Vineyard ties twice in Dickinson tourney
Officially, they didn't lose a game, and they didn't win a game. But after a shoot-out loss on Saturday evening, and a tie in Sunday's consolation game, the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School boy's varsity hockey team could view the 11th Annual Fairleigh Dickinson Jr. Invitational tournament as a lost weekend. Or at the very least, a lost opportunity weekend.
The Lynnfield Pioneers took top honors in the tourney with a 3-2 victory over Plymouth South in Sunday's championship game.
Entering the tournament with 12 wins, one loss, and four ties, the Vineyard varsity had already qualified for post-season tournament play. Still, head coach Matt Mincone was frustrated with the two ties.
"We're working on trying to get a good seed in the state tournament," said coach Mincone. "It's six ties, it's like a heavyweight boxer, you're 12-1-6. You set up 12 times and do it, one time you lose, and six times you don't get a paycheck. It doesn't make sense."
The Vineyarders battled a strong Lynnfield team to a 1-1 tie after regulation time in the opening game of the tournament. Behind for most of the game, Vineyard senior captain Joel Rebello sent the game into overtime with a wrist shot from an impossible angle deep in the right corner with just 3:18 left in the contest. "It felt great," he said, though he was deeply disappointed with the eventual result. "We played hard; the team effort was there."
Daren Gazaille earned an assist on the game-tying goal.
Both clubs had big chances during the 10-minute overtime period, but neither could find the net, so the game goes in the books officially as a 1-1 tie. But a shootout was needed to determine which team moved on to the tournament championship game, and the Vineyarders came up short. Seniors Evan Hamersley, Ryan Smith, and John Connolly scored on Lynnfield's first three shootout attempts. Smith and Connolly entered the tournament on the top ten list in high school scoring statewide.
Martha's Vineyard managed only one goal in its first three shootout attempts. Lynnfield netminder Craig Cataldo leads the Cape Ann league with a goals-against percentage of 1.78 per game.
In the consolation game on Sunday, the Vineyarders faced the North Reading Hornets, who lost to Lynnfield in overtime of their opening game.
After a scoreless first period, Gazaille got the Vineyarders on the scoreboard. Just :28 into the second period, the sophomore forward tucked a loose puck into the lower left corner to beat North Reading goaltender Garrett Topping. Junior captain Matt Flynn assisted on the score.
Less than two minutes later, senior Truman French gave the Vineyard a 2-0 lead with a power play goal. Sophomore forward Henry Smith got the assist.
With less than a minute to go in the middle period, the Hornets cut the deficit to one with a power play goal from senior Tyler Pascucci.
The Vineyard side entered the third period with a 2-1 lead, and held it safe until late in the period. Pascucci scored his second goal of the game to tie the score 2-2 and salvage a tie for North Reading.
Playing the consolation contest just 16 hours after a full game, an overtime period and shootout, the Vineyard side might have been excused for some tired legs, but coach Mincone said his teams' legs weren't the issue.
"Tired minds," said coach Mincone. "They were over-thinking stuff, and it slowed them down. We were standing around for four, five minutes at a time. You just can't do that."
"We're a little frustrated," added assistant coach John Fiorito. "We've got to put these teams away."
Martha's Vineyard finishes the regular season Friday, Feb. 22, in a 6 pm game against the Mansfield Hornets at the MV Arena.
In the first game of the girls division of the Martha's Vineyard Invitational on Sunday, Nantucket won handily over Mt. Everett, 73-22. Angela Paterson finished with 29 points for the Whalers who racked up their 18th victory against only one loss. Mt. Everett fell to 7-11.
Next up were Lisa Stewart's Vineyarders, pitted against the Harwich Rough Riders. The visitors led from wire to wire, and finished on top, 50-44. Though constantly behind, the Vineyard hung tough and threw everything but the kitchen sink at Harwich, which proved to be adaptable and disciplined. When Martha's Vineyard looked to work the ball down low, Harwich collapsed effectively and easy buckets just weren't there for the purple. On defense, Harwich dealt calmly with full-court pressure from the Vineyard, which lead to some easy buckets. It was 13-6 at the end of the first quarter, 26-17 at the half.
In the third quarter, Harwich kept expanding its lead, and things looked bleak for the home squad, which trailed 40-28 after 24 minutes. But some hot outside shooting and an awakened intensity on defense made things interesting as the fourth quarter played out. Martha's Vineyard whittled the lead down to 7 with 2:42 left and the crowd got loud. In the end the Vineyarders ran out of time, trailing by 6 at the final buzzer.
Harwich had the advantage in size and experience, along with a decided edge at the foul line, where they shot 20 for 23. The Vineyard defense was a half step behind for much of the game, which lead to too many fouls.
