The Shelter Island boys varsity basketball team has had a slow start to the season, dropping its first two games.
Tuesday evening the team travelled to Center Moriches and were soundly defeated by the Red Devils, 82-52.
Shelter Island was up against a talented, physical team with an aggressive full-court press that eventually wore down them down.
Positive signs to take from the game included the play of Tristan Wissemann and Semaj Lawrence who combined for 34 points and 21 rebounds. Billy Boeklen lead the team with six steals and six assists and Max Moroz came off the bench to hit two of three shots from the field for a total of 4 points.
The team opened its season at Miller Place in a non-league game on Friday, December 4, losing 71-63.
Wissemann, who was All-League and All-Conference last year, scored 38 points, shooting 15 of 24 from both two- and three-point range. He also grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked two shots. Boeklen, All-League last season, added 18 points and a team high seven assists.
The Indians finished the second quarter on a high note, turning a 5-point deficit into a 5-point halftime lead (36-31). The Panthers got hot in the third quarter, led by their leading scorer, Max Steele, who hit three 3-pointers and finished with 21 points. Miller Place scored 27 points during the third quarter, grabbing a 58-51 lead.
During the critical fourth quarter, the Indians could only get within 5 points with Boeklen and Jack Kimmelmann fouling out of the game.
The difference in the game was simple — Miller Place got too many offensive rebounds and had a better-balanced attack on offense.
Nevertheless, Head Coach Jay Card did see some bright spots for his team, including good shooting and decent ball movement, especially on out-of-bounds plays against the Panther’s full-court press.
Guards Kimmelmann and Peter Kropf, as well as Luke Gilpin are key players on this year’s roster. Henry Lang and Will Garrison will also be important members of the varsity squad. Coach Card will utilize Josh Green, Erik Thilberg and Tommy Lenzer with the varsity when the junior varsity is not scheduled to play.
This season, the varsity will not be playing Smithtown Christian or the Ross School since neither school is competing with a varsity-level team. As a result, Port Jefferson has moved down into League VIII, providing each team with 12 league games.
Shelter Island hosts East Rockaway tomorrow, Friday, December 11 for its home opener at 5:45 p.m., and will play at Hampton Bays on Saturday at 4 p.m.