The Shelter Island boys varsity basketball team posted a 58-24 win over The Ross School on Nov. 21, to open the season at home in a non-league contest.
The team was led by Lucas Quigley-Dunning who had 16 points, Junior Gill with 13 and Walter Richards scoring 12.
Senior point guard Dan Martin did an excellent job on the offensive end, distributing the ball to teammates for easy baskets. Senior Keith Taplin also played a solid game at both ends of the court.
The Indian’s had opened up the first half with a 29-8 lead. Coach Jay Card Jr. went to his bench early in the first quarter and the second team players played a little over 10 minutes throughout the four quarters. As a result, 10 of the 11 players scored in the season opener. The defensive effort was strong, with Coach Card playing a combination of different pressing defenses, causing numerous turnovers.
He was pleased with his team’s effort, especially at the defensive end. Shot selection and screening away from the ball are two things that will require additional work at practice, he noted.
Tuesday night the Island boys dropped one to the visiting Shoreham-Wading River Wildcats, 71-59. But don’t let the final score fool you that this was a one-sided contest. The Wildcats jumped out to a 19-16 first quarter lead, but the Indians fought back and built a 29-26 halftime advantage.
The Wildcats came out in the early part of the third quarter with defensive intensity, causing the Indians to commit numerous turnovers, and scoring 14 unanswered points for a 40-29 lead. The home team battled back, with Dan Martin and Wyatt Congdon hitting big 3-point shots late in the quarter, cutting the Wildcats lead to 2 (46-44) as the Island crowd cheered loudly for their boys.
The fourth quarter started off poorly for the Indians, with numerous turnovers enabling the Wildcats to start with a 6-0 run. The Islanders never got closer than 7 points in the last few minutes of the game.
The Indians were led by senior standout Lucas Quigley-Dunning with 25 points, including four three-point shots. Martin posted 13 points, knocking down three 3- point attempts, while Congdon came off the bench to score 9 points.
Coach Card saw some positive aspects in this game, he said. The team battled hard in both the second and third quarters, playing unselfishly and getting high quality shots. The interior passing was good at times, but this game was decided by one key stat — turnovers.
The Wildcats were able to turn up the defensive pressure, causing numerous steals leading to easy breakaway baskets. Nevertheless, this was a non-league game and Coach Card hopes it serves as a good learning opportunity for his team.
He views his team as highly competitive and, if everyone remains healthy, the Indians could compete with Pierson and Southold for the League VIII championship. The team is determined to finish in the top of the league and earn a County Class D title shot against either Smithtown Christian, Bridgehampton or the Ross School.
The Indians will play a 20-game schedule, including 12 league games. Coach Card is challenging his players by scheduling some larger, talented teams in the non-league schedule, including Stony Brook, Mattituck, East Rockaway, Hampton Bays and Babylon. These games should test the Indians early in the season and get them better prepared for league play.