Lauren Gonsalves was the hot hand for Harwich with a game-high 15 points. Julie Perry led the Vineyard with 12, followed by Molly Fischer's 10 and Kia Minor's eight.
Vineyarders bag Eagles
Seniors Kia Minor and Julie Perry scored half of the team's points to lead the Islanders to a 54-42 consolation game win over Mount Everett, Saturday. The Islanders sank nine of 11 foul shots in the first quarter and took an early 20-7 lead. They opened the door in the second quarter giving the Eagles 22 comps from the charity stripe but the Mountain girls could cash only seven. At the half the score stood at 30-20.
Coach Stewart's stalwarts grew their lead to 42-28 in the third quarter and maintained a double digit advantage to the end. Kia had the game high 16. Julie finished with 11.
Colleen Hockler was the tournament MVP for the girls. All-star honors went to Lauren Gonsalves of Harwich, Kia Minor of Martha's Vineyard, Angela Paterson and Shantel Hanniford of Nantucket, and Cassie Tighe of Mt. Everett.
In the boys Invitational opener, the Nantucket Whalers defeated Easthampton 72-48, behind the hot shooting of senior Jordan Ferreira, who finished with 30 points.
Half way through the first quarter of Sunday's late Game between the Vineyard and Mt. Everett, it was clear that the visitors were in for a long evening. At the end of 8 minutes, Martha's Vineyard led by 25, 30-5. Despite the exhortations of the visiting coach, the boys from the other end of the state just couldn't play with the local entry.
Bubba Brown made his presence felt down low, with strong rebounding and aggressive inside scoring. Meanwhile, Nick Viera and Mark Reppert were ripping past defenders and scoring on some nifty lay-ups, sometimes drawing a foul in the process. With the great ball movement and tough defense of Jwann Johnson and Nico Cuba mixed in, the Vineyard was effectively unstoppable, building a 30-point lead midway through the second quarter. At the half, Martha's Vineyard was up 44-19. Jess Swaringen, Jeff Osborn, and Matt Lucier were rotated in judiciously throughout the game.
Coach Joyce opened the second half with a unit of Brant Silvia, Alex Poole, Nick Gross, Pat Hart and Cody Brewer, who put on a display of their own, keeping the starters on the bench throughout.
At the end of three, the Vineyard led 56 to 30, and the final was 67-48. The one bright spot for the visitors was the play of guard Jordan Rote. Shooting, passing, running the floor, and making some lightening fast steals from time to time, he was a one-man highlight reel. His game-high 26 points were punctuated by six 3-pointers, and a couple of no-look passes drew gasps from some spectators, appreciative nods from others.
The balanced Vineyard attack was led by Reppert and Hart with 11 each, and Bubba Brown with 9.
In the first quarter of the last game of the weekend, Martha's Vineyard couldn't buy a bucket against the Eagles from Easthampton. M.V. pushed the ball upcourt quickly and was able to work it inside, but they missed several lay-ups and putback attempts and trailed at the break, 18-11, to an Easthampton team that looked slower and less skilled. But with a deep, disciplined team that likes to run and knows how to apply a trapping defense, Coach Mike Joyce isn't too concerned about an early deficit, figuring that his boys will eventually wear down the opposition.
True to that script, Martha's Vineyard gradually reduced the lead in the second quarter as they seemed to relax into the game. They stuck to their game plan and shots they'd missed earlier on started to fall. Bubba Brown, Mark Reppert, and Nick Viera shouldered most of the scoring load, much of it in the paint. With a minute left, M. V. finally caught up with the visitors and went into the locker room with a 2-point lead, 31-29.
The third quarter was all Martha's Vineyard. Running constantly and pressuring relentlessly on defense, they had Easthampton on the ropes throughout, outscoring the Pioneer Valley team 13-2 in the process. They pounded the ball inside as much as possible, and benefitted with some easy buckets, though sometimes in considerable traffic. On defense, they picked up the ball handler right away, and doubled him whenever possible, creating havoc - and turnovers. After three it was Martha's Vineyard 44, Easthampton 31.
The fourth quarter was more of the same, and the pace started to take its toll on Easthampton, in turnovers and relatively easy buckets for the Islanders. But even as the margin widened, Easthampton showed plenty of heart, playing hard to the final whistle, when the score stood Martha's Vineyard 59, Easthampton 40. High scorers for Martha's Vineyard were Nick Viera (20), Jwann Johnson (11), and Brown (10). Chris Demers led Easthampton with 12 points, and Drew Sharp had 11.
Bubba Brown was awarded the tournament MVP. All-stars were Nick Viera of Martha's Vineyard, Patrick Hopewell of Easthampton, Jordan Rote of Mt. Everett, and Delroy Lawrence and Jordan Ferreira, both of Nantucket.