The Shelter Island boys’ varsity basketball team took on Smithtown Christian at home for an important League VIII contest Friday, January 3, in need of a victory after two tough losses earlier in the week.
The team rose to the occasion with a resounding 80- 53 performance to keep their goal of making the playoffs within reach. After the game fans could hear a loud cheer from the locker room as the team and coaches reviewed the win.
At the tip off Nathan Mundy got the ball and put in a layup for a quick 2-0 lead. Shelter Island jumped out to a fast 11 -3 advantage and never gave up the lead the rest of the game. Matthew Dunning was very active during the first quarter with some sharp passing from teammates creating opportunities in the paint, scoring 8 points. One of his shots spun around the rim at least four times before finally falling through the cylinder, putting Shelter Island back up 15-13 after a Smithtown Christian rally. The high scoring first quarter ended with a SI 23 -15 lead.
The second quarter team saw good Shleter Island ball movement with Riley Willumsen handing out crisp passes for quick buckets. Sawyer Clark swished a crowd-pleasing 3-point shot. The Blue and Gray used the bench to give starters a breather and Johnny Sturges came in and added two of his own. At half-time Shelter Island had a comfortable 15-point lead with the score 40-25.
The third quarter was highlighted by strong play by both teams. At the start of the quarter, Smithtown Christian went on a 13- point run with Shelter Island going cold with some sloppy play. Smithtown Christian pulled within 2 points and was right back in the game. The Island boys then went on their own run and at the end of the third quarter were back up to a 15-point lead, 56-41.
The officials called a tight game with hand check calls and illegal screens that led to many fouls which caught up to Smithtown Christian in the fourth quarter. Two of their starters fouled out, putting Shelter Island in the bonus, allowing the Blue and Gray to score 21 points from the foul line. Johnny Sturges and Peter Kropf came off the bench, each contributing 4 points to the score effort. Johnny and Peter are both new players to varsity this year and playing experience this year will surely help them next season.
At the end of the game all Shelter Island players were in the scoring column. Both Nate Mundy and Matthew Dunning kicked in 15 points, while Matt also grabbed 14 rebounds for a double-double. Tristan Wissemann had a huge game, playing with determination and great energy. He led the team with 27 points and a career high 21 rebounds. Smithtown Christian did not have any answers for Tristan’s game. He had many second chances by following his shot and getting some nice put back points.
As the team hits the half way point of the season, the next three games will involve many miles of riding the bus. Away contests at Stony Brook, Southold and a non-league game at East Rockaway are up next.
The Smithtown Christian win keeps Shelter Island in the playoff hunt, so stay tuned and catch some exciting games this month at home or away.