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Island basketball team suffers big loss in opener: Coach confident of fixes for future

Shelter Island varsity basketball Coach Zack Mundy didn’t get much sleep Monday night, he said early Tuesday morning, replaying through the wee hours his team’s blowout loss on the road against Smithtown Christian.

But after a long night going over the 63-11 loss, Coach Mundy said, “We’ve figured out what went wrong and what we have to do on offense and defense, and what we have to fix by Thursday,” which is the home opener of the varsity season at the Shelter Island School gym.

He told his downcast players after the game, “To learn from this and then forget about this game. And that we’re going to take it one game at a time and be competitive in every game we play.”

Immediate fixes, the coach said, were to work on moving the ball around against a zone defense and look for inside shots that will draw fouls and give the Islanders free throw opportunities. There were too many attempts at 3-point shots, he added, even though his team made three out of five field goals from beyond the arc.

There was no junior varsity game Monday, but one bright spot was bringing up some JV players to the varsity. José Frausto was one of the few encouraging notes for the Islanders, the coach said.

“José looked good in the low post on offense and defense and got to the foul line, making one of two,” he added.

Thursday, Dec. 9, the JV team will take on The Ross School at 4 p.m. and the varsity will meet Ross at 5:45 p.m. for the home openers. The teams play the Killer Bees of Bridgehampton on their floor on Dec. 13, and then are back home against Pierson on Dec. 16.

New additions: There’s no girls basketball this year for Shelter Island, but four players will be joining the boys JV team, Coach Mundy said. Maddie Springer, Sophie Clark, Caitlin Gullusicio, and Mary Gennari will be on the team. Coach Erin Mulrain will join the Shelter Island coaching staff.

School Athletic Director Todd Gulluscio said it wasn’t unusual for girls to play on boys’ teams. “And on Shelter Island it happens more often than at a lot of other places,” Mr. Gullusico said.

He noted that recently girls have played on the boys golf team and spring track squad. And three years ago, Abby Kotula pitched and played second base on the JV boys baseball team.