02/13/12 2:39pm

Shelter Island eighth grader Peter Kropf will be at the free throw line on Saturday in Deer Park looking to advance to statewide competition by sinking more basketballs in the net than any other player.

The free throw competition is sponsored by the Lions Club  and entry into the regional competition was achieved first by scoring  in a local meet in Peconic two weeks ago where he hit 22 out of 25 shots. Then he competed at McGann-Mercy High School in Riverhead last weekend, sinking 19 of his 25 shots.

Results will be reported when available.

11/25/11 12:00pm

PETER NEEDHAM PHOTO | Senior Megan Mundy will play a pivotal role on the girls’ varsity team.

Despite the NBA lockout, there will be plenty of basketball action this year.

Both the girls and boys Shelter Island teams have started practices and are enthusiastic about the upcoming season.


Coach Peter Miedema heads the girls’ varsity squad while Coach Brian Doelger heads the JV. This dynamic duo is starting their second season together and it is evident they make an excellent combination.

Last year’s varsity squad won the Suffolk Class C/D title and Coach Miedema is just as optimistic this year. “We expect to be the Class D champions and we want to win the league as well. We plan to approach each game expecting, not just hoping, to win. I think there is no team in the league we can’t beat. We are not intimidated at all.”

With 19 athletes between the two squads, the team is deeper than it has been in years. “Last year we sometimes had only six girls available to play, so that could get difficult as the game progressed and we didn’t have much opportunity to rest the players.”

PETER NEEDHAM PHOTO | In a familiar scene, Kelsey McGayhey heads to the basket. Kelsey is hoping to join the 1,000-point club this season.

Seniors Kelsey McGayhey and Megan Mundy are the captains. Megan is a consistent player and a good, calm leader on the court. She will be a threat from the outside. Kelsey has been an outstanding player for Shelter Island. The team’s leading scorer, she is shooting for basketball’s holy grail: 1000 points. She needs about 300 this season to hit that milestone.

With Alexis Gibbs and Saverina Chicka, the team also boasts a tall front court. Both are close or over 6 feet tall and should prove essential at getting rebounds. They should be a great presence in the paint.

Breanna Hallman, Corrine Mahoney and Melissa Ames all played some varsity games last year, so stepping into that higher level should be familiar to them.  Bre and Melissa will be sharing the duties of point guard. Melissa in particular stepped up big in the latter part of the 2010 season. As the point guard against Stony Brook in the C/D championship, she rose to the high-pressure challenge admirably.

Morgan McCarthy is moving up from JV and should cause opponents trouble with her speed and tenacious defense. Jill Calabro is a hard-working player who will see some time as she refines her skills. Senior Haley Willumsen is coming back to basketball after sitting out the past couple of seasons. Coach Miedema appreciates the athleticism and court sense she brings. “She’s crafty. She sees opportunities on the court and will take advantage of a weakness on the other team.”

Coach Doelger is looking forward to working with his squad. “JV is developmental. While we want to win, mostly we are improving skills to move up to the varsity level.” In 2010, the team was successful record-wise and by end of season players moved up to help varsity with their playoff run.

Returning players include sophomores Keri Ann Mahoney and Abbie Ross-Gates. Abbie was the most improved player on the team last year. After not playing in junior high, she focused on her skills and just got better and better, becoming one of the best players on JV. Keri Ann’s height will be a great asset to the team.

First year high school players include sophomores Samantha Capello, Erin Colligan, MeMe Lawrence and Taylor Sherman. MeMe and Taylor switched from cheering to basketball, while Sam and Erin are reviving their junior high skills. Freshman Olivia Garrison and 8th grader Serina Kaasik fill out the remainder of the squad. “The girls are all working hard, and I’m very pleased with their progress,” said Coach Doelger.


On the boys side of the gym, varsity coach Mike Mundy, JV coach Jay Card and volunteer assistant Jim Colligan are all very positive about the coming season. “I feel we can be competitive with anyone in the league,” said Coach Mundy. “We should have a deep squad, so we will be able to rotate players and still have a very competent squad on the court. We plan to run an up-tempo game.”

The team lost four seniors and starters from last year. Coach Mundy is seeing this as a growth year but one in which he also expects wins. “There is a love for the game and these guys bring a great work ethic,” he said.

Senior Jim Read, who was the Indians top scorer last year, is expected to lead the squad. Classmate Alex Graffagnino, also returns and will likely run the court as point guard. Juniors Chandler Olinkiewicz at 6 feet, 3 inches, and Aaron Johnson at 6 feet, 2 inches will provide important height and the coaches hope they will dominate in the paint with important rebounds and put-backs as necessary.

