Boys hoopsters down Dolphins in home opener

Navardo Anderson fights through a sea of green against D-Y. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

The Vineyard boys varsity basketball team rebounded from an opening day loss in Sandwich to down the Dennis-Yarmouth Dolphins 69-41 in the home opener Tuesday afternoon at the Sancy in Oak Bluffs.

Navardo Anderson led the Vineyarders with 23 points, while Deshawn James chipped in 12 more.

The Vineyarders (1-1) stifled the Dolphins with an intense defensive effort, forcing 18 steals, and overcame a sloppy, error-prone first quarter with 24 minutes of solid play. “Our weak side defense still needs a lot of work, but our ball defense was much better [than against Sandwich]; a lot better intensity” coach Mike Joyce said after the win.

The Purple had trouble hanging onto the ball in the opening eight minutes and trailed 12-8 after the first quarter. The hosts soon righted the ship in the second period. Anderson slammed the first of his two dunks on the night to give the Vineyarders a 16-15 lead they would not relinquish. Matt Marchand and Matt Stone both sank three-pointers, with Marchand adding another bucket off a slick spin move to close out the half, as the Vineyarders led at the break 35-20.

The Dolphins showed signs of life by hitting back-to-back threes to end the third quarter down 51-37, but Anderson started the fourth with his second dunk to rip back the momentum and bring the large partisan crowd to its feet.

“After the first quarter, we took care of the ball a lot better,” coach Joyce said. “The first quarter was pretty sloppy, we only had eight points, but we scored 61 points the next three periods. I think if we keep playing at that level, we’ll be okay. A lot of guys stepped up and had good games today. Matt Marchand hit a couple of big shots, Malik [Johnson] did a good job defensively.”

Offensively, the Vineyarders slowed the game down from the season opener, making better choices with the ball. “We did a much better job being patient offensively, getting good shots, working the ball, and just not making lazy passes,” Mr. Joyce said, “Passes that work in summer league don’t work in high school basketball, and it took us five quarters to learn that.”

Jayvees and frosh beat D-Y

The Vineyard jayvee and freshmen teams also beat Dennis-Yarmouth on Tuesday to send the visitors back to the Cape 0-3 on the day. The jayvees won, 52-45, behind 22 points from Nick Bond and 12 more from David Macias. The frosh romped, 56-30, with nine players getting on the scoresheet. Joshua Tate had 12 points and Ethan Hall scored 11.