The Martha’s Vineyard boys’ basketball team handily defeated Bourne Wednesday at home by a score of 77-44 in the opening round of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association tournament.
Although the Vineyarders won by more than 30 points, the final score could have been more lopsided; as the home team started the game a bit rusty after a two-week layoff, missing a number of easy shots and free throws.
Next is at Bishop Feehan, Friday at 5:30 pm. There will be a fan bus on the 2:30 boat. Call Dawn Feinsmith at the high school, 508- 693-1033 to sign up.
Wednesday, after building an early lead of 22-6, the Canalmen surprisingly surged back to within six points at 23-17 about midway through the second quarter.
“We were two weeks since our last game and it showed a little on offense, especially in the first quarter,” coach Mike Joyce said after the game.
“I told them that Bourne will be tough and scrappy and they came back, but we just running and playing our game and we turned things around,” he added.
An emphatic dunk by Navardo Anderson sent the home crowd into frenzy in the second quarter, and the Vineyarders used a full-court press to put pressure on the Canalmen’s backcourt and force several turnovers.
The Vineyarders built the lead to ten at 31-21 at the half, and expanded that lead to 22 points by the end of the third quarter at 52-30.
The game got chippy late, and at one point the referees called a double technical after the Vineyarders Jahmari Thomas and the Canalmen’s Shamere Smith battled over possession of the ball.
But the Canalmen never rallied in the second half, and the Vineyarders steadily built their lead, even after both coaches emptied their bench and put in their reserves.
The post-season game also served as senior night, since an earlier game that was designated as senior-night was cancelled after the opponent, Dorchester, failed to show up to play.
So it was only fitting that the senior players would lead the way in the win, as Jack Roberts led the way with 20 points including eight in the fourth quarter, and Izak Browne finished with 16 points.
The Canalmen had a difficult time containing Browne, who consistently drove the lane to score the basket or draw a foul. Meanwhile Roberts was a force on offense and defense, forcing turnovers and starting several fast breaks.
“He is very consistent, always at a high level of play and works incredibly hard the whole game,” the coach said of Roberts. “He found his scoring touch and finished with another great game.”
The coach also praised Browne and said he easily could have score more.
“He uncharacteristically missed some of his shots, and some free throws, but he kept playing hard and didn’t let that take him out of the rest of his game. He just kept attacking the rim and that’s what we needed him to do,” the coach said.
Liam Weston also had a strong game, finishing with 12 points. Weston clearly had a size advantage over the Canalmen’s defenders, and at one point made four straight baskets from the paint.
Coach Joyce said the Vineyarders speed and size wore down the Canalmen as the game went on. “Our size was too much for them in the end,” he said.
“They came out and beat us on the glass in the first quarter surprisingly. But we settled down in the second half, especially on offense, and our size just wore then down in the end You could tell they ran out of steam,” he added.
Senior Nick Costello had four points for the Vineyarders, Matt Marchland had four, and Deshawn James finished with 8. Jack Canterbury led the Canalmen with 10 points, Shamere Smith had 9 and Josh Curry had three points in the loss.
The Vineyarders climb to 16-4 on the season and advance to the next round against Bishop Feehan.