Boys: Basketball: ‘Tis the season for Southold good cheer

Southold's Shayne Johnson leans over Shelter Island's Semaj Lawrence and Peter Kropf (33). (Credit: Garret Meade)
Southold’s Shayne Johnson leans over Shelter Island’s Semaj Lawrence and Peter Kropf (33). Southold takes a 4-1 record into the holiday break. (Credit: Garret Meade)


Happy holidays.

They undoubtedly will be for the Southold High School boys basketball team. The First Settlers ought to be in the holiday spirit, with their early-season results.

What’s the reason for all that good cheer? A 4-1 record (3-0 in league play) will do the trick.

In its final game before the school’s holiday break, Southold prevailed, 57-49, in a Suffolk County League VIII encounter against defending Long Island Class D champion Shelter Island on Friday night. Liam Walker scored 7 points in the final 55.7 seconds to help the First Settlers nail down the victory.

The game at Southold High School was highlighted by an intriguing matchup between the teams’ two headline players: Tristan Wissemann of Shelter Island and Walker. The two, who guarded each other at times, essentially canceled each other out in terms of scoring. Wissemann, a 6-foot-4 junior forward, produced a game-high 27 points. Walker, a senior forward, had 24.

A putback by Alex Poliwoda gave Southold the lead for good at 34-32, but it was a tight affair. About midway through the fourth quarter, Wissemann made a layup to cut Southold’s lead to 43-42, but Shelter Island was unable to pull ahead.

A running banker and a layup by Shayne Johnson stretched Southold’s advantage to 50-44 with about a minute and a half left.

Billy Boeklen’s layup drew the Indians 2 points closer. He had 13 points.

But, as he is prone to do, Walker came up big for the First Settlers. Seconds after canning a pair of free throws, he stole the ball and converted a layup for a 54-46 count. Walker added three more free throws before the First Settlers applauded themselves for a job well done after the final buzzer.

Shelter Island, playing with only seven players (it has only eight on its roster), gave Southold a tough time under the boards. Wissemann and his 6-4 teammate, Semaj Lawrence, came down with 12 rebounds each.

But Shelter Island didn’t help itself from beyond the arc, shooting 0 for 12 on 3-point attempts. Furthermore, Southold sank 14 of its 18 free throws (8 of 10 by Walker).

Shelter Island takes an 0-2 home record into its home opener Sunday against East Rockaway.

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