Justin Mercier slashes through the paint in the jayvee victory over Wareham. Photos by Ralph Stewart
Seekonk and Wareham leave Purple blue
The Vineyard boys basketball team still needs one win to clinch a berth in the MIAA state tournament. M.V. suffered two heartbreaking losses to South Coast Conference heavyweights Seekonk and Wareham, falling to 10-7 overall and 8-7 in the SCC.
Friday night in Seekonk, they would have settled for one more second on the clock and two more points.
The host Warriors had luck on their side-Brad Lucke to be exact, who spoiled a spirited Vineyard comeback with a buzzer-beating three-pointer in a 69-68 win.
The Purple overcame a 38-29 halftime deficit, tying the game at 66 on a Jake Vanderhoop bucket with 30 seconds to play. Nick Viera hit two free-throws with ten seconds left to put the visitors on top 68-66 before Lucke's desperation three banked off the glass and ripped their hearts out.
Seekonk stayed in second place in the South Coast Conference, while M.V. is third.
The visitors had five players in double figures. Nick Viera hit for 12 points, Jwann Johnson had 11, and Tim McHugh, Terrell Johnson, and Mark Reppart all tossed in 10.
The Vineyard loss set up a huge encounter with SCC leaders and 20th-ranked (in Mass.) Wareham at the Sancy on Tuesday night.
Bubba Brown goes all out as M.V. tries to overcome Wareham in the final minute.
The Vineyarders endured another gut-wrenching loss as Wareham toughed out a 63-60 win.
The game and the capacity crowd were electric throughout, as the Vikings held a 62-54 lead with less than a minute to play.
Ben Post stepped up and drained two three's to cut the lead down to 62-60 with 17 seconds left. Wareham missed their next attempt and the Vineyarders had three cracks at the hoop on their next possession but couldn't get the tying basket.
After an Aaron Strothers free throw, the home side had one more chance with 2.4 seconds remaining - but ran out of time.
M.V. acquitted themselves well indeed against the mighty Vikings, jumping out to an early 20-9 lead. The visitors were well off their game, thanks in part to the inspired aggressiveness of the Vineyarders, but mostly due to ice-cold shooting and sloppy play.
The Vikings made but three of their first 11 shots from the field, missed six free throws, and committed a passel of turnovers.
Still, despite holding 6'7" Aaron Strothers, to eight points in the first half, the Purple found themselves down 30-26 at the break.
Wareham managed to steady the ship in the final three minutes and M.V.'s offense suddenly went cold.
The Vineyarders were also paying a price for their tenacious play, with Jake Vanderhoop, Terrell Johnson, and Jwann Johnson all in foul trouble by halftime. All told, Wareham went to the stripe 50 times to the Vineyard's 15 for the game.
"I feel like our kids are playing great right now," head coach Mike Joyce said. "Wareham is currently the number one team in the South region, and we played them dead even. Hopefully, we can carry that intensity into our last five games."
Terrell Johnson led M.V. with 11 points, followed by Nick Viera, and Jacob Vanderhoop with 10 each.
The Vineyarders again were terrific on the boards. Mark Reppert had 10 rebounds, Jwann Johnson had 9, Terrell Johnson and Tim McHugh, 8 each.
M.V. will try again to snare the elusive tournament berth on Friday at Dighton-Rehoboth.
The Vineyard JV boys won both of their games this week, 71-65 over Seekonk and 59-54 over Wareham.
In Seekonk, Justin Mercier and James Todd had 14 points each to lead M.V. Cody Brewer added 12 more.
Against the Vikings at home on Tuesday, Nick Gross finished with 16 points, Pat Hart scored 10 and grabbed 7 rebounds. James Todd had nine points and was huge down the stretch, sinking five of six from the stripe. Billy Reagan and Jess Swaringen had eight points each.
The M.V. JV's are 13-2 and sailed to Nantucket for a late game yesterday.
The Vineyard freshmen fell to undefeated Wareham 68-50, Tuesday.
The puck sits by its lonesome as Truman French and Joel Rebello battle a host of Hanover players in the crease. The play summed up a frustrating night for the M.V. offense.
