The Vineyard varsity girls basketball team hosted the North Quincy Red Raiders in the 2017-18 season opener Saturday afternoon at the Sancy Pachico Gym in Oak Bluffs. The Vineyarders needed one half to get their offense in sync, but once they did and senior sharpshooter Molly DeBettencourt got the hot hand, the result was a 46-29 win.
Defense was the order of the day in a scrappy first half, in which both teams found baskets hard to come by. The Vineyarders nearly pitched a shutout through the opening eight minutes, finishing the first quarter with a 6-2 lead on a brace of Meghan Sawyer buckets and one by Molly.
The paucity of points continued throughout the second period, with the hosts clinging to a 13-11 lead at halftime. Vineyard Coach Sterling Bishop used the break to make some adjustments to a Vineyard half-court offense that was too patient and tentative. “The offense that we were running didn’t seem to be working, so we went back to the drawing board a little bit and put the ball in the hands of Molly DeBettencourt, our best player, and we took advantage of a mismatch,” Mr. Bishop said.
Ms. DeBettencourt responded, scoring 21 of her game-high 26 points in the second half. She scored the first Vineyard points of the third quarter by aggressively driving the lane, leaning in her shoulder and muscling in a bucket, drained a trio of stop and pops from the perimeter, and added two free-throws. Sasha Lakis and Meghan Sawyer also scored to put MV up 29-22 heading into the final period.
The Vineyarders continued to pull away in the fourth quarter. Molly DeBettencourt started off the period with another three-pointer, and worked a slick tic-tac-toe pass play with Rose Engler and Lily Pigott for the prettiest basket of the game and a 36-24 lead.
Meanwhile, the suffocating Vineyard defense bottled up the Red Raiders at every turn. Rose Engler dominated the glass at both ends of the floor, racked up 12 rebounds for the game, and added eight points. Meghan Sawyer also scored eight for MV. “Defense is never going to be a problem for us, because our girls never quit,” Coach Bishop said. “They’re intense. They go hard and they don’t get discouraged, even when they miss shots or turn the ball over. They go 100 percent all the time.”
North Quincy tops Vineyard JV girls
Prior to the varsity contest, the Vineyard JV girls lost a hard-fought 24-13 game to North Quincy. The Red Raiders broke open a tight game with hot shooting in the fourth quarter. Riley Yuhas sparked the Vineyarders at both ends of the court, and finished with five points. Michaela Benefit scored four, while Jovanna Lowell-Bettencourt and Kat O’Brien added a basket apiece.
Vineyard girls lose at Sandwich
Tuesday, host Sandwich defeated the varsity girls, 55-36. Molly DeBettencourt scored 19 points and played solid defense, with four steals and three blocks. Sophomore Taylor Hughes led the Vineyarders in rebounds with 10, and freshman guard Kylie Estrella was another standout performer for MV.