The Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School boys basketball team booked a place in the junior high finals for the first time in its history with a thrilling 51-49 victory over the Oak Bluffs Blazers Monday afternoon at the Oak Bluffs School.
In fact, the Charger hoopsters became the first Charter School team of any kind to reach an interscholastic final.
The Chargers will face the Edgartown Eagles in the boys final Tuesday, Feb. 12, at the MVRHS Sancy gymnasium.
Down 40-33 with five minutes to play, the Chargers rallied with an 18-4 run to lead 51-44 with two minutes left on the clock. The Blazers staged a furious comeback with five straight points but ran out of seconds.
The entire game was played with a bristling intensity that had the fans, split 50-50 for each team, in a frenzy. Neither team led by more than seven points. In the second half, the lead changed half a dozen times with each basket causing half of the capacity crowd to jump from their seats.
Charter School coaches Asil Cash and Tim Penicaud both credited their bench for the turnaround, particularly the defensive play of Skyler Cameron, who came in to guard the Blazers’ Dylan Araujo. The Chargers also had to carry on late in the second half without Avery Minor and Jared Rivard, who both fouled out.
Ricardo Andrade led the Charter School offense with 21 points. Avery Minor added eight. August Engler, Miles Jordi, and Ethan Hall all had six points. Dylan Araujo scored 20 for Oak Bluffs, Lucas Bettencourt 10, Nevin Wallis eight, and Doug DeBettencourt six
In the second boys semifinal played Tuesday at the Edgartown School, the host Eagles defeated the Tisbury Tigers 54-38.
The Eagles, who have a number of offensive threats, had their fourth different high scorer of the season. Ennis Foster led the way with 23 points. Nick Bond, the Eagles most consistent scorer this season, had 15 points and has reached double figures in each game. Jordan Tate added eight more. Sam Rollins came in off the bench and swished his only shot. Thomas Weston dominated on defense and controlled the boards. Cole Houston had another great game for Tisbury, scoring 21 points.
Edgartown and Oak Bluffs in girls final
The Lady Eagles landed in next Tuesday’s final at MVRHS with a 53-24 win over the visiting Tisbury Lady Tigers.
Erin Hill paced Edgartown with 35 points, followed by Meghan Sawyer with six, and Rebecca Lima with four. Hill, Kiana Casey, and Sarah Felix were outstanding defensively with numerous blocks, steals, and rebounds.
Lizzie Williamson was the top Cat with eight points, Amanda Bernard scored five, and Lily Pigott had four.
Monday, in Oak Bluffs, the Lady Blazers reached the final by grounding the West Tisbury Lady Hawks, 40-28.
Molly DeBettencourt of Oak Bluffs dominated the game with 25 points. Julia Bettencourt scored eight. Lacey Dinning, Natalja Lakis, and Rose Engler scored four points apiece.
Whitney Schroeder was tops for West Tisbury with 20 points. Sam Robinson and Kat Roberts each scored four.
The girls championship game will be Tuesday, Feb. 12, at 3:30 pm at MVRHS, followed by the boys championship at 5 pm.