The Eagles bring a trophy home to their nest.
Photos by Ralph Stewart
Edgartown boys, Oak Bluffs girls are champs
The noise in the Edgartown School gym was deafening as Island teams squared off for the interscholastic basketball finals Monday afternoon.
Few Island sporting events generate as much electricity and passion. This doubleheader could have powered a small city.
The Oak Bluffs Blazers and Edgartown Eagles met in the girls championship match. West Tisbury and Edgartown tipped off on the boys side.
The girls game featured a marquee match-up between OB's high-scoring Katie Hines and Edgartown's Hayley Pierce. The deciding factor proved to be the Blazer defense, which stifled Edgartown in the second half, holding the Eagles to a mere six points, en route to a 37-28 victory.
Both teams came out pumped up by the energy of a wildly cheering crowd. As the half unfolded, though, the play settled down, the skill level increased, and the game turned into quite a show. The Hines-Pierce battle proved as close as the halftime score with Hines leading Pierce 10-9 and the Eagles in front of OB, 22-20.
Edgartown's Hayley Pierce tries to slip a shot under the reach of OB's Katie Hines.
Play in the second half turned more chaotic. Nearly three minutes elapsed before Caroline Davey tied the score at 22. The Eagles would wait another 90 seconds for Hayley Pierce to hit a free throw. The Oak Bluffs pressure slowly wore down the Eagles, interrupting their perimeter passing game and forcing numerous turnovers.
Katie Hines hit three straight hoops to put the Blazers ahead to stay at 30-24. The Eagles scrapped and clawed, but just couldn't get close to the net. Their defense kept the game within reach, but it was OB's day in the end.
Katie Hines finished with 18 points, followed by Shikka Datta (8), Caroline Davey (6), Gail Herman (2), and Taylor Hughes (2). For Edgartown, Hayley Pierce had 13 points, followed by Martha Scheffer (6), Hanna Persson (5), Jill McHugh (2), and Tara Morris (2).
In the second game the hometown fans saw their spirits lifted. The Edgartown boys won the battle of the birds, 61-48, over the West Tisbury Hawks.
Steve Handy (17 points), Justin Mercier (16), Nick Jerome (9), and Lamar Moreis (9) were just too strong as the Eagles broke open a close contest, opened up a 26-19 halftime lead, and flew on cruise control for much of the second half.
Gritty point guard Ronnie Miske and his fellow Hawks came out strong at the start, shot ice cold in the middle, but still had something left at the end. In a spirited charge in the final three minutes of the game, the Hawks cut the Edgartown lead in half, but they had too much ground to make up. Jake Ferry led West Tisbury with 16 points, followed by Patrick Hart with 12.
Vineyarders stun Greater New Bedford in hoops; Coach criticizes fan behavior in letter
Matt Rivers, John Swan, and Tim Scott sparked a tremendous second-half turnaround as the Vineyarders overcame a 15-point deficit in upending powerful Greater New Bedford, 55-50, at MVRHS, Tuesday.
The win was an important step toward securing a playoff spot in the team's inaugural season of South Coast Conference play. MV stands at 9-6 overall and 7-6 in league play. The Bears fell to 11-4.
The victory was marred by the behavior of some of those in the stands. With the Vineyarders ahead 53-50 in the closing seconds, a few fans near courtside began taunting a GNB player. The player heard the taunts and moved in the direction of the stands motioning to the spectators. He was restrained at half court by a teammate.
MVRHS Athletic Director Glen Field walked over and talked to the fans in the front row.
In the meantime, John Swan sank two free throws to close out the game.
After the final buzzer, another exchange took place between the player and some departing fans. As the jawing continued Mr. Field and the Vineyard coaching staff intervened.
In a letter to the editor in this week's Times [see page 14], Mike Joyce, varsity head coach and a high school science teacher, commented on the behavior of some fans. Coach Joyce said that while the team appreciates enthusiastic fan support, spectators should keep in mind that the players are high school athletes, not professionals, and behave accordingly.
"Both teams fought hard for a victory, so let's not belittle them by taunting them afterward," Coach Joyce said.
The game started off miserably for the home side as the Bears built a 30-15 lead, based on deft passing, team speed, and red-hot 80-percent shooting. The Vineyarders could not find their scoring touch, and were getting out-rebounded. Also, John Swan got three quick fouls and had to sit until halftime.
