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Tristan Wissemann leads college team to victories

Shelter Islander Tristan Wissemann, seen here in a game earlier this season, has led his SUNY New Paltz team to a winning record.

The SUNY New Paltz mens basketball team, led by former Shelter Island varsity basketball star Tristan Wissemann, has won six of its last eight games and sports an overall record of 13-9.

The last year that the Hawks had a winning record was in 1999.

Their conference record is now 8-7, and the team is working hard to qualify for the playoffs.

On February 8, against visiting Buffalo State, Wissemann, a junior, was his team’s second leading scorer, posting 16 points, four assists and one steal in a 88-70 win. The Hawks, who led 40-36 at halftime, outscored their opponents 48-34 in the second half.

The following afternoon, Wissemann led the Hawks against visiting SUNY Fredonia, scoring a game-high 24 points, with eight rebounds, four assists, one blocked shot and one steal to secure a hard-fought 74-70 win.

REPORTER FILE PHOTO Tristan being honored for scoring his 1,000th career point for Shelter Island Island School in January 2016.

This is New Paltz Coach Keith Kenney’s second year as head coach of the Hawks. Last year the team had a 7-18 record, considerably better than in 2016-17, when the Hawks went 1-23 for the year. This year’s team is much more balanced, with a deeper bench and much better chemistry.

Coach Kenney challenged his players back in October to become a “playoff team” and they’ve responded. A major part of this turnaround, is Wissemann’s leadership, skill and hard work.

The team has three games remaining, two at home this coming weekend. Winning these games will be a real test for the Hawks, who lost on the road to all three opponents they’ll face.

Good luck to Tristan Wissemann and to the Hawks of SUNY New Paltz.