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Boys lose a squeaker to Southold

The Shelter Island High School boys varsity basketball team dropped a heartbreaker to Southold on Thursday night, falling to the Settlers 56-53 after surrendering an 8-point fourth-quarter lead at Shelter Island School.

The Islanders controlled the game for the first three quarters. After taking a 26-20 lead into halftime, Shelter Island extended the lead to 10 points when Lucas Quiggley-Dunning drained a three-pointer from the left corner to put the Indians up 36-26.

The Settlers stormed back with an 11-2 run. Junior Nick Grathwohl capped the rally with 3-point play at the basket to trim the Islander advantage to 38-37 with two minutes to go in the third quarter.

Shelter Island reclaimed the momentum on their next possession when Dan Martin hit a long three-pointer off an inbounds pass. In the last minute of the third quarter, Quiggley-Dunning swished a long-range jumper, and Walter Richards converted a buzzer-beating layup to put the home team up 45-37. With eight minutes remaining, Shelter Island appeared poised to claim their first victory over Southold since 2016.

But the Settlers dominated the final period. Grathwohl scored 8 of his team-leading 19 points as Southold outscored Shelter Island 19-8 down the stretch to notch their tenth victory of the season.

“It’s a painful loss,” Coach Jay Card Jr. said after the game. “Southold is a solid team, but they’re a team we can beat. And we were in good position to win the game. But we made many defensive mistakes, and we missed too many easy baskets at the rim. You can’t make those kinds of mistakes and expect to come away with the win.”

The loss dropped Shelter Island to 6-11 on the season and 4-6 in league play. Three games remain on the schedule: A non-league contest against Ross at Shelter Island School on Saturday, February 2 at 3 p.m., a road game against Bridgehampton on February 4 at 6 p.m. and a home game against Smithtown-Christian at 5:45 on February 6.