Martha’s Vineyard tops Sandwich 71-62 in boys hoops

Deshawn James, who led the Vineyarders with 22 points, heads up the floor against Sandwich. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

Deshawn James scored 22 points and Navardo Anderson added 19 more as the Vineyard varsity boys basketball team defeated Sandwich, 71-62, Monday afternoon at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. The victory was sweet revenge for the Vineyarders, who atoned for a 76-57 opening night defeat December 12 in Sandwich. In that game, the Purple helped the Blue Knights considerably by committing 31 turnovers.

In the return encounter, the Vineyarders were better at both ends of the floor. The Vineyard ‘D’ forced 22 turnovers and grabbed 15 steals, with Kane Araujo accounting for four thefts. Matt Marchand hit a pair of big three-pointers as the hosts broke open a tight game with a 19-10 advantage in the third quarter to lead, 54-39, heading into the final period.

“It was a battle,” Vineyard coach Mike Joyce said. “We had a few turnovers today, but I thought we did a much better job taking care of the ball. We played much better team defense.”

Joey Downes, the game’s high scorer with 25 points, was the only Sandwich player who consistently troubled the Vineyard defense. “You can only do what you can do with Joey Downes, he’s good,” coach Joyce said. “We handled the rest of their guys a little bit. We stayed aggressive.”

The Vineyarders host Whitinsville Christian School Saturday at 3 pm.

Vineyard jayvees and freshman fall

Sandwich won the other two contests on the afternoon. The Vineyard jayvees lost 56-47. Chase Silvia had a fine game for the Vineyarders with 20 points. The Blue Knights bested the freshmen, 51-28. Jordan Tate scored 10 points and Jared Rivard added eight for M.V.