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Island varsity boys go down to the wire versus Southold

BOB LIEPA PHOTO Shelter Island Coach Jay Card, left, and Southold Coach Lucas Grigonis chat before Tuesday night’s game.

BOB LIEPA PHOTO Shelter Island Coach Jay Card, left, and Southold Coach Lucas Grigonis chat before Tuesday night’s game.

The Shelter Island School boys varsity basketball team travelled to Southold Tuesday for a league game. The Settlers won a close contest by a score of 68-58.

During the first half, Dan Martin, Lucas Quigley-Dunning and Luke Gilpin combined for 22 of the team’s 30 points. Nevertheless, Southold managed to hold a 35-30 lead at halftime behind the hot shooting of sophomore standout Stephen Russell.

Shelter Island Coach Jay Card Jr. wasn’t pleased with his team’s defensive effort, letting Russell get into the lane and score some easy baskets for the Settlers. Russell also was on the receiving end of most inbounds plays from the baseline at their end of the court, resulting in good scoring opportunities.

In the third quarter, the Indians were outscored 27-18, as Southold’s Nick Grathwohl hit on five 3-point shots. The good news for the Indians was that sophomore Dan Martin answered with five 3-point shots. The third quarter ended with the Settlers holding on to a 14-point lead, 62-48.

Once again, too many turnovers and poor defense didn’t help, but that changed in the final quarter, when the Indians opened up with a 10-1 run and cut the lead to five, 63-58, with about 1:50 remaining in the game. Southold had been held to just one made free throw in the first six minutes of the final period.

But costly turnovers and untimely fouls helped Southold build up a 8-6 lead in the closing minute. Senior captain Luke Gilpin hit a jump shot from 16 feet and converted on three lay-ups to help his team stay close.

Southold’s Stephen Russell and Nick Grathwohl combined for 50 of the team’s 68 points. Dan Martin (23), Lucas Quigley-Dunning (15) and Luke Gilpin (14) combined for 52 of their team’s 58 points.

Shelter Island’s man-to-man defense in the 4th quarter held Southold to just one field goal and four free throws, totaling 6 points in the final 8-minutes. Several of Coach Card’s starters fouled out of the game in the closing minutes, which also hindered what would have been a remarkable comeback.

Coach Card said he hopes that his team can learn from these experiences and post a few wins in the last seven games of the season.

The Indians will take on Bridgehampton on Friday, January 19 at 5:45 p.m. at home.

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