Hanover powers past Vineyard, 5-0
Fresh off clinching the South Coast Conference, the Vineyard boys hockey team truly entered the meat of their schedule Friday night against 12-1-1 Hanover at the MV Arena. The combined records of the Indians plus five of the next seven possible opponents (M.V. will play either North Reading or Franklin in the Fairleigh-Dickinson Tournament)-Durfee, Lynnfield, Andover, Franklin, and North Reading, is a staggering 54-19-11.
In their toughest home test since an opening 1-1 tie with Franklin on Dec. 16, the Vineyarders were humbled and soundly beaten for the first time on home ice this season by a fast, tough, defensively air-tight Hanover squad.
The Indians may have been flattered slightly by the 5-0 final score, but they were a solid two goals better at even strength and two goals better on special teams.
Both teams came out sharp, looking every bit a pair of conference leaders, in an exciting, well-played first period. The Vineyarders kept pace with the fleet Indians, forechecked well, and did a good job at thwarting repeated forays down the boards by Hanover's speedy wingers. Each team, in fact, played solid defense, allowing only four shots-on-goal.
As promising as the first period was, M.V. lost the game in the second.
They opened the middle session with two penalties in the first three minutes and Hanover made short work of both power play opportunities for a 2-0 lead. The Purple had four power plays on the night and came up empty.
The after effects from the sudden deficit had M.V. reeling and the Indians pumped in another one at 5:30.
The Islanders settled down a bit, recovered some lost spring in their steps, and played a more confident second half of the period.
Still, even as they continued to put forth a solid effort, outshooting Hanover 10-7 in the third period, the Vineyarders never looked dangerous enough on offense to mount a comeback.
Chris McDonald silenced the home crowd for good by capping an inspired rush down the ice with a deadly snap-wrister from the right point to make it 4-0 with 5:49 left.
M.V. dropped to 8-2-5 and played Durfee in Fall River late yesterday.
Heat rises as Jade Cash soars to the hoop for two of his 32 points.
RCBL week 8
The Lakers six-game winning streak wilted under the Heat and the electrifying feats of Jade Cash, 81-72, at the MV Boys and Girls Club, Monday night.
Cash lit up the scoreboard for 32 points to give the Heat their third win of the season.
The veteran Lakers were unusually sloppy at the start, committing seven turnovers in the first quarter. The Heat failed to take much advantage of their good fortune, however, leading only 25-20 heading into period two.
Down 36-28, the Lakers finally hit their stride and put together an 8-0 run, tying the score at 36 on a Chris Wiggin bucket.
The Heat fought back with a 9-2 run of their own to lead 45-38.
Leading 50-44 at the break, The Heat truly began to sizzle in the third quarter, stretching their lead to 63-49 on a Damon Mello three-pointer.
From there, the Lakers would cut the lead down to 69-61 after three, thanks to Caleb Nicholson and Brion Scott, who combined for 11 points.
By the final quarter, both teams had little left in their tanks. The Heat scored 12, the Lakers 11.
Damon Mello (20 points) and Jason Dyer (10) joined Cash in double figures for the winners.
Heath Estrella led the Lakers with 20 points, 16 in the first half, followed by Nicholson with 13, Karl Kallinich with 12, and Scott with 10.
In the nightcap, the Celtics outgunned the Legends 116-97. Matt Rivers was the shining Shamrock, amassing 30 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 assists.
Every Celtics player contributed on offense. Travis Baptiste had 20 points, Keith Crossland 15, Pat Roulston 12, Adam Rebello and Jess Nicholson 11 each, James Holenko 9, and Tim Scott 8, with 10 boards.
The Celts led 28-22 after one quarter and increased their lead steadily throughout - 58-43 at the half, and 87-69 after three.
Monte Bizzaro (25 points), Julius Middleton (21), Nakia Timmons (14), Joe McCormick (14), and Darwood Vanderhoop (11), were the leading Legends.
Last week, your humble sports editor failed to mention noteworthy Celtics in their 104-94 loss to the Lakers. Now, they will have their due.
James Holenko led the Celts with 24 points, followed by Adam Rebello with 19, Travis Baptiste with 18, Ryan Maciel with 12, and Keith Crossland with 10.
Also, for the past month, our team standings have been askew, so to set the records straight: