A look back to 1979: The Vineyard vs Nauset at the Garden

A look back to 1979: The Vineyard vs Nauset at the Garden

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The Vineyard boys basketball team at the Boston Garden in 1979 for a game vs. rival Nauset. — Photo courtesy of Phil Regan

Until Tuesday, the Martha’s Vineyard boys basketball team last played a tournament game at Boston Garden in 1973. Though it wasn’t a playoff game, MVRHS also played on the Celtics’ hallowed parquet in 1979.

Vineyard Haven Harbor was frozen and it was quite an adventure just getting to Woods Hole, never mind Boston. Although it was not a tournament game, in the late 70s a game against arch-nemesis Nauset was as big as any tournament game. The teams were invited to play at the Garden, prior to a Celtics game, in order to increase fan interest in the Celtics, during a time when the C’s were not doing so well (one year before Larry Bird donned the number 33).

The game was well attended by both sides and hard fought. The Vineyard prevailed 66-63, and eventually won the Cape and Islands title. That same year M.V. beat both Barnstable and Falmouth (Falmouth had the second tallest center in Eastern Mass., 6-foot, 9-inch Helmut Bryant. Patrick Ewing was the tallest) in a pre-tournament scrimmage. The Vineyarders went 18-3 that year, losing in the state tournament.

Of the 15 players, three no longer live on the Island (Ralph Harding, Peter Clements and Mike Daniel, although Peter and Mike are regular year-round visitors ), one is deceased (Chris Rebello) and the other 11 remain locally involved.


  1. I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure I recognize 3 guys in there that graduated in 1977.If wrong, please correct me. The player on the far left back row looks like Peter DeBettencourt, also back row the second player to Coach Schofield’s right looks like Tim Sylvia. Bottom row on the left I’m really sure that’s Jamie Silva. I grew up with Tim and Jamie, so if wrong……. I’ll eat crow.

      1. I said I was not sure. And I agree that looks like Allan. I think there’s an old saying, everybody has a twin. BTW, I had my crow on wheat bread with mayo.:) Maybe someone can put the correct names to the picture.


  2. Photo: From left to right; Standing Asst Coach Mike O’Brian (currently Sandwich’s head coach) Mark McCarthy, Marc Rivers, Todd Rebello, Martin Moreis, Ed BenDavid, Mike Daniel, Ralph Harding, Peter Clements, Phil Regan, Chris Rebello, Coach Jay Schofield. Kneeling; Alan Fortes, Sam Delvalle, Phil Mercier, Patrick Mercier, Steve Maciel.

    1. thank you…I hope you can excuse my errors. looking at the picture through middle aged eye sight I guess:-) My younger sisters would have known…. especially Regan.