Fouls and treys
The Martha's Vineyard Regional High School varsity boys basketball team lost its game with Pembroke at the Sancy last Wednesday, 64-63.
With "too tall" Sam Nagle filling the net seemingly at will, the Titans jumped to a 19-13 lead in the first quarter and extended that to 34-21 at the half.
The Islanders reduced the differential to 42-34 in the third quarter and came within one of catching the Titans in the closing seconds of the game which turned into a duel between Pembroke's foul shooting - they cashed 15 of 22 free throws in the fourth period alone - versus Vineyard three-pointers: six by Nico Cuba, three by Nick Viera, and one by Mark Reppert.
A goodly number of Vineyarders, present to cheer on their team, were increasingly frustrated with the disparity of fouls called on the two teams. Pembroke scored 21 of their 64 points in 16 trips to the foul line. The Vineyard went to the charity stripe six times in the game and scored 11 points in free throws.
Before the varsity game, the junior varsities had a go at it and the Islanders won quite handily, 55-34. Their lead at the half was a comfortable 27-14.
Tahanto Regional of Boylston (west of Worcester) sent its boys varsity and junior varsity teams to the Vineyard on Saturday. The jayvee game looked like a game between high school sophomores on the one hand and junior high boys on the other. The Islanders used their height advantage to control the boards and run up a 22-2 lead in the first quarter. They grew that 40-12 at the half and finished 40 points ahead, 63-23.
In the varsity game, the Stags' Paul Blackmore had the game-high 16 points.
Coach Mike Joyce used all his players and 10 contributed points to the 68-38 runaway win. At the half Martha's Vineyard was up 40-20. Nico Cuba (11), Jwann Johnson (10) , Brant Silvia (10 ) and Jess Swarington (10) made it to double digits. Cuba (3), Johnson, Reppert, Brown, and Brewer filled the net from afar. Nick Viera nursed the ankle he injured in the Wayland game and did not play.
Bridge to Newton
A smaller-than-usual contingent of Vineyard duplicate bridge players traveled to Newton last weekend to compete in an American Contract Bridge League regional tournament. Although the Vineyard did less well than in recent tourneys, 8 of 12 players scored in the top half of all participants who earned ACBL masterpoints.
The only Vineyard players to win an event outright were Patsy McCornack of Tisbury and Gail Farrish of Edgartown, who finished first overall in the Saturday morning Intermediate/Novice pairs. Dale and Susan Collinson of Oak Bluffs finished first in their section in the same event. Ms. McCornack and Ms. Farrish also scored well in other pairs events.
Claus Buchthal of Yarmouth, Maine, and Chilmark, playing on a team that included Dan and Nancy Cabot of West Tisbury, finished first in the C division in the Saturday evening 24-table board-a-match game. "Board-a-match" is an old-fashioned tournament format used in the early days of competitive bridge, but now a curiosity. Mr. Buchthal's team was fifth in the B division as well.
Barbara McLagan of Sudbury and Edgartown played on a team that was runner-up in a 16-team knockout tournament. Other Vineyard knockout teams, playing in other divisions, failed to make the semi-finals, contributing to the disappointing dip in Vineyard point totals for the tournament.
Other winners of ACBL points were Hugh Knipmeyer of Vineyard Haven and Ed Russell, Deirdre Ling, and Bill Blakesley, all of West Tisbury.
The Island Trophy
The Island Trophy is awarded to the player or players who earn the most Master Points at a sectional, regional, or national tournament sponsored by the American Contract Bridge League. The winner must be a year-round or seasonal resident of the Vineyard and must win at least some of the Master Points as a partner or teammate of another Vineyard player. The winner keeps the trophy until the next tournament.
For years Vineyard players have competed at tournaments in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and New York, but until last year, the "Island Trophy," a.k.a. "Island Cup," was a purely theoretical award. It was given the physical form shown here after the Cromwell regional in February by Vineyard bridge teacher and director William Blakesley of West Tisbury.
