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Shelter Island School boys basketball season preview

Varsity Coach Michael Mundy and JV coach Matthew Dunning expressed real optimism for the upcoming winter season, especially at the junior varsity level.

Both coaches credited the work of last year’s middle school Coach Peter Miedema, who taught his players a solid knowledge of the game, as well as individual skills. 

Unfortunately, only four boys came out for this year’s middle school team, but Coach Jay Card Jr. has been working with the boys on developing skills, without the opportunity to play in an actual league. It’s important in a small school to maintain an interest in basketball.

One 8th grader, Ryan Sanwald, successfully met the requirements in the selection/classification process and has been promoted to the junior varsity level.

As of today, there are 18 boys on the high school teams, nine on the JV team and nine on the varsity team.

On a real positive note, most of the varsity players played this summer in the Brookhaven League, suiting up for two games per week throughout the month of July. In addition, most of these JV and varsity players attended a team summer camp at Springfield College in Massachusetts, the birthplace of basketball. This might have been the first time that the boys basketball players attended a “team” camp in a very long time.

Junior Harrison Weslek and freshman Evan Weslek also attended additional basketball camps to help take their skills to the next level. Both of these players have some solid offensive skills and are good athletes. 

Coach Mundy announced his Tri-Captains for this year’s varsity team — seniors Hayden Davidson and Jose Frausto and junior Harrison Weslek.

Coach Mundy believes that the junior varsity and varsity teams will be much more competitive this season, due to their hard work over the summer. Coach Mundy and Coach Dunning will stress defense this season, a focus if their teams want to be competitive. They can no longer give up 60-80 points in a game and expect to win. 

There are three things that need to happen in order to accomplish this goal, beginning with getting back on the defensive — working on the transition from offense to defense is critical.

Second, they must do a better job limiting their turnovers to 16 or less per game, a realistic goal for these teams.

Finally, they must limit their opponents to just one shot per possession by controlling the defensive backboards.

Both coaches like their team chemistry and believe their players are more capable of delivering at both ends of the court.

Their League will consist of four “D” Schools (Shelter Island, Ross, Smithtown Christian and Bridgehampton), as well as two “C” Schools (Greenport & Southold). They will play each of these teams three times for a total of 15 League games.

They will also play Miller Place and Mattituck in two non-league games for a total of 17 games. 

The varsity team opens their season with a non-league game at Miller Place on Thursday, Nov. 30 at 5 p.m. The next game for the varsity and JV teams is also on the road, against Mattituck on Dec. 5.