Somerset Berkley stuns Martha’s Vineyard with late rally

Jack Roberts cuts to the basket late in the fourth quarter against Somerset Berkley. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

The Vineyarders let a big one get away Friday afternoon at the Sancy.

Down 57-45 with two minutes to play in regulation, Somerset Berkley fired off 14 unanswered points in an 80-second span and stunned Martha’s Vineyard 59-58 in a crucial Eastern Athletic Conference boys basketball matchup.

Held in check by a tenacious Vineyard defense for the first three quarters, the Raiders drilled six three-pointers in the final period, three of them in the final two minutes. Vaughn Browner swished the winning trey with 50 seconds left.

Jack Roberts had a chance to tie the game from the free throw line with 11.9 seconds left on the clock. He missed the first shot and made the second to make it 59-58.

M.V. had a foul to give and had to foul Somerset Berkley twice to send the Raiders to the line with a one and one. The first free throw was no good and the Vineyarders rushed down the court with eight ticks to go. Izak Browne put up a long jumper that missed and the Raiders, their bench, and their fans erupted in a frenzy as the final buzzer sounded.

“We were playing man to man defense and we left guys wide open for three-pointers. That’s not really what you have to have happen,” Vineyard coach Mike Joyce said. “Guys just got lax covering guys on the perimeter and they [Somerset Berkley] got hot and hit like four in a row and that really was the difference. Also, we were horrible from the foul line again tonight. We had our chances to put them away earlier in the game and missed a bunch of layups, a bunch of easy shots in the first half. We should have been up 15 or 20. If you leave someone hanging around, they get hot and change the game and that’s what happened.”

Izak Browne finished with 20 points, Jack Roberts scored 18, and Navardo Anderson had 10.

With the loss, the Vineyarders dropped to 7-3 overall and 2-1 in the EAC. The Purple host Lexington on Sunday at 2:30 pm.