Vineyard boys lose an OT heartbreaker to end season

The Martha's Vineyard Regional High School boys varsity team. — File photo by Ralph Stewart

The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School boys varsity basketball team lost a hard-played overtime thriller against Cardinal Spellman High School of Brockton Wednesday night. The 64-63 final ended the Vineyarders hopes of defending last year’s Division 3 South championship.

The Vineyarders held a 10 point lead midway through the final quarter, but their shooting touch went cold at the worst possible time. Cardinal Spellman forced overtime, then went on to win. The Division 3 South regional semifinal game was played in Taunton, a neutral site for both teams.

The Vineyarders got off to a slow start, failing to score for the first three minutes of the game, while Cardinal Spellman raced off to a 5-0 lead. The Vineyarders found their shooting touch soon enough however, and got back in the game quickly. Spellman answered with a late quarter spurt for a 14-10 lead after the first quarter.

Martha’s Vineyard started the second quarter with two quick hoops to tie the score. The two teams traded hoops in up-and-down action until the final minute of the half, when Alex GordonBeck scored off a steal, made an easy layup on the next possession, and the team finished the quarter with a dunk by Navardo Anderson. Tim Roberts led all scorers in the first half with 12 points. Martha’s Vineyard led at the half 28-22.

Martha’s Vineyard started the third quarter like they started the first quarter, with the shooters running cold. Cardinal Spellman caught up on the strength of a 10-2 run, and took the lead 32-30 midway through the third quarter.

DeShawn James got heated up with his first score of the game, an inside drive, that came with less than two minutes left in the period. He then torched Cardinal Spellman with two more quick scores, and Tim Roberts capped the third quarter with a dunk.

The Vineyarders led at the half 41-36.

Martha’s Vineyard put on another spurt to start the fourth quarter, and built the lead to 10 points with about five minutes left in the game. But Cardinal Spellman fought back, running off eight quick points to make it close again.

Tim Roberts broke the drought with a driving bucket for his 20th point of the night with about a minute left in the game. DeShawn James made a key steal on Cardinal Spellman’s next possession, and the Vineyard had the ball and a 2 point lead with 44 seconds left in the game. But the Vineyarders couldn’t score to put the game away, and Cardinal Spellman tied the score 8 seconds left.

It was tied 51-51 at the end of regulation, and the two teams moved on to overtime.

Cardinal Spellman started the overtime period with a long 3-pointer. The Vineyard responded with a hoop, and Tim Roberts tied the game at 54 by making one of two free throws.

A quick basket and two free throws gave Cardinal Spellman a 4 point lead with less than 2 minutes left in the overtime period.

The Vineyarders made a valiant effort down the stretch. With less than a minute left in overtime, the Vineyard had to foul to force changes in possession.

Cardinal Spellman made one of the two free throws. DeShawn James got fouled on the next possession, and made both of his free throws, to cut the lead to 3 points.

The Vineyarders again fouled immediately, and Cardinal Spellman again made one out of two.

With 13 seconds left in the game, Kane Araujo gave Martha’s Vineyard a real shot at a win, connecting on a 3-pointer to cut the lead to just 1 point, setting up the dramatic finish.

The Vineyarders again fouled immediately, and Spellman this time converted both free throws, and led by 3 points.

On the Vineyard’s final possession, needing a 3-pointer to tie and send the game into a second overtime, DeShawn James came down the floor and scored a layup, but it was only two points, and the clock ran out. The season ends for the boys varsity in a tough loss, 64-63 in overtime.