The Falcons had Erin Morris and the rest of the Vineyard varsity in their talons all night. Photos by Ralph Stewart
Falcons frustrate Vineyard boys, girls
Dighton-Rehoboth had their way with both Island varsity basketball squads, Friday night.
On the mainland, the Vineyard boys dropped their fourth straight South Coast Conference game, 70-65.
The Purple were red in the face as they saw a nine-point halftime lead evaporate into the chilly night, keeping their state tournament hopes at bay for at least one more game.
M.V. started the game 12-2 in arrears and failed to hit a basket for over three minutes. They regrouped and
appeared to be taking care of business, building a 37-28 lead, but the Falcons fought back through Mike Medeiros's game-high 22 points and sent the visitors packing.
Head coach Mike Joyce was extremely disappointed with the result. "It [the game] was there for the taking and we didn't take it. We made silly mistakes that we just didn't make in the previous two games."
Katie Hines fights through a flock of Falcons during the jayvee game.
Nick Viera led M.V. with 16 points, followed by Jwann Johnson with 14, and Tim McHugh with 12.
The Vineyarders are 10-8 overall and 8-8 in the SCC.
The jayvee boys improved to 15-2, thrashing hosts Nantucket, 61-23, Wednesday and hanging on to win at D-R, 58-49, Friday.
Jess Swaringen (13 points, 6 steals), Cody Brewer (11 points, 13 rebounds), and Justin Mercier (6 steals) helped harpoon the Whalers.
Pat Hart (13 points, 9 rebounds), Brewer (10 points, 9 rebounds), and Billy Reagan (9 points) led the way against D-R.
The freshmen boys have run off eight straight wins, beating Seekonk, 61-43, and D-R, 61-31, on Feb. 3 and 4.
Coach Sam Berlow cited Steve Handy's rebounding, Lamar Moreis's passing, and the ferocious defense of Nick Jerome and Jake Ferry as keys to the team's success.
Offensive nightmare for girls
The good news for the Vineyard girls basketball team is that they held an excellent Dighton-Rehoboth squad to 13 points in the first half of Friday's contest at the Sancy.
The bad news is that M.V. scored five.
In what had to be their most frustrating evening of the season, the Vineyarders simply could not buy a bucket and fell to the Falcons 43-18.
D-R's Mary Nwachukwu outscored the home side by herself, finishing with 19 points, as the Falcons found their scoring touch in the second half and ran away with the game.
For M.V., Kia Minor earned her five points the hard way - banging, crashing, and sprawling to the deck through a maze of D-R defenders.
The Vineyarders rebounded ferociously in the first half and made the 12-5 Falcons work for every point.
But in half two, on the offensive glass, at least, M.V. was often one shot and out, with a lone Falcon retrieving the ball under the hoop.
The true bright spot of the evening was the play of the jayvee girls, who rolled to their 14th win of the season with a 33-16 victory over D-R.
Jessie Donohue scored 10 points, Katie Hines had 8, and Martha Scheffer had six.
The Vineyard defense was sublime, twice holding the Falcons without a basket for eight minutes. D-R's 'D' returned the favor once in the second half.
The most astonishing aspect of the game, perhaps a tribute to the aforementioned defense, was the total of 49 turnovers - 28 for D-R, 21 for M.V. - equal to the 49 points scored in the game.
Nica Sylvia watches her perfect pass hit Sophie Willey on the tape for the second M.V. goal vs. Franklin.
Hockey girls have tough Knight
Sandwich got points from 11 players in a 5-1 victory over the visiting Vineyarders in girls hockey last Wednesday.
The Blue Knights kept Jen Ward busy, firing 45 shots on net.
Zoe Fisher scored the lone goal for M.V.
The Vineyarders hosted Franklin, Saturday, and dropped a 9-5 decision to the Panthers.
The home side was a model of efficiency on offense, scoring four goals on their first four shots.
The first two periods were a see-saw affair. M.V. played with passion and grit in overcoming two first-period deficits to lead 3-2 at the first intermission.
After a quick Franklin strike, Alexa Fisher scored the first Vineyard goal seven minutes in.
Nica Sylvia evened the score again at 9:20, stealing the puck at the blue line and setting up Sophie Willey with a beautiful feed from the right circle.
Two minutes later, with the Franklin goalie straying from the net, Sylvia centered to Katie Kram who shoveled a backhander into the yawning cage for a power play goal.
Franklin scored three goals in the opening 3:25 of the second period to seize command, forcing head coach Sam Sherman to call a timeout.
The Purple responded with more disciplined play and scored their fourth goal on an Alexa Fisher stuff-in, assisted by Christina Wiley.
The Panthers put the game on ice in the third period. Wiley scored unassisted for the final Vineyard tally.
Jayvees break even in R.I.
On Friday, the girls JV lost 1-0 to St. George's in Middletown on a disputed goal kicked in by a St. George's player. Saturday, M.V. posted a 3-1 win over Portsmouth Abbey. Marge Cogliano scored twice and Phoebe Kelleher once. Nicole Mercier and Jackie Panek had two assists each, while Cogliano and Leah Selby had one apiece. Jaime Forend was great in goal, according to coach Gene Townes, and the defense played their finest two games of the season. The JVs' final record was five wins and six losses.
Hoops, hockey tournaments this weekend
Both varsity basketball teams host the Island Invitational Tournament this weekend. Both Island teams open against Mt. Everett Regional of Sheffield Sunday night. The girls tip-off at 6:45 and the boys at 8:15. Game times on Monday depend on the results of Sunday's games. Nantucket and Easthampton fill out the boys field; Nantucket and Harwich complete the girls line-up.
Over at the Arena, the puck drops at 7 pm Saturday for the annual Fairleigh Dickinson Tournament, the Vineyarders (10-2-5) taking on Andover (10-4-1) in the first game. This year's event boasts an all-star cast, with Franklin (11-1-1) and North Reading (7-4-4) filling out the field.