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Shelter Island varsity boys basketball year in review: Memories of a successful season

For those of us who followed this year’s boys varsity basketball team, we were provided with many exciting moments. Coach Jay Card Jr. and the entire team appreciated the tremendous fan support, including the varsity cheerleading team.

The season began with a come-from-behind overtime win at Greenport, with Walter Richards hitting a huge free throw with less than a second to go in regulation. The Indians went on to beat the Porters, but then entered into their non-league schedule against much bigger schools from League 7, as well as East Rockaway.

The Indians were able to beat Ross (58-24), as well as Babylon (49-47), both during the non-league season. In other non-league contests, the Indians were competitive against East Rockaway, Stony Brook, Hampton Bays and Shoreham-Wading River, but were blown out by Mattituck, both home and away. Nevertheless, Coach Card was confident that his team had learned some valuable lessons during the non-league season and that his team would be a strong contender in League 8.

The Indians finished the league season by winning five straight games, ending up tied for second place with an impressive 8-4 record. The team posted commanding wins both home and away over Ross, Greenport and Bridgehampton.

But it was the huge wins over Southold on the road, and an equally big win against Smithtown Christian at home, that were the most satisfying wins of the year.

There were several other amazing moments during the season, such as Lucas Quigley-Dunning, scoring 6 points in a matter of a few seconds, on three field goals against Greenport.

Other stand-out memories are of senior Keith Taplin scoring a season-high 20 points at Ross School and Walter Richards demonstrating his toughness and grit on the backboards, grabbing key rebounds on both the offensive and defensive ends of the court throughout the season.

Richards also converted on several impressive dunks. Then there were numerous times during the season that senior Dan Martin stepped up, throwing some of the best passes and recording numerous assists. He and Quigley-Dunning also led the team in 3-point shooting.

In the end, the Indians won the last game to be played at the iconic Killer Bee Gymnasium at Bridgehampton, with an impressive 70-30 victory. Fans were also impressed with the tremendous defensive effort of both Luke Lowell-Liszanckie and Junior Gil, who both had a positive impact on the overall team’s defensive success.

Although the team lost in the County D Championship game against Smithtown Christian, it was a truly amazing season.

Coach Card announced that the coaches in League 8 voted Quigley-Dunning and Walter Richards to All-League honors. Quigley-Dunning was one of the few players who earned All-County honors. The last player to earn All-County honors for the Indians was Tristan Wissemann.

Quigley-Dunning fell just short of scoring 1,000 points for his career at Shelter Island, but it was not due to his lack of effort and ability. Unfortunately, a late season sprained ankle probably prevented him from achieving that goal.

Coach Card announced that Dan Martin and Junior Gil earned All-Division honors as well

It was, by all accounts, an exciting season, filled with many memorable moments, including the contributions from Wyatt Congdon, Brandon Velasquez, Nick Mamisashvili and Bradley Batten.

These players came off the bench and provided Coach Card the depth he needed to be successful.

The good news is that they will all be returning next year as key varsity players.