The Shelter Island boys varsity basketball team are on a roll, sweeping a pair of home games.
On January 10, Walter Richards tallied 11 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists, and Lucas Quiggley-Dunning scored 28 points to lead Shelter Island to a dramatic 65-62 victory over the Bridgehampton Killer Bees.
The Indians entered the fourth quarter with a commanding 59-40 lead. A surge by the Bees trimmed the lead down to three but the Islanders held on to claim their first victory over Bridgehampton since January of 2014.
“We played a great game against a tough opponent,” Coach Jay Card Jr. said afterward. “In the last quarter, we ran out of energy, and we missed some easy put-backs at the rim. The final score was a little closer than we would have liked. But the first three quarters were the best basketball we’ve played all season.”
On Monday night, varsity notched their second consecutive win, coasting to a 59-34 victory over the Ross Cosmos.
The Indians went on a remarkable 26-1 run to break the game open during the first half.
The run started with two minutes remaining in the first quarter when Dan Martin drained a 3- pointer from the right wing to give Shelter Island an 11-7 lead.
Eight minutes later, Martin stole an inbounds pass and whipped the ball ahead to Eric Thilberg for a transition layup that put the Islanders up 34-8.
“Our defensive intensity was the key,” said Coach Card. “We forced turnovers, we moved the ball around, and we converted our shots under the basket. It was an efficient performance.” Martin finished the game with 10 assists and 7 points. Thilberg added 13 points and six rebounds. Quigley-Dunning led the offense with 23 points, raising his season scoring average to 17.8 points per game.
The win lifted Shelter Island’s league record to 3-3. With six games remaining, the Indians are on course to achieve their preseason goal of making the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
Coach Card is impressed with the team’s progress over the last few weeks. “We’re getting better every game,” he said after Monday’s victory. “And I think our best basketball is still ahead of us.”
Shelter Island is scheduled to play two home games next week. On January 18, the Indians take on defending Class C champion Greenport. On January 22, they play Pierson.
Both games tip off at 5:45 P.M. at Shelter Island School.