The Martha’s Vineyard basketball team’s post-season tourney action ended Tuesday evening at Sandwich High School, in a thrilling double-overtime loss, 88-85, to Cardinal Spellman of Brockton, despite a school record 44-point performance by Peter Keaney.
The Vineyard junior played his best game in a season of high quality performances. In fact, the MIAA South Sectional semi-final came down to a contest between Keaney and Spellman’s Joey Glynn. The pair traded baskets during the fourth quarter and the two overtimes, when three key Vineyard starters, Randall Jette, T.J. Van Gerven, and Charlie Everett, all spent time on the bench after fouling out.
The game was ultimately settled at the foul line where Spellman’s Paul Preziosi coolly drained the last three points.
The Cardinals move on to the sectional final on Saturday at the UMass, Boston gym, against top-seeded Medway.
For three quarters, the game seemed anything but the classic it would become. M.V. was completely out of sync. The Cardinals’ pressure defense forced numerous Vineyard turnovers. Offensively, Spellman was efficient with the ball. They dominated the glass and scored consistently on second-chance baskets.
The Cardinals opened up a 47-30 lead midway through the third quarter.
To that point in the game, Keaney had carried the second-seeded Purple and White on his back.
In the final period, however, the Vineyarders seemed to draw inspiration from his performance and find their game. The Islanders steadily chipped away at the Cardinals’ lead.
Trailing 62-52, M.V. went on a 10-0 run with under four minutes remaining. T.J. Van Gerven scored first. Jack Roberts and Ben Ciciora followed with three-pointers and Del Araujo tapped the ball in to tie the score at 62. After a Spellman response, Araujo followed up with a three-pointer to give the Vineyarders a 65-64 lead with 2:30 to play, and the Vineyard crowd leapt to its collective feet with a deafening roar. Spellman snatched the lead back at 67-65 with a three of its own.
Peter Keaney hit two buckets in the final minute to send the game into overtime, with the teams tied 71-71.
In the first extra session, Del Araujo gave the Vineyard its second lead of the game at 76-75. Keaney scored the final six Vineyard points, but Joey Glynn slammed home a dunk to keep the teams deadlocked, 82-82.
Both teams were gassed by the second overtime. Keaney sank three foul shots, but so did Spellman’s Paul Preziosi. A last second 3-point attempt by Keaney hit the rim, and the contest was over.
Del Araujo finished with 17 points for M.V. Randall Jette had 13. Joey Glynn scored 22, Kevin Crane had 18, and Ricky Donovan 17 for Spellman.
Vineyard coach Mike Joyce praised his team’s performance. “I told the kids after the game, that I couldn’t be more proud of their effort. No Randall, no T.J., no Charlie [the Vineyard starters who fouled out], the kids stepped up,” coach Joyce said.
“Del Araujo must have lost 32 pounds. He played so hard defending Glynn one-on-one. Ben Ciciora, again put it all out there. Peter just carried us. He hit shot after shot. Even when he let it go at the end, I thought it was in. I told the kids that the Wareham coach Kevin Brigioli came up to me at the end of the game and said it was the best high school game he has ever seen.”
Peter Keaney was pleased with his record-breaking effort, but he couldn’t hide his disappointment over the loss. “I’m not happy about it, because we still didn’t come away with the win. I guess it’s [the school record] a silver lining to a cloudy day,”
The Vineyard ends its season with a 19-4 record overall, and the championship of the Eastern Athletic Conference, with a perfect 8-0 record.
Friday win led the way
On Friday, the Vineyard boys combined strong outside shooting and defense to defeat the Wareham Vikings in the Sancy Pachico Gym Friday night. The final score at the buzzer was 83 to 71.
The Vikings, the 2010 MIAA Basketball South Division 3 champs played the Vineyard tough. At the quarter the score stood at 18-14, Vineyard up. At the half it was tied, 36-36. Wareham led after three quarters, 56-54.
But the final period belonged to the purple and white: 29-15 as the Vineyard players began to hit outside shots and turned up the defensive pressure to open up a lead they never relinquished.
Four Islanders posted double numbers to power the team past last year’s Division 3 champions in the playoff quarter finals: Peter Keaney scored 22, Randall Jette 19, TJ Van Gerven 14 and Delmont Araujo 10. Keaney was 13 for 14 from the foul line.
The game was played without a shot clock, which stopped working seven minutes into the contest.
In the fourth quarter the Vineyard players began to hit outside shots and turned up the defensive pressure to open up a lead they never relinquished.
The lead up to Friday’s victory was Wednesday’s victory against Norwell in front of a raucous home team crowd.
The teams were closely matched throughout but when it mattered the Islanders put the pedal to the metal and outdistanced Norwell by six points to end the game 76 to 70.
A last minute crunch of cashed free throws by Peter Keaney, he was 8 for 8 in the final quarter, helped the team hang on to a disappearing lead.
The Islanders broke first as Delmont Araujo sank two three-pointers, followed by a running right-hander by Randall Jette.
Norwell called time out at 4:45, down 8-0.
After the first quarter M.V. led by 10, 23-13, and at the half, 44-34.
The third quarter belonged to the Clippers. They not only gained ground on the Vineyard they overtook them to hold a brief two-point lead, 56-54.
Randall Jette (26) and Peter Keaney (25) led Vineyard scorers. Delmont Araujo also finished in twin columns with 11.
The game high scorer was Nick Volpe who garnered 30 for the Clippers, including five three-point plays.
Wareham, last year’s division 3 champions, got by Apponequet, Wednesday, 66-62, to set up Friday’s match.