Sophomore Matt BeltCappellino is also a returning varsity player. Last year’s “sixth man,” he will be counted on to step up big for the team. Classmate Nathan Mundy will likely make the jump to varsity as well. Both attended an intensive basketball camp over the summer and are eager to bring their enthusiasm and improved understanding of the game to their home court.

While the squads aren’t set yet, Coach Mundy is looking to juniors Myles Clark, Hunter Starzee and Wyatt Brigham to continue developing their skills and contribute as well. Sophomores Riley Willumsen and Drew Garrison, both of whom are good ball handlers, will likely play at both levels as they balance opportunities to gain valuable playing time with getting a taste of the faster varsity game.

JV coach Jay Card brings a dedication to the fundamentals, so necessary as a solid base for higher-level skills. A stickler for proper technique and focus on ball handling skills, he challenges each athlete to constantly improve himself each day. Returning players Matthew Dunning, Carter Brigham and Matthew Murphy can expect to stretch themselves and step up their leadership skills. Exchange student Bac Tran hails from Vietnam and brings a good competitive attitude and a high level of fitness.  Freshmen Johnny Sturges and Sawyer Clark are playing high school ball for the first time but Coach Card is happy to see them working well with the older players.

“We really expect our athletes to be role models and represent the school with pride in all aspects of their lives,” commented Coach Mundy at the parents’ meeting. “I like every one of these kids and I‘m looking forward to a great season with them. If we really play our game, I hope to be headed to playoffs this year.”

With the cool weather approaching, and basketball season heating up it should be a great winter. Come check out the new bleachers in the gym and cheer on your local globetrotters!

02/23/11 10:17pm
Indians honor seniors, narrowly lose to Pierson

TED HILLS PHOTO | Coach Mike Mundy had kind words for all four seniors on the team: Andrew BeltCappellino, Kyle Johnson, John McEnroe and Chris Napolitano.

February 16 was a bittersweet evening for the senior players on the Shelter Island boys basketball team: a sweet senior send-off and a bitter end-of-season match that followed. The varsity boys lost 51-47 to Pierson. The JV squad fell to Pierson too, 67-34.


The senior send-off, held before the last home game of each season, is an opportunity to recognize the graduating seniors for their many contributions to their teams.

Coach Mike Mundy lauded seniors Chris Napolitano, Andrew BeltCappellino, Kyle Johnson and John McEnroe. “Chris Napolitano and John McEnroe were our forwards this year, and for them to go out and battle against guys who are 3, 4, 5 inches taller than them, they did a great job,” he explained. “With Kyle, you never know what you’re going to get, once, twice, sometimes 10 times a game, you’re going to see something amazing.” He went on to call BeltCappellino an outstanding young man and a pleasure to coach.

Coach Mundy also thanked volunteer Coach Jim Colligan for his dedication of countless hours to the Indians boys basketball program. He told the Reporter that Coach Colligan brings extensive experience and “great knowledge of the game” to the Indians’ bench.

It was also the last performance of the year for the cheerleading team. Coach Katelyn Pryal thanked graduating senior Margaret Hildreth for her contributions to the team. “She’s done an amazing job,” Coach Pryal said.


In the match that followed, the varsity Indians took an early lead in the first quarter, which ended 12-8. Shelter Island was a force under the net, ripping rebounds away from their opponents and playing an aggressive game.

Indians honor seniors, narrowly lose to Pierson

TED HILLS PHOTO | Kyle Johnson fights to get a clear shot during his last home game on February 16 against Pierson/Bridgehampton.

The Indians fought their way to a 10-point lead during the second quarter with a drive that included steals  by Johnson and Jimmy Read. But Pierson came back and held  a 25-24 lead at the end of the half.

The spectators were brought to a frenzy of cheers in the third quarter, when McEnroe stole an inbounds pass and sent a beautiful bounce pass through traffic to Read, who scored a basket. On the very next play, McEnroe again stole the ball in Pierson territory, this time scoring himself.

On the next play, Johnson leapt so high while trying to block a shot that he nearly jumped over the Pierson shooter, landing on him and nearly toppling over. It was a foul but judging by some of the cheers from the stands the Indians spectators didn’t care. Johnson later received sustained applause from the crowd when he fouled out and walked off the court for the last time.

The Indians continued an aggressive battle, By the end of the fourth quarter, the score was 44-43, Pierson, with about a minute to play. After the Indians called a time out to plan their last minute, they unintentionally fouled Pierson’s Schuyler Loesch as he was making a layup. He missed his free throw but another Pierson player got the rebound and sank it, making it 48-43 with just 30 seconds left. The Indians tried to get possession with intentional fouls, but Pierson sank 3 of the 4 resulting foul shots.

