against Class A’s Westhampton, Sayville, and Harborfields — and faces division opponent Hampton Bays on the road December 17 at 5:45 PM before playing Bishop Kearney in the final nonleague game of the season December 22 at Robert Moses Middle School in North Babylon at 3:55 PM.
“We played some really tough teams but have definitely improved within each game,” Mancino said. “I feel we have plenty more improving to do, but we can go far. We know there are a bunch of tough teams, but we’re tougher.”