Written by Donna Duffy Thursday, 06 February 2014 00:00
Coming off a 7-10 season with seven contributing seniors graduating, the Island Trees Bulldogs approached this year with the goal of continuing to improve each day. Led by returning starters and co-captains Andrew Kramer and Daniel Connelly, the Bulldogs have started the season 6-5 and have placed themselves in a competitive position for the final six games in Conference A-3.
Kramer set himself up for a great final season by being named to the Nassau County Top 40 game in the preseason. He has proven his worth on a nightly basis, averaging over 18 points and 15 rebounds per game, highlighted by a 19-point, 24-rebound explosion in a win over county power Floral Park and dominating the Glen Cove game with 33 points and 17 rebounds. His point per game average places him 12th in the county—even more impressive considering he regularly faces double teams. Kramer is one of the better shot blockers in the county.
Setting Kramer up for a number of his inside looks is sophomore point guard Joseph Santoro. Santoro is averaging just under 10 points per game while leading in assists. He sets the pace for the offensive attack and has had a number of impressive games, including a 15 point, 7 assist performance in the most recent win, a double overtime victory against Bethpage.
Connelly is another strong defender for the Bulldogs who has drawn assignments both on the perimeter and in the post. His incredible work ethic allows him to do so effectively while providing strong leadership for the young team.
Sophomore Ryan Daly plays opposite Connelly on the wing and has done a great job both on the glass and stretching the floor.
Senior Christian Bours rounds out the starting lineup at the off guard position, and has been the team’s leading 3-point shooter while also contributing great defensive and rebounding performances from the backcourt.
Island Trees has found a great spark from this bench this season, with Juniors Ryan Willoughby, Robert LiVoti and Thomas Gilmartin providing great lift all season. Willoughby is one of the better on ball defenders in the conference and regularly sparks runs for the team. LiVoti has done a great job coming in for as well as playing with Kramer, giving the Bulldogs an effective front court presence. Gilmartin is another strong defensive player who also has found success behind the three point line this season, highlighted by a 15 point second half performance against Clarke.
The Bulldogs will look to finish the regular season on a high note, with their next home game coming up on Feb. 7, against the visiting Glen Cove team.
—Submitted by the Island Trees School District