Falcons crest, Cambridge edges M.V. in Nan Rheault
The Vineyard girls hockey team didn't win the 9th annual Nan Rheault Invitational Tournament, but they came darn close.
Considering the tumultuous start to the season, featuring a string of disheartening losses and the departure of long-time coach Sam Sherman, the team's performance in the past ten days has been cause for great optimism.
M.V. came into the Nan Rheault championship game riding a three-game unbeaten string, winning at Falmouth, tying Marshfield, and defeating Scituate 4-2 in the opening game of the tournament Saturday night at the Martha's Vineyard Arena.
Sunday afternoon against Cambridge Rindge and Latin, the Vineyarders played a gritty, inspired game, but lost 3-0 as the Falcons scored two goals late in the third period to skate away with the winner's trophy.
Coach Gene Townes lauded his team's improved play.
"The girls played their hearts out. They did a fantastic job. They've come a long way in learning the game, picking their heads up, and making the passes they have to make. It's a process," coach Townes said.
At even strength, the Vineyarders did a good job slowing down the Falcons with tight forechecking. The high-flying birds faced no such pressure in their opening round 8-0 win over Peabody.
In the end, execution on the special teams was the only real difference between the teams. The Vineyarders were tentative during their power play opportunities, while the Falcons piled on the pressure with the extra attacker.
Cambridge carried a 1-0 lead into the dying minutes, scoring a shorthanded goal 2:35 seconds into the second period on a bizarre 80-foot clearance that found it's way under goalie Jaime Forend's stick.
The Vineyard netminder was otherwise superb, especially during the Falcon power play. Cambridge totaled most of their 35-8 shots-on-goal advantage with the extra skater. The Vineyarders spent too much time in the sin bin during the final period, and eventually the visitors broke through and scored a second goal with 2:23 left to play.
Cambridge added their final tally with 15 seconds left, after M.V. had killed off another penalty.
In Saturday's opener with Scituate, the Vineyarders broke open a 2-2 tie with two third-period goals to book their place in Sunday's final.
Gillian O' Callaghan was the hat-trick heroine on the night.
She opened the scoring at 8:36 of the first period after rushing in from the blue line and firing in a wrister from the left circle. Emily Cimeno and Olivia Higham earned the assists.
The teams were tied at one after one period, but Celia Mercier restored the M.V. lead by poking in a rebound on the power play at 6:02 of the second. Olivia Cimeno got her second assist and Angela DeBettencourt had the other.
Scituate scored on a slow wrister to tie the game at 2-2 with 90 seconds left in the period, but Gillian O' Callaghan needed only 48 ticks in period three to post the winning tally by jamming the puck inside the left post after a pass from Maggie Johnson.
Gillian's hat trick was complete eight minutes later after she slapped in a rebound from Celia Mercier's shot. Angela DeBettencourt also assisted.
Jaime Forend was the winning goalie, stopping 26 Sailor shots. M.V. had 29 shots on goal.
All was not lost for Scituate, who defeated Peabody 7-3 in the consolation game.
Vineyarders clinch state tourney berth
The MVRHS boys basketball team steamrolled the opposition this week, winning three games and clinching a berth in the MIAA state tournament.
The Vineyarders stand at 10-1 overall and sit atop the Eastern Athletic Conference with a 3-0 record.
Tuesday against EAC foe Coyle and Cassidy, M.V. shrugged off an uneven first quarter to blow out the Warriors, 83-56, at the Sancy.
Lamar Moreis was the catalyst in an explosive third quarter for M.V., shooting three treys and making three steals as the Vineyarders expanded their lead from 8 points to 20 by the end of the period. M.V. lit up the scoreboard with 11 three-pointers in all for the game.
Coach Mike Joyce made a slight adjustment to his offense during halftime to better deal with Coyle's one-three-one defense, giving his players more space to shoot in the corners, and the results were dynamic.
That, combined with the suffocating Vineyard defense and the depth of its bench, wore the Warriors out.
Lamar Moreis finished with 15 points, Justin Mercier had 13, and Ben Ciciora had 12. Steve Handy was the beast of the boards with 11 rebounds.
Monday at Pembroke, Randall Jette propelled the Vineyarders to their ninth win of the season, scoring 14 points as M.V. downed the Titans 68-56.
Lamar Moreis (12 points), Ben Ciciora (11), and Justin Mercier (10) also reached double figures for M.V.
Saturday, the Vineyarders were nothing short of sensational in thrashing visiting Minuteman Regional of Lexington, 79-39.
Each Vineyard player scored at least three points - that's 11 players in all.
Del Araujo led the way with 17 points. Steve Handy scored 15, T.J. Van Gerven had 10, Justin Mercier chipped in 8 more, and Chris Costello brought the home crowd to its feet with his first bucket of the season - a three-pointer, no less.
The Vineyarders excelled in every facet of the game. They passed well around the perimeter and took smart, high percentage shots. Defensively, M.V. were aggressive, without piling up fouls and pressured the Mustangs into a passel of turnovers. Coach Mike Joyce was particularly pleased with the seamless transition between his starters and his bench.
"The first group came out with some good intensity defensively, turned them over a bunch of times, and got us up quickly. The second group kept up the same level of intensity," coach Joyce said.
The boys jayvee squad defeated Coyle and Cassidy at home on Tuesday, but it wasn't easy.
Ryan Fisher made a huge steal to preserve a three-point lead and the Vineyarders scored nine points in the final 30 seconds to pull away 75-66.
Jack Roberts was en fuego, smoking the hoop for 35 points as M.V. improved to 3-3.
Monday, at Pembroke, Roberts still put up 16 points, but M.V. shot only 14 of 70 for the game and lost by eight.