BeltCappellino finished his Indians basketball career right with a 3-pointer at the buzzer (his third 3-pointer of the match) but it wasn’t enough for the win.

The boys finished 1-12 in their league. “We had a hard season, a rough season,” Coach Mundy said. “I think we didn’t always play with the intensity that we were capable of. When we came out with our minds and our heads in the right spot, it showed what we were capable of … but our heads weren’t always where they needed to be.”

But in their last game of the season, “I think the boys performed really well,” Coach Mundy said. “They stepped up, they played hard and they hustled. Obviously it would have been nice to win, but I think it was a game where they can hold their heads high.”


The JV boys were left in the dust from the start, giving up 25 points in the first quarter while scoring only 6. Pierson benefited from superb shooting accuracy. “They must have shot 80 percent,” JV Coach Jay Card said.

At the end of the half, the score was 36-12, Pierson. The boys showed better intensity in the third quarter, however, after what Coach Card called a “halftime tongue lashing,” but their efforts weren’t enough to overcome the early deficit. Pierson won, 67-34.

David Oliver led the Indians with 10 points, followed by Nate Mundy with 9 points.

11/24/10 2:59am

TED HILLS PHOTO | Varsity basketball coach Mike Mundy explains the finer points of free-throw shooting.

The beginning of a sports season is always exciting, and the boys and girls basketball teams’ first practices last week were no exception. “Just getting back in the gym, it really gets your blood going,” explained JV girls Coach Brian Doelger, a new coach this year, after the girls’ November 18 practice. “For me, it was definitely the best day of the year so far.”

The athletes will be practicing hard over the next few weeks to prepare for their first games in December, and they, along with Coach Doelger and the other coaches, are hoping their enthusiasm along with plenty of hard work will translate into victories for the Indians players.


The boys squad is a much younger team this year, with a huge influx of new players. JV Coach Jay Card, who in 2008 coached junior high basketball, is looking forward to working with the athletes: “This is a bunch of kids that have started with me in junior high, and so I’ve been working with these kids on fundamentals from way back. I expect to pick up where we left off and continue forward.”

“We have a huge set of enthusiastic young players” varsity Coach Mundy said of the 10 freshmen and 5 sophomores on the court during the team’s November 18 practice.

After nine varsity boys graduated this past spring, there are few upperclassmen on the roster: just three juniors and four seniors. Coach Mundy and Coach Card haven’t figured out yet which of the 22 players will play varsity and which will fill out the JV roster.

Whether rookie or veteran, all players will have plenty to work on this season. Coach Mundy is hoping to keep the team in tip-top physical shape: “We’re not going to win games on our height, so we want to be fast.”

He’s stressing defense this season, he said, and is running drills that help the boys improve their shot percentage, a weak point of past Indians teams.

The varsity boys may have a tough season ahead of them: Smithtown Christian, a team the Indians consistently beat in past seasons, isn’t fielding a varsity basketball team this year, and the Southampton squad kept their skills sharp in a summer basketball league.

But in addition to coaches Mundy and Card, the team will benefit from volunteer coach Jim Colligan, who coached basketball in the Carle Place district for over 30 years. This is his second year with the Indians. “He’s a tremendous asset to us,” said Coach Mundy.

The varsity boys open their season at noon on December 11 at McGann-Mercy. JV boys play their first game on December 16 on the Island at 4 p.m. against Ross.


Just eight girls took to the court for their  first basketball practice last week – the other nine were gearing up for the state volleyball championships this past weekend and couldn’t risk an injury. But even with just half the team, varsity Coach Peter Miedema was excited about what he saw: “In the few drills that we worked on, from the start until the end, they picked it up and they were able to apply it … It’s always a good feeling when you see the girls’ energy and positivity.”

Coach Miedema is already seeing small improvements, he said at the end of practice. “We started an hour- and-a-half ago, and now we’re better athletes and better basketball players, and that’s all that we can ask for.”

The JV girls will be led by new coach, Brian Doelger, who just last June was voted Suffolk County Coach of the Year. He’ll serve as a “new voice to inspire the kids,” Coach Miedema said.

Last year, he coached basketball at Half Hollow Hills High School. Before that he coached King’s Park High School for one year and at Saint Anthony’s for five. He said he’s excited to be coaching here on the Island.

Coach Miedema didn’t have a projection for how the girls on the whole will perform: “I’m not going to say, ‘We’re going to win this many games.’ The girls are going to go out and be better than they were last year, and that’s all I can ask for.”

The coaches will decide soon who will play on varsity and who will play on JV.

The first girls JV game is at Southampton at 3 p.m. on December 3 and the first varsity game is on Shelter Island at 6:15 p.m. the same day against East Hampton.