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Varsity boys battle Pierson into overtime

The 2018-19 Shelter Island School boys varsity basketball team. Front row, from left, Luke Liszansckie, Keith Taplin and Nico Seddio. Back row, from left, Coach Jay Card Jr., Dan Martin, Jack Vargas, Erik Thilberg, Walter Richards, Mason Marcello, Nick Young, Lucas Quigley-Dunning and Assistant Coach Peter Miedama.

The Shelter Island boys varsity basketball team lost a heartbreaker in Sag Harbor on December 19, falling to the Pierson Whalers 71-67 in overtime.

“It was a great basketball game,” Coach Jay Card  Jr. said afterward. “The energy in the gym was electric. The players gave it their all, and the fans of both teams were into it from the start. No negativity — just cheering and screaming from both sides.”

The two teams traded baskets throughout the first two periods. At halftime, Shelter Island trailed 35-32.

Pierson took control of the tame in the third quarter. Led by junior guard Henry Brooks, who finished with a game-high 36 points, the Whalers outscored the Indians 18-12 to take a 53-44 lead with eight minutes to go.

But Shelter Island battled back.

Lucas Quigley-Dunning led the rally with 11 points in the fourth quarter. Nick Young made a crucial three-pointer; Walter Richards scored a pivotal game-tying basket in the final minute; and the Islanders played strong team defense to force the game into overtime.

“It was a team effort,” Coach Card said of the fourth-quarter comeback. “We used a full-court press to pressure them into turning the ball over. And we were fortunate they missed a lot of foul shots down the stretch.”

Pierson outscored the Indians 8-4 in the overtime to claim their fourth victory of the season. Two Shelter Island starters — Richards and Dan Martin — fouled out of the game as the Whalers went to the line 12 times in the final four minutes.

The loss dropped the Indians to 2-6 on the season.

Quigley-Dunning finished with a season-high 29 points, including four 3-pointers. Dan Martin finished with three steals and 12 points on four 3-pointers, and Walter Richards contributed 12 points and 7 rebounds.

Overall, Shelter Island shot 11-for-20 from 3-point range and 13-for-29 from inside the arc.

Coach Card was pleased with the team’s effort despite the loss.

“Our guys did everything they could to win,” he said. “They laid it all out there on the court. And I think everyone watched felt the same way. Had a few calls gone our way, we would have won the game.”

Shelter Island travels to Southold for a road game against the Settlers on January 8 at 5:45 p.m. The next home game, against Bridgehampton, tips off at 5:45  p.m. on January 10.