The Island middle school basketball season got off to a rousing start Tuesday afternoon in front of a packed house at the Tisbury School gym, as the Tisbury Tigers and Charter School Chargers tipped off in a boys basketball classic that went the distance and then some. After 32 minutes of regulation play, the teams were tied at 49 apiece, and went to a four-minute overtime. In the extra period, the Tigers made six of eight free-throws and Jonathan Norton took a slick pass from Nico Arroyo to sink an insurance bucket with 12 seconds left, sealing a 59-55 Tisbury win.
Ty Matthews poured in 46 points to lead the Charter offense, while Norton (20 points), Arroyo (11), and Chris Chambers (10) paced the Tigers.
The first few minutes were frantic and unfocused, with lots of banging under the glass and plentiful turnovers. After Chargers coach Asil Cash took a prudent timeout, his charges toned down the run and gun, and played closer to the tempo of the Tigers, who favored a more patient half-court game, anchored by smooth perimeter passing.
Twice, Tisbury led by eight in the first half, and twice the Charter Schoolers sliced the lead in half, to trail 27-23 at the break.
Tisbury threatened to run away in the second half, and led 39-29 after Nico Arroyo went coast to coast for a layup, but Ty Matthews responded in a big way. In a five-minute span, he outscored the Tigers 13-2, added a block and a steal, and sent the Charger faithful into a frenzy by sinking a trey with 2:50 left to put the Charter School in front, 42-41.
From there, the teams traded baskets and had both sets of fans jumping out of their seats for the duration. Each team had a chance to end the game in regulation, but couldn’t get the shots to fall.
Two additional games are scheduled before the Thanksgiving break. The Charter School plays West Tisbury in the girls opener on Thursday at 3:30 pm, and the same schools meet in boys play on Monday at 3:30 pm. Both games are at the West Tisbury School.