Vineyard travel hoopsters grab the gold in St. Patty’s tourney

The Vineyard eighth grade girls travel basketball team poses with the championship medals after winning the St. Patty's Day tourney Sunday in Kingston. Back row: from left to right: Kaitlyn Marchand, Whitney Schroeder, Molly deBettencourt, head coach Maureen Hill, Olivia Smith, Sam Hargy, Emily Turney, Mya Houston, Julia Bettencourt, coach Joe Schroeder. Kneeling: Erin Hill, Shannon Morris — Photo by Mike Marchand

The Martha’s Vineyard sixth- and eighth-grade girls travel basketball teams put exclamation points on their respective seasons by winning the annual St. Patty’s Day tourney played at the Kingston Sports Center in Kingston last weekend.

Each Island team played four games in the tournament and each won them all.

The eighth-graders roared back from a 27-19 halftime deficit to best Pembroke 40-33 Sunday in the championship game. The Vineyard raced out to a 7-2 lead early on. Pembroke countered and gained control by double-teaming and running a full-court press.

In the second half, the Islanders switched to a man-to-man defense and outscored Pembroke 21-6 to win the tournament. The team ended the 2011-12 with a 22-5 record.

Erin Hill led the M.V. offense with 16 points. Hot-shooting Kaitlyn Marchand scored seven. Sam Hargy put in six points and chalked up a host of blocked shots. Mya Houston did a good job directing the floor and added six points.

The Vineyarders began the tourney Saturday morning the same way they ended it — with a victory over Pembroke.

The game was tight throughout, with neither team up by more than four points until the final two minutes when the Vineyard led 31-25. Pembroke hit a late three, but could get no closer and lost 31-28. Erin Hill was the high scorer with 14 points. Whitney Schroeder scored seven.

Later in the day, M.V. moved on to play Lakeville and romped to a 37-14 win. Mya Houston finished with 10 points, Erin Hill had nine, and Kaitlyn Marchand had eight.

Sunday, M.V. came up against a physical team from Acushnet and dominated in a 50-23 win. The Vineyarders shackled their foes with a 1-2-2 press, resulting in a passel of steals and turnovers. Erin Hill hit three treys and finished with 21 points. Kaitlyn Marchand scored 13.

Not to be outdone by their elders, the Vineyard sixth graders also grabbed the gold medals Sunday with a 24-14 win over Marshfield. As they would show throughout the weekend, the Vineyarders were all superb on defense. Devin Hill scored 12 points. Meghan Sawyer added eight more.

M.V. beat Marshfield in Saturday’s opener as well but the game was closer — a 15-12 win. Devin Hill was the leading scorer.

The next game, played a mere two hours later, was even closer. The Vineyard beat Acushnet in a squeaker, 18-17. Meghan Sawyer had eight points. Kat Roberts scored four.

By Sunday morning, the Islanders started to roll and stormed into the final with a 27-18 win over Sandwich. Meghan Sawyer again led the way with 13 points. Ashlee Moreis, Kat Roberts, and Devin Hill all had four points.