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Island boys drop playoff game to Killer Bees

Making their first postseason appearance since 2016, the Shelter Island boys varsity basketball team fell to the Bridgehampton Killer Bees 61-49 in the Class D Championship game on Wednesday evening at Center Moriches High School.

“It’s a disappointing loss,” Coach Jay Card Jr. said after the game. “We played hard, and we didn’t quit, but we didn’t play to our potential. We missed too many shots and we gave up too many easy baskets.”

Bridgehampton took control of the game early. After a corner 3-pointer by Junior Gil and a layup by Walter Richards gave the Islanders a 5-3 lead in the opening minutes, JP Harding made a strong 3-point play under the basket, sparking a 12-2 Bridgehampton run. The Bees finished the first quarter up 15-7 and never relinquished the lead.

Shelter Island kept the game close. Nico Seddio scored 10 of his team-leading 14 points in the second quarter, including a buzzer-beating transition layup that cut the Bridgehampton advantage to 28-21 entering the halftime break.

“At halftime, we still felt like the game was ours to win,” Coach Card said.

But the Bees turned up the defensive pressure in the third quarter, limiting the Indians to just 8 points and taking a commanding 43-29 lead into the fourth.

“We were doing a good job of getting to the basket and drawing contact, but our shots weren’t falling, and we weren’t getting the foul calls from the officials,” Coach Card said.

When Shelter Island’s offense finally broke through with a 20-point fourth quarter, it was too late. The Islanders managed to trim the deficit to single digits when Dan Martin converted a fast-break layup with four minutes to go, but a 3-pointer by Elijah White swung the momentum back to the Bees as Bridgehampton coasted to the Class D title.

It was the final game in the career of graduating seniors Nico Seddio, Eric Thilberg, Nick Young, and Mason Marcelo.

LYNG COYNE PHOTO Boys varsity basketball seniors, playing their last game of their careers at home, were honored. From left, Annmarie Seddio, Nico Seddio, Vinny Seddio, Bobby Marcello, Mason Marcello, Laura Marcello, Coach Jay Card Jr., Tom Young, Nick Young, Suzanne Young, Jack Thilberg, Erik Thilberg, and Kristy Marcello.

Next year’s varsity squad welcomes back a core of starters in Lucas Quiggley-Dunning, Dan Martin, and Walter Richards, and the players plan to continue developing their skills by competing in spring, summer, and fall leagues.

This year’s squad finished the regular season with a record of 5-7 in league games and 8-12 overall.

JIM COLLIGAN PHOTO From left, Shelter Island School Athletic Director Todd Gulluscio, Varsity Basketball Coach Jay Card Jr. and Assistant Coach Peter Midema.

“We made a big jump from last year to this year,” Coach Card said, noting that last season’s team finished 3-17. “And I think we’re going to make another leap next season. With all of our returning players, we have a chance to be an undefeated league team next year. The pressure we were exposed to this season is going to help us down the road. When we get back to this game next year, we’ll have experience to draw on, and we’ll be ready.”