The winners of the Island Trophy at last wekend's tournament in Newton were Patsy McCornack and Gail Farrish.
RCBL resumes play
After a two-week holiday break, the RCBL resumed play Monday evening at the Boys & Girls Club.
Tim Scott sank six from downtown, five in the fourth period, to fuel the Heat's 86-75 win over the Bulls. Scott led all scorers with 28 points. Other warm ones in double figures were Teejay Roginski (14), Sandy Fisher (12) and Damon Mello (12). Clint Merrill led the Heat in rebounds with 13.
The Bulls led by a point after a slow first half, 31-30. They warmed up in the second half but not as much as did the Heat. Final score: 86-75.
Most bullish Bulls were Ryan Murtha (19), Clark Agnew (17) and Dale Rogers (11). Agnew (18) and Sam Berlow (13) led in rebounds.
The Lakers survived a spunky Celtics challenge, 89-82.
Laker captain Heath Estrella quietly scored a dozen points in the first quarter and finished with a game-high 28. Both Jeff LaBell and Karl Kallinich had 13, John Healy 12, and Chris Fischer 11.
The Celts led at the half, 47-45. Brian Scott was tops for the Celtics with 26, 14 in the second period. Monte Bizzaro (19) and Matt Rivers (15) made it to double digits.
RCBL standings: Lakers 3-0, Heat 2-1, Bulls 1-2, and Celtics 0-3.
RCBL Commissioner Pete Lambos would be glad to hear from persons interested in making some pocket money officiating at the Monday evening games: 508-627-3303.
Notre Dame of Hingham's girls varsity basketball team visited Saturday afternoon and ran away with a one-sided win.
The Cougars put up ten points before Kia Minor sank a foul shot, followed quickly by a three-pointer, to get the Vineyarders on the board. But it seemed to inflame the Cougars who ran off another uninterrupted 11 points. At the end of the first eight minutes Notre Dame led, 27-7.
Notre Dame slowed down in the second quarter, but the Vineyard went into its own deep freeze. At the mid-point of the game it was 36-7.
The Islanders gained some ground in the third quarter doubling their total to 14 to Notre Dame's 39.
Final score: Notre Dame 54, Martha's Vineyard 21. Maddy Penicaud was high for Martha's Vineyard with eight points.
Edgartown man at Daytona
Russ Oasis, a summer resident of Edgartown and 1973 graduate of Northeastern University, will join teammates Tommy Archer, Jim Stout, Tom Atherton and Jason Daskalos for the 46th Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, one of the most grueling races in the world, on Saturday, Jan. 26.
An entrepreneur, buying and selling radio stations, Oasis is no stranger to automobile racing venues. He has raced in the Viper Racing League the last five years and was the league's rookie-of-the-year in 2003. He finished second in the league standings in 2007.
At Daytona he will race in the GT class, spending his share of 24 hours in a Porsche 997 GT3.
"The first time we ran this race, we came in 17th of 34 in our class," Oasis said. "I am definitely more prepared the second time around."
Tommy Archer, the 2004 SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Drivers Championship winner said, "I coached Russ when he first joined the Viper League, so I am familiar with his style and know he is motivated to improve on our 2006 result."
Daytona and Le Mans, France, are the two largest automobile endurance races in the world. Daytona is more intense, Archer claims. "Le Mans runs on a longer track with 48 cars. At Daytona with more cars and a shorter run drivers are always passing or being passed. You have to be on your toes at all times," he said.
With 80 or 90 cars moving at 180 mph and a cockpit that reaches 160 degrees, maintaining concentration, speed, and consistency is, to say the least, challenging.
Oasis and his team will be competing with some of the sport's top talents. Last year's racers included the NEXTEL Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson, four-time Winston/NEXTEL Cup Champ Jeff Gordon, Winston Cup champ Bobby Labonte, a two-time Indianapolis 500 champion, Helio Castroneves, and Indy racing League Champion Dan Wheldon.
The Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona begins at noon, Saturday, Jan. 26 and ends 24 hours later, noon, on Sunday.