Bishop Feehan and Martha’s Vineyard have battled for the Eastern Athletic Conference boys varsity basketball title each season since the Islanders joined the league in 2009.
The teams were co-champions the first time around. The Vineyarders won the crown outright last season. On Saturday at the Francis “Sancy” Pachico gym, the teams met for the first time this season. M.V. entered the contest unbeaten at 4-0 and the Shamrocks were 6-1.
Buoyed by a one-sided first half in the which the Vineyarders shot a dismal 7 of 29 from the field, Feehan led 32-22 at the half and hung on for a 54-51 win.
The Shamrocks led by as many as 17 points in the first half, but the Vineyarders surged back after the break and turned a tame contest into a cliffhanger.
Paced by Peter Keaney, the Islanders closed the gap to two by the end of the third period and tied the score at 41 just seconds into the fourth. But Feehan gained the upper hand again and stretched the lead back to five at 48-43. Keaney answered with a three-pointer to narrow the gap to two. Just one point separated the teams with seven seconds remaining and the Islanders had chances to take the lead, but it was not to be as shots bounced off the rim. The Shamrocks sank two free throws to lead by three and Keaney’s last-ditch three-point attempt was no good. Keaney finished as the Vineyard’s high scorer with 17 points.
The varsity contest was merely the third game of the day, as the schools also squared off in freshmen and jayvee action.
The first game went into the win column for the Vineyard Frosh. They were never headed. Not that it was a runaway. At the end of the first quarter the Islanders led, 15-13. At the half it was even closer, 25-24.
But the Islanders began to pull away in the third period as Alex GordonBeck dropped in two from long distance and added two more points from the foul line.
The final margin of victory was 56-45. GordonBeck’s 14 was the game high. Both Colin Cameron (9) and Mike Mussell (8) had three pointers.
The jayvee game was just the opposite of the Freshmen game.
Feehan broke on top to lead after eight minutes, 19-11, and 35-18 at the half.
The Vineyarders matched their guests in the second half but could not catch up. Final: Shamrocks 55, M.V. 38.
Adonis Camby was the high scorer for M.V. with 11.