The second half was another ballgame. MV stormed out of the gate with a pressure defense, wreaking havoc with the Bears precise attack. Swan fed Terrell Johnson with a beautiful pass to light the fuse, Matt Rivers hit for six points, and the Purple rebounding was tenacious. In all, MV went on a 16-4 run to lead for the first time, 40-39.
The Bears responded with a 9-0 run of their own, but Tim Scott kept the Islanders close with seven points. Trailing by one, Matt Rivers put MV ahead 51-50 and hauled in a huge rebound leading to a pair of Scott free throws to seal it. Rivers finished as the high scorer with 23 points and 14 rebounds. Bubba Brown had 8 points and Jacob Vanderhoop had 7.
The Vineyard JV squad upped their record to 11-2 with a thrilling 65-63 win over GNB. The game was see-saw all the way. The Vineyarders got great contributions from everyone, offensively and defensively. Matt Lucier (13 points, 10 rebounds) and Jeff Osbourne (12 points, 12 rebounds) both had double-doubles. Mike O' Donoghue was tireless on defense with 6 steals and scored 13 points. Nick Cuba had 5 steals and 14 points. The Vineyarders also made a crucial adjustment at halftime to stop the Bears' Billy Diaz, dropping his production from 14 points in half one to just four in the second.
The Vineyard freshman completed the sweep of GNB and improved to 10-3 with a 62-51 victory. Head Coach Adam Rebello cited a great team effort, the full-court press, and relentless pressure from Lucas Pisano as the keys to the win. Cody Brewer and James Todd led the way with 13 points each.
The trio of basketball teams also faced Old Rochester away last Friday. The varsity won 69-41, in what Head Coach Mike Joyce called their most complete game of the season. Eleven of 13 players got on the score sheet. Matt Rivers and John Swan had 13 points each. Bubba Brown had 12 points and 9 rebounds. The Jayvees also had a complete effort in a 56-32 romp, while the freshman lost a squeaker, 50-46.
All three teams host Seekonk on Friday. The JV game is at 5, with the varsity contest at 6:30. The freshman tip off at the MV Boys & Girls Club at 5.
Wareham goalie Gerard Dunn stops Warren West, one of 52 saves in a 7-0 Vineyard win.
MV icemen best Bears, pillage Vikings
The boys varsity hockey team enjoyed a pair of shutouts against league foes last week, blanking Greater New Bedford away, 5-0, Saturday, and Wareham, 7-0 at home, Jan. 25. The Purple are 5-1 in the South Coast Conference and 7-5 overall.
In New Bedford, the Vineyarders held the Bears without a shot in the first period, but gained no quarter on the scoreboard. One minute into period two, however, the offensive hibernation was over as MV pumped in three goals. Scott Cleary struck first eight seconds in, followed by Scott Maciel ten ticks later, and Mitch Pachico at the 59-second mark.
Cleary tallied again courtesy of Joel Rebello who had a playmaking hat trick on the day, and the period ended 4-0, MV.
The final margin came from Alex Avakian via Scott Maciel, his second assist of the game. Alex Minnehan turned aside 12 shots in the sixth Vineyard shutout of the season.
Three days earlier, the Purple overwhelmed Wareham, getting two goals and an assist from Joel Rebello, and a pair of scores from a pair of Scotts -Maciel and Cleary. Ryan Rossi had the other MV goal.
The Vineyarders host a pair of non-league games this weekend, against Durfee of Fall River, Friday (6 pm) and Hanover, Saturday at 5.
The JV squad faced Old Rochester at Tabor Academy in Marion, Saturday, and returned with their first win of the season, 6-1.
Jason Schwab had two goals and an assist, while Mike O' Rourke, Billy Johnson, Liam O' Callaghan, and Brian Grzesiuk scored one apiece. Johnson and O' Callaghan also earned assists. Other playmakers were Oliver Osnoss, Daron Stobie, Cooper Johnson, Ben Ferry, and Greg Bettencourt. Chris Hathaway was the winning netminder.
The Jayvee's will make history when they travel to Nantucket tomorrow for the first-ever high school hockey meeting with the Whalers.