The Vineyard boys varsity basketball team entertained Bishop Feehan Saturday afternoon in a matchup of last year’s Eastern Athletic Conference co-champions.
Both teams entered the game with 3-0 records in conference play, and the Sancy was packed with a large, enthusiastic crowd emitting the kind of buzz that comes with a clash between arch-rivals.
The Vineyarders seized control after five minutes, led by 18 midway through the third quarter, survived a furious comeback from the Shamrocks, and pulled away for a 69-56 win.
Randall Jette led M.V. with 17 points, Peter Keaney added 16, Ben Ciciora had 14, and Del Araujo scored 11.
The key to the Vineyard win was relentless team defense. The hosts set the tone early with three huge blocks, two from Peter Keaney and one from Charlie Everett as M.V. shook off a 6-5 deficit and raced ahead 24-15 by the end of the first quarter.
The Vineyarders continued their excellent play in the second period, and Ben Ciciora added an exclamation point with a half-court buzzer-beater to make it 42-26 at halftime.
In the second half, M.V. continued to play well on defense, but the offense started to lose focus and tried to wrap things up too quickly. The shooting suffered, and the visitors from Attleboro took advantage by ripping off a 12-0 run to cut the Vineyard lead to 55-49 with four minutes to play.
M.V. quickly responded to the pressure. Randall Jette cut to the hoop for two, and Ben Ciciora nailed a three-pointer to make it 60-49. Peter Keaney closed out the game and a great two-way performance, by swatting Feehan’s final two shots into the stands.
Following the win, Vineyard coach Mike Joyce was satisfied, but saw room for improvement.
“Forty-six points in the first half, twenty-three in the second. We got really impatient on offense against their zone, and it let them get back in the game,” Coach Joyce said. “We took quick shots when we really needed to swing the ball and make their defense work and that led to them getting a chance to run it back to within six and make a game of it again. The hardest thing to get across to teenagers is that you can’t let up, even when you’re ahead. You’ve got to play all 32 minutes like that’s the only minute you’re playing.”
MV beats Somerset
The Vineyarders traveled to Somerset Tuesday afternoon to take on the Blue Raiders in another EAC contest.
The Islanders pressure defense proved to be too much for Somerset in the 63-52 win. With the victory, the Vineyarders clinched a berth in the state tournament. M.V. broke the game open with a 23-8 run in the third quarter. They also had three steals and forced five turnovers. Somerset never recovered. Randall Jette, Ben Ciciora, and Del Araujo all had 12 points. Peter Keaney added 11 more and ended the game with a slam dunk for good measure. The Vineyarders are 5-0 in the EAC and 10-2 overall.
Jayvees beat Somerset, lose to Bishop Feehan The Vineyard boys jayvee squad defeated host Somerset, 73-68 on Tuesday.
Four players shot in double figures. Brandon Watkins scored 19 points, Mike deBettencourt had 17, Alec Tattersall, 16, and Izak Browne, 15. M.V. hosted Bishop Feehan on Saturday and lost to the Shamrocks, 54-44. Izak Browne led M.V. with 19 points. Brandon Watkins added 10 and Alec Tattersall scored 9. The Jayvees are 7-3.
Freshman boys even up record
The Vineyard freshman boys improved to 4-4 on the season with a 54-52 win over host Somerset, Tuesday afternoon. Kane Araujo scored 18 points for M.V. The Vineyarders rebounded well from a tough 53-30 loss to Bishop Feehan on Saturday at the Martha’s Vineyard Boys and Girls Club in Edgartown.