Girls defeat Bishop Stang, 52-36, clinch fourth seed playoff spot

The team’s first playoff game is 4:30 pm, Wednesday at home.

Sophomore Erin Hill weaves through Coyle and Cassidy defenders for a layup. — Photo by Michael Cummo

The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) girls varsity basketball team ended a spectacular season with a strong finish Friday night, beating Bishop Stang, 52-36, in North Dartmouth.

The Vineyarders play their first playoff game at 4:30 pm at home Wednesday, Feb. 25, against 13th seed Randolph High School.

Erin Hill was the leading scorer with 24 points Friday night, followed by Mariah Duarte with 12 points, and Molly DeBettencourt with seven. Erin also had eight rebounds and five blocks, and Mariah had five steals — two of which came at critical times in the second half and ended up with wide-open layups. Molly had a three-pointer in the second half.

Much of the early game was tight, with a 23-18 Vineyard lead at the half. Bishop Stang was double-teaming Erin Hill, so in the third quarter coach Maureen Hill changed things up to give Erin more freedom to move around. The strategy worked, enabling the Vineyarders to take charge in the second half.

“It was a good win; it was a good way to end the season and to start the playoffs,” Coach Hill told The Times Sunday.

The Vineyarders have earned a fourth-place seed in the Division 3 South playoffs, having closed out in second place in the league with a 6-2 league record and a 16-4 overall record. MVRHS was actually tied for third seed with Rockland High School, as both teams had a 16-4 record, but Saturday MIAA officials flipped a coin, and Rockland was given third seed and the Vineyard fourth seed, much to the delight of Vineyarder Coach Hill.

“I was jumping up and down in my living room. I had seen a mockup of the brackets, and I knew I wanted to get the fourth seed because it would be a better path for us, and luckily that’s what we got.”

Playoff action begins Wednesday. Abington High School (20-2) and Apponequet High School (16-2) are ranked first and second seeds, respectively, above Rockland and the Vineyard. If the Vineyarders win Wednesday against Randolph, they will play the winner of the Wednesday, Feb. 25, playoff game of Hanover High School (fifth seed) versus Ursuline Academy (12th seed) of Dedham. This quarterfinal game, should the Vineyard be in it, will take place at 4:30 pm on Friday, Feb. 27, at MVRHS.