Martha’s Vineyard clinches league hoops crown

The Vineyard boys varsity basketball team gave coach Mike Joyce a perfect birthday gift. They went out and beat Bishop Stang 61-47 Tuesday night in North Dartmouth, to clinch the Eastern Athletic Conference championship.

M.V. is 14-1 overall and finished the EAC schedule at 7-1. The Vineyarders might have shared the title with Bishop Feehan, but Feehan lost to Somerset Berkley Tuesday by three points. The Purple and White have won or shared the league title in all three seasons since joining the conference in 2009.

Tuesday night’s game was senior night for the Spartans and the home team came out fired up. The Vineyarders stood up to the early pressure and turned the game in their favor with good defense.

“We had a good team effort, particularly on defense,” coach Joyce said after the game. “We forced 20 turnovers and that gave us a lot of opportunities to run, which is what we like to do.”

The Vineyarders also shot well. Jack Roberts had the hot hand from outside with five three pointers and 17 points overall. Charlie Everett beat the Spartans in the paint and scored 13 points. Izak Browne added 10 more.

Friday, the Vineyarders mauled Coyle and Cassidy in Taunton 78-46. Charlie Everett paced the Vineyard attack with 18 points. Brandon Watkins tossed in 12 more.

M.V. returns to the Sancy on Sunday to meet John D. O’ Bryant of West Roxbury. The game tips off at 12:30 pm.