Shelter Island School varsity basketball Coach Jay Card Jr. believes in never underestimating home cooking.
“It was good to be in our home gym,” the coach said, after Sunday’s 62-48 victory over East Rockaway.
After two road losses to start the season — Friday’s contest against Southold went down to the wire and was closer than the final score would indicate — the Indians are feeling good about themselves, the Coach Card said. “We’ll only get better,” he added.
On Friday Southold prevailed, 57-49, in a Suffolk County League VIII encounter against the Island boys, the defending Long Island Class D champion. Liam Walker scored 7 points in the final 55.7 seconds to help the First Settlers nail down the victory.
The game at Southold High School was highlighted by an intriguing matchup between the teams’ two headline players: Tristan Wissemann of Shelter Island and Walker. The two, who guarded each other at times, essentially canceled each other out in terms of scoring. Wissemann, a 6-foot-4 junior forward, produced a game-high 27 points. Walker, a senior forward, had 24.
A put back by Alex Poliwoda gave Southold the lead for good at 34-32, but it was a tight affair. About midway through the fourth quarter, Wissemann made a layup to cut Southold’s lead to 43-42, but Shelter Island was unable to pull ahead.
A running banker and a layup by Shayne Johnson stretched Southold’s advantage to 50-44 with about a minute and a half left.
Billy Boeklen’s layup drew the Indians 2 points closer. He had 13 points.
But, as he is prone to do, Walker came up big for the First Settlers. Seconds after canning a pair of free throws, he stole the ball and converted a layup for a 54-46 count. Walker added three more free throws before the First Settlers applauded themselves for a job well done after the final buzzer.
Shelter Island, playing with only seven players (it has only eight on its roster), gave Southold a tough time under the boards. Wissemann and his 6-4 teammate, Semaj Lawrence, came down with 12 rebounds each.
But Shelter Island didn’t help itself from beyond the arc, shooting 0 for 12 on 3-point attempts. Furthermore, Southold sank 14 of its 18 free throws (8 of 10 by Walker).