Bishop Feehan tops Vineyard girls in EAC hoops showdown

Katie Stewart grabbed a rebound away from Bishop Feehan's Katie McLaughlin. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

The Bishop Feehan and Martha’s Vineyard girls basketball teams met Saturday afternoon at the Sancy at the high school to likely settle matters at the top of the Eastern Athletic Conference.

The Vineyarders came into the game at 11-2 and 4-1 in the EAC, the lone league loss coming to Bishop Feehan, 73-63, January 8 in Attleboro. The Shamrocks arrived on the Island at 8-2 and unbeaten in league play.

A Vineyard win Saturday would create a tie atop the EAC standings. A win by the Shamrocks would most assuredly put Feehan on the fast track to the league title.

After 32 minutes of exciting, physical, and scrappy basketball, with more than a half dozen lead changes, the Shamrocks came back from seven points down in each half and outlasted the Vineyarders, 78-70.

The teams were tied 35-35 at the half. The Shamrocks quickly took a 40-35 lead in the third period. Down 42-38, the Vineyarders put together a 9-0 run and a 14-3 spurt over a two-minute span, capped by a Jenny Lindland three-pointer, to lead 52-45.

M.V. led 56-50 heading into the final period. The teams battled through numerous lead changes in the final eight minutes, but the Shamrocks’ aggressive defense finally wore down the Vineyarders, forced a number of turnovers, and turned them into points. Feehan also was red hot shooting from the outside and made the big shots when needed.

After the final whistle, Vineyard coach Lisa Stewart gave credit to Bishop Feehan and praised her team for putting up a good fight.

“It was a good game. They’re a tough team, they’re a division 2 team,” coach Stewart said. Though both teams are in the EAC, Martha’s Vineyard plays basketball in division three during state tournament play. “We gave them everything. They were unconscious from three-point land. They didn’t miss a free throw. It was the free throws in the first half and the three-pointers in the second half. We have no regrets and no reason to hang our heads. We played our hearts out.”

Jenny Lindland and Maggie Riseborugh scored 22 points each for the Vineyarders. Kat deBettencourt had 13. Maddie Jolin poured in 30 points for the Shamrocks. Cara Adams had 23 and Sierra Scheder added 15.