The 2017-18 boys varsity basketball season got off to a rough start Tuesday afternoon at the Francis “Sancy” Pachico Gymnasium in Oak Bluffs. In a clear case of baptism by fire, the young, green Vineyarders ran into a seasoned group of Sandwich Blue Knights and ended up on the short end of a 64-34 scoreline.
Sandwich raced out to an early 18-0 lead, and never looked back against a Vineyard team with a decided lack of varsity experience and an acute case of nerves. In fact, prior to Tuesday’s opening tip, only senior captain John Morris had ever played in a varsity game.
“It’s more or less where I thought we were going to be,” said Vineyard Coach Mike Joyce. “I thought we’d have a better effort. That’s the only part I was disappointed about. I thought we could have played harder at times, but when you have one person who’s had even a minute of varsity experience and not much more, you’re going to look like that, and Sandwich is a well-disciplined, veteran team. They have like six seniors, and they ran their stuff well, and we have a lot to work on. Every quarter, every half, every game, we just have to try and get a little better.
“Loose balls, rebounds, those are things you don’t need technique, you need desire,” Coach Joyce continued. “[They’re] a young team, definitely nervous. They looked nervous to start; certainly they were hesitant to shoot.”
Freshman Mike Trusty and junior Kaio Reis scored seven points apiece to lead the Vineyarders. Nick Abbott of Sandwich was the game’s high scorer, with 11 points.
The Vineyarders are back on the home court Saturday afternoon at 1:30 pm against C.A.S.H. (Community Academy of Science and Health) of Dorchester, in a game rescheduled from Dec. 9.
Sandwich tops MVRHS JV, freshmen boys
The Blue Knights went three for three on the court against the Vineyarder boys on Tuesday. In the JV game, Sandwich prevailed 53-37. Solon Oliver scored 10 points, and Max Gargiulo had nine for MV.
The freshman game at the Oak Bluffs School proved to be the best of the day. Andrew Marchand sank a clutch three-pointer with under a minute to play in regulation to reverse a 10-point deficit and put the Vineyarders up 41-39. Sandwich fought back to tie the score with 10 ticks on the clock, and pulled away in the overtime period for a 52-47 win. Marchand and Leo Neville scored 12 points apiece, and Josh Billings added 10.