Martha’s Vineyard clinches share of EAC boys hoops title

Martha’s Vineyard clinches share of EAC boys hoops title

Jack Roberts cuts to the basket late in the fourth quarter against Somerset Berkley.

The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School boys basketball team clinched at least a share of the Eastern Athletic Conference title with a 65-51 win Tuesday afternoon at Somerset Berkley.

The Vineyarders (13-3, 6-1 EAC) have won or shared the conference title in each of the past four seasons. The Purple can win the EAC title outright with a win over Coyle Cassidy on February 5 in Oak Bluffs.

The win over Somerset Berkley also was sweet revenge for the Vineyarders, who suffered their only league defeat of the season in a 59-58 loss to the Raiders on January 11 in Oak Bluffs.

In Tuesday’s rematch, the Vineyarders got off to a slow start and trailed the Raiders 11-10 after the first period.

Late in the first half, the visitors started to turn the tide after Izak Browne provided a much needed spark. “Izak was a dominant presence in the game,” coach Mike Joyce said. “He got our energy level going with a big dunk near the end of the second quarter.” M.V. led 27-24 at the half and never looked back.

The Vineyarders cranked up the intensity after the break and outscored Somerset Berkley 22-10 in the third quarter to effectively put the game away. “Defensively, we really got on them and locked them down,” coach Joyce said. “Navardo Anderson did a great job on defense. Jack Roberts did a great job controlling the tempo of the offense, making sure we got good scoring opportunities.”

Izak Browne scored 21 points to lead the Vineyard offense. Jahmari Thomas picked up a double-double with 15 points and 10 boards. Jack Roberts had 14 points. Navardo Anderson grabbed four steals.