The Vineyard squirt C's swept Barnstable Saturday at the MV Arena.
Jack Murray scored a pair of goals to lead M.V. in the opening 3-2 win and added a hat-trick in the 3-0 follow-up. William Slayton tallied the other goal and Hunter Ponte earned an assist in game one. Layla Buckley also had a strong game for M.V.
Cahal Robinson was stellar in net, posting the shutout in game two. Jack Garrett, Kylie Hatt, and Cabot Thurber all had assists.
MVRHS boys hockey
The Vineyarders completed a winless three-game road trip with a 6-2 loss to Dennis-Yarmouth at the Tony Kent Arena, Monday and fell to 4-7 on the season.
Coach Matt Mincone had hoped that his team could regain their early season intensity, especially in time for a crucial Eastern Athletic Conference tilt with archrival Coyle and Cassidy in a late game yesterday.
Monday against D-Y, in an all too familiar trend, the Islanders flagged in the third period, giving up three goals.
Chris Davies and Henry Smith had scored in the second period to tie the game at two. Jock Cooperrider assisted on the first goal, while Darren Gazaille chalked up the 100th point of his high school career, assisting with Brooks Billingham on the second score.
Friday, the Vineyarders were humbled, 4-1 at Mansfield. Brooks Billingham potted the lone goal, assisted by Colby Gouldrup.
January 13, M.V. gave up five third period goals in dropping a stunning 6-5 decision to EAC foe Somerset.
Tyler Araujo scored twice, Chris Davies notched a shorthanded goal and an assist, Darren Gazaille and Max Davies scored once, and Colby Gouldrup had an assist.
There was some good news for MV: The junior varsity squad defeated D-Y, 3-2, Monday, for its first win. All of the scoring occurred in the third period. Huck Burke notched the game-winner for M.V. Luc Woodward chalked up a goal and an assist and Harrison Rodrigues scored the first tally. Shay Hill had two assists.
West Tisbury gets even, hands Blazers first loss
Kane Araujo racked up 22 points as visiting West Tisbury tagged Oak Bluffs with their first loss of the interscholastic boys basketball season, 44-41, on Jan. 14.
The Blazers opened the season by winning on the Hawks home court, but West Tisbury has been perfect since.
The return encounter followed a similar pattern in each half. West Tisbury raced out to an early advantage - 8 points in the first period, 10 in the second, only to have O.B. come roaring back with runs of their own.
Matt Marchand was the high scorer for the Cottage Citizens with 19 points.
The Blazer boys defeated the Charter School on January 13, 48-23. Matt Marchand again led O.B. with 18 points. Ben Wadleigh and Tyson Araujo scored eight apiece.
The Tisbury boys improved to 2-1 with an exciting 64-62 win over Edgartown.
Taymon Brown and Mike Mussell led the Tigers with 14 points each, while Zach Wannamaker pumped in 28 points for Edgartown.
In girls action, Tisbury scraped by Edgartown 17-16 last Thursday. Mya Houston had six points for the victorious Tigers and Sophie Ulyatt scored six for the Eagles.
Oak Bluffs remained unbeaten at 5-0 with a 65-24 win over Tisbury on Tuesday. Kat deBettencourt and Hayley Maciel paced O.B. with 24 and 20 points respectively. Arianna Warren (9 points) and Mya Houston (6) led the Tigers.
Vikings and Warriors pillage M.V.
Friday's game against Wareham was one that the Vineyard varsity girls basketball team would just as soon forget.
Save for a brisk 7-0 lead in the first three minutes, and an exceptional third quarter, M.V. was fairly dismal in a 50-42 loss at the Sancy.
The Vineyarders (6-4) followed their one touchdown lead by scoring only two points in the following eight minutes as Wareham went on a 17-2 run.
Jillian Sedlier and Jenny Lindland got tagged with three fouls apiece and M.V. had the Vikings in the double bonus before the game was nine minutes old.
The second quarter was a morass of turnovers, errant passes, and poor shooting from the home side. Hanna Persson and Katie Hines provided a silver lining by sinking four straight from the stripe to pull M.V. to within 27-20 at the break.
The third quarter featured the Vineyarders at their best. They drained six points in the opening minute and Crystal Miske swished a three to put M.V. back on top at 31-30. The Islanders carried that margin into the fourth period, but once again, fell into their bad habits down the stretch.
Coach Lisa Stewart was less than pleased after the loss. "We just didn't come to play. They wanted it more than we did. We got into early foul trouble and that took us out of our rhythm," she said.
The coach also cited sloppy ball handling, poor shooting, and a lack of defensive intensity. "We didn't bring it on the defensive end and that's really how our offense gets into gear."
Katie Hines led M.V. with nine points. Jillian Sedlier had eight.
Tuesday at Taunton, the Vineyard girls lost 55-37 in an Eastern Athletic Conference tilt with the Coyle and Cassidy Warriors.
The jayvee girls fared well against visiting Wareham, sending the Vikings packing with a 63-34 pasting.
Maggie Riseborough racked up 21 points, Kendall Robinson had 18, and Alayna Hutchinson scored 10 for M.V. who improved to 3-2.
Coach Maureen Hill was particularly impressed by her team's smothering defense, which held Wareham to nine points in the first half.
Youth Lacrosse Clinic
Voluntary clinics and practices begin Saturday from 2:30 to 4 pm at the Martha's Vineyard Boys and Girls Club for all players who participated last year or who are planning to play Instructional or Under-11 lacrosse this spring.
Players will need minimal use of helmets and gloves. Hockey equipment is fine.
For more information, contact Greg Rollins at (508) 627-7262 or send an e-mail to email@example.com.