The Shelter Island boys varsity basketball team hosted the Settlers from Southold on Wednesday, Jan. 8, losing 71-55. But the game was a lot closer than the final score indicated.
The first quarter was a battle, with both teams exchanging slight leads. Dan Martin got a rebound and put back a successful lay-up, tying the score at 14 with less than 30 seconds remaining in the opening period. Then the Settlers hit two free throws and gained a 16-14 led.
In the second quarter, Lucas Quigley-Dunning got a steal and hit a difficult running one-hander going down the lane to tie the score at 16 apiece. After grabbing a 1-point lead at 18-17, the Settlers took control and raced out to a commanding 35-25 halftime margin.
The Indians fought hard in the third quarter, as Dunning, Walter Richards and Junior Gill combined for 19 points, cutting the deficit to 50-44. Dunning scored 14 of his game high 28 points during the 3rd quarter. Richards dominated the backboards and set several good screens for his teammates.
Unfortunately for the Islanders, the Settlers opened up the fourth quarter on a 5-0 run, building an 11-point lead before Richards went to the line and sank two free throws.
The Indians continued to get themselves into foul trouble and the Settlers took advantage, building on their lead. The home crowd appreciated the effort put forth by their team, but in the end, Southold created several key turnovers that resulted in easy baskets.
Walter Richards continues to improve; he and Quigley-Dunning have complemented one another, especially executing the old “pick-and-roll” with more efficiency, resulting in good scoring opportunities.
One problem for the Indians is they desperately need more scoring support from other starters on a more consistent basis. Coach Jay Card Jr. also wants to see his bench players contribute and go with their individual strengths, playing better defense, cutting down on turnovers, rebounding and getting down on the floor for loose balls. These are the important intangibles that help convince a coach that you belong on the court and increases playing time.
The Indians will host Bridgehampton, the “Killer Bees” on Friday night, Jan. 10 at 5:45 p.m..
Coach Card said his team is determined to turn the corner.