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Island varsity boys drop two, but team plays one of its best games of season

The Shelter Island  varsity boys basketball team dropped two games this past week, one by a lopsided score and the other in a well-played game that the Islanders lost by a close margin and had several players playing solid games.

Bridgehampton visited Shelter Island for a Division 5 game on Friday, Feb. 3. The Killer Bees have a formidable team with a solid bench.

Bridgehampton had already beaten the Islanders in their two previous contests, but this was by far the most lopsided score in the season series, with the visitors posting an 85-33 win.

Cheerleading team Tri-Captain Mackenzie Speece, left, with Coach Adrianne Pitch, honoring senior and Tri-Capitan Mary Gennari at the boys varsity basketball home game on Friday night, Feb. 3. The Island fans stood to acknowledge the hard work and spirit of the cheerleading team. (Credit: Jim Colligan)

At the start of the contest, Tri-Capitan Mary Gennari of the cheerleading team, a senior, was honored for her leadership and dedication to her teamates and the school’s program.

It was hard to understand why it was necessary for the Killer Bees to play a full-court man-to-man press for the entire 1st quarter, resulting in a 29-1 score. Most of the opposing coaches playing the Islanders this season have exercised excellent sportsmanship, but that was not the case in this game.

In the 2nd quarter, both Bazzy Quigley-Dunning and Evan Weslek converted on two breakaway full-court lay-ups. Quigley-Dunning then hit a 3-pointer and Elijah Davidson hit a jump shot in the lane, to cut the deficit to 34-10 with 2:25 remaining in the 2nd quarter.

Unfortunately, Harry Clark picked up his 4th personal foul early in the 3rd quarter, which brought him to the bench. The Killer Bees opened the quarter on a 6-0 run on their way to a 61-17 score by the end of the 3rd quarter.

Two highlights in the 2nd half for the Islanders included JV players Bryon Vasquez, who hit a 12-foot jump shot, and Charlie Murray who connected from downtown for 3 additional points. Quigley-Dunning and Evan Weslek also converted on 3-point attempts, which closed out the Islander scoring.

The Islanders hosted the Knights from Smithtown Christian on Wednesday, Feb. 1, and lost in a close game by the score of 38-26.

Quigley-Dunning played an amazing game at both ends of the court. He scored a game-high 19 points and had 4 steals, hitting a total of four 3-pointers, as well as three strong moves to the basket. Quigley-Dunning was the Islander offense in the 1st quarter, scoring all 11 points, as the Islanders trailed 13-11 after the first 8 minutes.

The team was playing this game without sophomore standout Harrison Weslek, who was still sidelined by a wrist injury that he sustained in the Ross game last week.

Unfortunately, the Knights outscored the Indians 13-0 during the 2nd quarter.  The Islanders missed some open shots and were forced into several turnovers, which had an adverse effect on their defensive effort.

In the 2nd half, Quigley-Dunning scored another 8 points and Harry Clark contributed two additional field goals, one off an offensive rebound. Harry played a solid defensive game and grabbed numerous rebounds. Evan Weslek completed a superb 3-point play as he drove hard to the basket, making the basket and the free throw that followed.

Overall, the defensive effort has continued to improve.  Offensively, the team still needs to limit the number of bad passes, set more screens, and execute their offense with more consistency.

Nevertheless, the Islanders were led by senior Quigley-Dunning, who played hard from start to finish.