Win-loss records can be deceiving. They don’t always tell the whole story.
Take the case of the Southold High School boys basketball team, for instance. Southold’s 3-10 overall record tells the story of a young team with a tough non-league schedule. The story within that story, however, says something else entirely: Southold has won three of its last four games and is 3-2 in Suffolk County League VIII.
Those are the numbers the First Settlers are primarily concerned with as they make a push for the playoffs.
Southold’s latest piece of encouragement came Tuesday night with a 68-58 league defeat of visiting Shelter Island. The sophomore back court of Steven Russell and Nick Grathwohl each struck for a career-high 25 points. The 6-2 Russell also came down with nine rebounds. Zach Grathwohl, Nick’s older brother, supplied nine assists and five points.
Southold withstood a fourth-quarter charge by Shelter Island (2-11, 1-4). Luke Gilpin scored eight of his 14 points during a 10-1 run that pulled Shelter Island within five points of Southold at 63-58 with one minute and 38 seconds left to play. After a Russell layup, a pair of free throws by Jacob Dominy and another by Nick Grathwohl in the final 18.8 seconds salted away the victory.
Shelter Island, one of three Class D teams in Suffolk, lost its seventh straight despite Dan Martin’s 23-point performance. Martin, one of three sophomores in the Indians’ starting lineup, stuck six three-pointers. Lucas Quigley Dunning produced 15 points and Luke Gilpin had 14. Walter Richards picked up nine rebounds and six assists to go with his four points. Richards and Gilpin both fouled out in the fourth quarter.
Southold’s shot was on. The Settlers shot 21-for-39 (53.8 percent) from the field through the first three quarters. Nick Grathwohl and Russell notched seven points apiece during a 16-3 surge in the third quarter that gave Southold a 59-42 advantage. The 17-point lead was the largest margin of the game before Shelter Island bit into it.
Southold shot 16-for-29 from the foul line.
Photo caption: Southold coach Lucas Grigonis maps out strategy with his players during a timeout. (Credit: Bob Liepa)