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Shelter Island boys varsity basketball team’s last home game a thriller

The Shelter Island School hosted a sports triple-header on Saturday, Feb. 10, with the girls and boys varsity basketball teams hosting home games — the last for the boys — against Greenport/Southold and The Ross School respectively. The boys’ JV team also hosted The Ross School. 

The highlight of this event featured a special program honoring the graduating seniors from four different programs, namely boys and girls basketball, winter track and field, as well as cheerleading. This celebration drew a large crowd from the Shelter Island community, who were supportive and spirited throughout all three games. There’s little doubt the community loves its student athletes. 

The coaches and some of their undergraduate players praised their senior teammates for their leadership, passion and friendship throughout the season. It truly was a special moment for these 11 seniors, as well as for their parents, teammates and friends.

The competition between the Ravens and the Islanders this season in boys basketball has been exciting. The two varsity teams each had won a game prior to Saturday’s contest, both winning on the road. The Islanders also found out that the Ravens would be playing this game without their 6’7” starting center, who left the team to pursue his tennis career and who had led his team is scoring.

This might have been the first time that the Islanders held their opponents to no field goals in the opening quarter, as they built a 9-5 lead. The Ravens, however, did get to the foul line and converted on 5 of 6 free throw attempts. But it was the Islanders who came out strong and dominated the opening quarter.

Unfortunately, the Islanders lost their power forward Jose Frausto early in the game due to foul trouble. Frausto was forced to sit for all of the 2nd quarter and most of the 3rd quarter.

The Ravens took advantage of their strength inside without Frausto helping to defend inside the paint. The Ravens outscored the Islanders 16-5 during the 2nd quarter and took a 21-14 lead going into halftime.

Jose Frausto diving to the floor for a loose ball and looking to pass to a teammate. (Credit: Francesca Frasco)

The Islanders definitely struggled on the offensive end throughout this game. As in the past, their opponents did a fairly good job double teaming Evan and Harrision Weslek on the perimeter, making it difficult to penetrate into the lane and forcing the Islanders into difficult 3-point shot attempts.

The Islanders only had one successful 3-point shot in the entire game, by Daniel Hernandez, late in the 3rd quarter. Overall, the Islanders were one for approximately 15, from beyond the arc, which obviously greatly hindered their scoring ability.

Late in the 3rd quarter, the Islanders trailed 29-20 with 2:04 remaining in the period. But Harrison Weslek hit a 17-foot bank shot and later converted one of 2 free throws to close the gap to 29-23 entering the final quarter.

But in the next 90 seconds of play, Harrison would pick-up his 4th foul and Frausto his 5th foul, fouling out with just 6:30 remaining in the game.

Evan Weslek was fouled and converted both free throws cutting the deficit to 31-25.  Neither team scored during the next 3-plus minutes of play, until Harrison hit one of 2 free throws and cut the Raven’s lead to just 5 points with 2:31 remaining in the game.

Then things got really exciting. Harrison hit a baseline jumper with 2:08 remaining and Hayden Davidson hit a short baseline jump shot cutting the deficit to just a single point, 31-30 with 1:10 remaining in the game.

But unfortunately, a defensive lapse happened moments later as the Ravens scored on a lay-up with just 52.1 seconds remaining in the game. After Harrison picked up his 5th foul, the Ravens iced the game, converting on two free throws with just 8.7 seconds remaining.

 The final score was 35-30 but the hometown crowd appreciated the efforts of their team in one of the most exciting games of the season.