Bishop Feehan rocks Martha’s Vineyard in boys hoops, 73-52

Deshawn James leaps to attempt a shot. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

The Vineyard boys varsity basketball team tipped off against arch-rival Bishop Feehan for the second time this season, Monday afternoon in Oak Bluffs. The teams previously clashed in Attleboro January 4 with the Vineyarders winning a close contest, 52-47.

Several hundred fans packed the Sancy Pachico gymnasium for the latest bout between the Eastern Athletic Conference heavyweights who have battled for the league title the past four years. The teams split the EAC title in 2010 and the Vineyarders have won the league outright the past three years. M.V. also beat the Shamrocks in the State Division 3 South quarterfinals last year, 65-63. One could reasonably expect that this match-up had all the fixings of an unforgettable mid-season clash.

In reality, the game was memorable only for Bishop Feehan, who decisively outplayed the Vineyarders in a 73-52 win. The Shamrocks improved to 10-1, 4-1 EAC. Martha’s Vineyard is 6-2, 2-1 EAC.

The Vineyard got off to a fast start with early buckets from Navardo Anderson, Tim Roberts, and DeShawn James. The team appeared hungry and their offensive game plan fluid with sharp, crisp passes and high percentage shot selections. Feehan countered well but appeared a little sluggish. The first quarter ended with the Vineyard ahead 18-14.

The game appeared to be living up to the hype. Once the buzzer sounded for the second quarter, however, the Shamrocks had rediscovered their legs and settled into their game plan. Meanwhile, the Vineyarders command of the fundamentals had fallen by the wayside. Hard crisp passes were replaced by lackadaisical summer pick-up game passes. Players took forced and highly contested shots. On occasion, players attempted to dribble through the entire Feehan defense when a quick outlet pass would have given a teammate an open shot. Mercilessly, the half ended with Feehan ahead 39-25. It doesn’t take a mathematician to do the math. The Vineyarders were outscored 25-7 in the second quarter, not a winning formula in any league.

As the second half got under way, the Vineyarders appeared more inspired with upbeat play and hustle. They slowly nibbled away at Feehan’s lead. DeShawn James, a 6′ 4″ senior forward with strong moves both ways to the rim and a silky smooth jump shot, got the team going with a three-pointer from downtown. James would finish the contest with 20 points. Other key contributors were Navardo Anderson with 12 points, Tim Roberts with 7, and Alex Gordon-Beck with 6.

Feehan’s hustle and determination, however, proved too much for the Vineyarders to overcome.

“Other than our first quarter, we were out-rebounded, out-hustled and out-played,” coach Mike Joyce said following the game. “They took over the game.”

The game did end on a positive note with Junior guard Matt Stone draining a three-point shot as time expired.

The next home game is Friday at 4:30 pm against Somerset Berkley.

Jayvee boys edge Shamrocks

The jayvee game against Bishop Feehan was the lone bright spot on Monday. The Vineyarders won 36-35. Nick Bond scored 14 points, Chase Sylvia had 11 and Dylan Araujo added eight. Yannick Gonsalves was the defensive standout with seven rebounds.