After being seeded sixth in Division 3 South by the MIAA, for its 15 win - 3 loss season record, the Martha's Vineyard varsity boys basketball team received a bye in the preliminary round, and then took on 11th-seeded Rockland, conquerors of the 22 seed, Hanover, at the Sancy Pachico gym last Thursday, February 25.
In front of a large and highly vocal crowd, the Islanders curbed the Bulldogs, 70-62.
Rockland's high scorer, Bryan Whitt, posted the first two points. The Vineyard responded with buckets by Steve Handy and Shane Schofield, and two freebies by Lamar Moreis. They would be tied but never headed thereafter.
At the end of the first eight-minute quarter the score was M.V. 11, Rockland 9.
At the half, the Islanders led 28-21. At the three-quarter mark, M.V. was up 43-31. The Islanders biggest lead, early in the final frame, was 49-33.
In the closing minutes, Rockland made a run at the Vineyard, coming as close as five, 60-55, with a minute and a half to go.
In a real sense, the Vineyard won the game at the foul line, where they cashed 21 of 32 opportunities to Rockland's 9 out of 21 chances.
High-scorer for the Vineyard with 24 points was Randall Jette.
The team's season came to a halt Saturday at Wareham's aging gymnasium where the Vikings outscored them, 92-76.
All of Wareham's starting five scored in double figures, led by Jules Tavares's 20 points. Jordan Rezendes, who joined the team's 1,000-point club during the season, had 18. Both Ryan Pina and Darren Gray contributed 16, and Pat Murphy had 12.
Wareham listed seven players over six feet tall, four more than the Vineyard.
High scorer for M.V. was Steve Handy with 30, 21 in the second half, including four from beyond the arc. Randall Jette (21) and Lamar Moreis (14) scored in double figures, while Justin Mercier and Ben Ciciora contributed six and four respectively.
The Islanders finished a seesaw first quarter with a 23-20 lead, but at the half they trailed 38-32.
They quickly evened the count at 44 early in the third quarter and even went up, 48-47 on a Handy free throw, but at the end of the period M.V. trailed, 63-56.
Buoyed by a home crowd that could taste victory, the Vikings stepped up their pace of play and scored 29 points in the final frame to the Vineyard's 19.
It was a valiant effort against a bigger and stronger team on their home court. It put an end to a season that by any standard must be called splendid. Congratulations to Coach Mike Joyce, his assistants, and the team.
Wareham went against Bishop Feehan (which squeezed by Medway, 66-65) at Taunton, Wednesday, in a Division 3 quarterfinal game.
Lakers, Suns win
The RCBL's two leading teams, the Heat and the Suns, both with 6-2 records, met in the second game of the Monday double-header at the Boys & Girls Club. Only five of the Suns showed up to do battle against eight of the Heat. But five was enough to win the game, 91-78.
The Heat jumped off to a 9-0 lead and finished the quarter six points ahead, 26-20. Most of the warm one's points - 16, in fact - were poured in by a red-hot Damon Mello.
The Suns played catch-up in the second period, and they did, even taking a brief one-point lead on an Adam Rebello foul shot. But they trailed at the half, 42-40.
Midway in the third quarter the Suns edged ahead and began the final quarter with a five-point advantage, 68-63.
The teams swapped goals for eight minutes, advantage Heat, who led 76-75 with four minutes left Then Matt Brown took command for the Suns, scoring eight of his team's final 10 points as Sterling Bishop reigned under the defensive glass, preventing Heat follow-ups.
High scorer for the Suns was Matt Brown with 34. Damon Mello's 33 led the Heat.
In the first game of the twin bill, the Lakers led from the start against the Bulls. It was 16-13 after one, 38-31 at the half, 63-47 at the three-quarter mark, and 92-72 at the end.
Jeff LaBell's 24 (including 5 treys) was high for the Lakers. Jeremy Scheffer paced the Bulls, also with 24.
The RCBL post of Commissioner will need to be filled before next year's season. Present Commissioner, Pete Lambos, has too many irons in the fire and needs to reduce his list of duties. Interested parties should call Pete at the B&G, 627-3303, to learn more.
The Eastern Athletic Conference has announced its winter sports All Stars, including Vineyarders Steve Handy and Lamar Moreis (boys basketball), Jillian Sedlier (girls basketball), and Darren Gazaille and Chris Davies (boys hockey).
The South Eastern Mass Girls Hockey League named Gillian O'Callaghan and Jaime Forend as All Stars.
Two members of the Martha's Vineyard Table Tennis Club won trophies at the Quincy Table Tennis tournament at Quincy on Sunday, Feb. 28.
Yuri Luncar of Vineyard Haven took top honors in the Under-1200 division, winning all 30 games against 10 opponents. Luncar also took the second place trophy in the Under-1400 division, winning six of seven matches.
Alfred Lau of Oak Bluffs reached the finals in the Under-1000 division, earning the second place trophy by winning five of eight matches.
The M.V. Table Tennis Club is open for play twice a week, Monday and Thursday, at the West Tisbury School from 6:30 to 8 pm.
To Natick for tennis
Kiric Hallahan, Owen Hess, Grant Perile, Theo Guerin, Owen Bresnick, Sam Bresnick, Aiden Aliberti, Dillon Andrews, Benny Binder, Cana Courtney, and Lizzie Williamson, all Vineyarders aged 10 years or less, will participate in the USTA tournament at Natick this weekend. It will be the first taste of an off-Island tournament tennis for some and hopefully will result in more and more Islanders entering off-Island tourneys.
Volleyball on deck
The interscholastic co-ed volleyball season begins Tuesday, March 16, when Tisbury hosts Edgartown and Oak Bluffs visits West Tisbury. Games are scheduled to be played each Tuesday and Thursday until, April 1, followed by playoffs.
On Sunday, Feb. 21, the M.V. Youth Hockey Squirts hosted YD (Yarmouth-Dennis) at the M.V. Arena and treated the visiting junior Dolphins to a double whippin'.
Friday, Feb. 26, at the CDL Arena in Raynham, the M.V. Neponset Valley League Jr. Highs lost a high-scoring game to Coyle & Cassidy, 6-9.
Saturday, at the Kennedy Arena in Barnstable, the MVYH Mites played the Barnstable Red Wings.
At Falmouth the MVYH PeeWees lost to SWS, 5-1.
Sunday at the Kennedy, the MVYH PeeWee B team squeezed by Nantucket, 1-0.
At Foxboro, the MVYH Neponset Valley League Junior Highs got by Spillane Jr. High, 1-0.
At the M.V. Arena, the M.V. Squirt C team bested Lower Cape in the first game of a twin bill, 3-2. The second game was a shutout, 3-0, with M.V. again on top.
The Awards Night Spaghetti Dinner, catered by Buckley Catering, will be at 5:30 pm, on Tuesday, March 16, at the Masonic Hall on the Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road across from Mahoney's.
M.V. Youth Hockey is seeking Mite C teams for the annual Red Kennedy tournament. Please contact Chris Brown with suggestions or information: cbmvi@hotmail .com.