Boys Basketball: BeltCappellino scores 29; Shelter Island tops Southold

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | David O'Day of Southold, driving past Shelter Island's Hunter Starzee, scored 24 points.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | David O’Day of Southold, driving past Shelter Island’s Hunter Starzee, scored 24 points.


Suffolk County League VIII has some good, young basketball players who are making a name for themselves this season. Possibly the one with the longest name of them all, Matt BeltCappellino, may have shined the brightest of them all on Friday night.

Junior BeltCappellino scored 19 first-half points before finishing with a career-high 29 for Shelter Island in its 70-63 defeat of host Southold. He bettered his previous game-high total by 8 points.

“The ball was just feeling good off my hand,” said BeltCappellino, who also had 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals. “I was getting good shots. The team was getting me open. I was taking my time, following through, and it was going in.”

Meanwhile, Southold had a sophomore putting up big numbers. Liam Walker registered 24 points, 4 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 assists for his side. A Southold senior, David O’Day, also produced 24 points.

Aside from the fact that BeltCappellino is a forward and Walker is a guard, the two players share some notable similarities. They both wear the same uniform number, 12, and they both have undoubted scoring ability. Like BeltCappellino, Walker recently turned in a career-high scoring total. In Southold’s previous game, a win over Smithtown Christian three days earlier, he scored 36 points.

“It’s a boost, yeah,” Walker said. “It’s more like a boost of confidence.” He added: “It felt like I can do that every game. I have to expect that out of myself more and more.”

Southold coach Phil Read said Walker struggled early in the season, but “he’s on now.”

As is BeltCappellino, whose efforts have helped put Shelter Island (5-6, 5-3) on a pace to reach the playoffs. In addition to being one of the top students in his class, he also has the basketball smarts and shooting ability that the Indians need.

“He’s not forcing it at all,” Shelter Island coach Mike Mundy said. “He’s only taking good shots. He’s getting good looks, and when he’s on, he’s on. He’s actually stepped up for us. In games where he needs to step up, he’ll step up.”

Friday night was one of those times.

Three days earlier, Shelter Island led Greenport for three quarters and most of the fourth before succumbing and losing. That loss, Mundy said, turned Friday night’s game into a “must win.” Every league game is precious as far as playoff implications are concerned.

Shelter Island led by as many as 19 points three times in the third quarter. Southold, however, worked its way back, pulling to within 6 points of Shelter Island during a 17-6 run in which O’Day scored 9 points. When O’Day nailed a 3-point shot from the top of the key, it made the score 66-60 with a little over 30 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

“We’re not as talented as a lot of teams, but you know, we go out there every day and we give it our all,” Read said. “I can’t ask for more from any group of guys.”

Shelter Island secured the victory with two free throws each by Myles Clark and BeltCappellino down the stretch.

“We had a good first half, but the second half we let them crawl back in,” BeltCappellino said. “I give them credit. They’re a good, scrappy team. They hit some shots, but we got the last word.”

A big factor in the game was the rebounding department, where Shelter Island held a 40-25 advantage. Hunter Starzee (16 points, 16 rebounds) was a major contributor. Riley Willumsen had 8 assists for Shelter Island, which made good on 60 percent (24 of 40) of its field-goal attempts.

Southold (3-9, 2-6), which lost for the sixth time in seven games, received 11 assists from Kenji Fujita.

“I thought we worked really hard,” Walker said. “We didn’t shoot the ball well, but we still scored, but we have to key in on defense. Seventy points isn’t going to cut it. We should be winning games when we’re scoring over 60.”

But Southold’s better days are to come. The team is two losses away from being eliminated from playoff contention, but the future looks bright with sophomores like Shane Johnson, Alex Poliwoda and, of course, Walker.

Shelter Island’s future doesn’t look bad, either.  “We have options,” Mike Mundy said. “Everybody knows their role, too. Nobody complains about their playing time, it’s what’s best for the team.”

Two wins from its final six league games would earn Shelter Island a coveted ticket to the postseason.

“We’re fulfilling our expectations,” BeltCappellino said. “We thought we could be in this position, which is right where we want to be.”

13 Comment

  • I would like to point out my admiration for your kindness in support of those individuals that absolutely need help on in this subject. Your real commitment to passing the solution all over turned out to be extraordinarily powerful and has continually empowered employees like me to arrive at their endeavors. Your helpful advice indicates this much a person like me and extremely more to my colleagues. Thank you; from each one of us.

  • Normally I don’t read article on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do so! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thanks, very nice post.

  • Wow that was strange. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyhow, just wanted to say excellent blog!

  • It¡¯s actually a cool and useful piece of information. I¡¯m glad that you shared this useful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  • Between me and my husband we’ve owned more MP3 players over the years than I can count, including Sansas, iRivers, iPods (classic & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few years I’ve settled down to one line of players. Why? Because I was happy to discover how well-designed and fun to use the underappreciated (and widely mocked) Zunes are.

  • We’re a bunch of volunteers and opening a brand new scheme in our community. Your site provided us with helpful info to paintings on. You have performed a formidable activity and our whole group will probably be grateful to you.

  • There’s noticeably a bundle to understand about this. I assume you made specific nice points in features also.

  • I am typically to blogging and i genuinely appreciate your content. The write-up has certainly peaks my interest. I’m going to bookmark your web page and maintain checking for new data.

  • Aw, this was a actually nice post. In thought I would like to put in writing like this furthermore – taking time and actual effort to create a especially fantastic article?- but what can I say?- I procrastinate alot and by no indicates appear to obtain something done.

  • I¡¯ve read several good stuff here. Certainly worth bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how much effort you put to make such a magnificent informative web site.

  • Oh my goodness! an impressive article dude. Thank you On the other hand I’m experiencing concern with ur rss . Do not know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody obtaining identical rss challenge? Any person who knows kindly respond. Thnkx
    [url=]cheap air jordans[/url]

  • Hello! I just would like to give a huge thumbs up for the amazing information you might have here on this post. I will be coming back to your weblog for additional soon.
    [url=]shoes jordans[/url]

  • 2soPfn Very informative blog.Much thanks again. Keep writing.