By Zachary Waller
Martha’s Vineyard’s elementary school basketball elite met Tuesday night at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School gymnasium to decide the girls and boys champions.
In the early game, the Oak Bluffs Blazers girls’ basketball team delivered a 61-21 shellacking of the Edgartown Eagles, leaving no doubt as to who deserved the title. After the girls finished, the boys took the court, and Oak Bluffs earned another championship with the boys’ team downing the West Tisbury Hawks by a convincing score of 47-35.
Things started off slow for the girls, with neither team netting any points for the first two minutes. That all changed 2:15 in, when Oak Bluffs’ Sasha Lakis netted a 2-pointer, putting the Blazers on the board and opening up the game to all sorts of scoring.
After Oak Bluffs put up that first bucket, the Eagles fired back, sinking a basket 15 seconds later. Just 15 seconds after that, Riley Yuhas sunk a 3 for the Blazers and gave Oak Bluffs a 5-2 lead the Blazers would never relinquish.
The Eagles and Blazers jockeyed for position in the early parts of the contest, with Kylie Estrella cutting the Oak Bluffs lead to 1 with a pretty shot, but the Blazers answered right away as Sasha Lakis hit a beautiful layup to make the score 7-4.
Edgartown answered back with another basket from Estrella on a pass from Devin Hill, but Nicole deBettencourt delivered a fatal blow soon after, scoring a 3-pointer that put the Blazers on an absolute rampage. While Edgartown was able to continue putting points on the boards, the Eagles couldn’t compete with the Blazers, and the game went to halftime with Oak Bluffs up by a score of 33-14.
The Blazers didn’t let off the gas as the second half began, draining a 3 just eight seconds in. Things kept going the Blazers’ way in the second half, with Riley Yuhas, Sasha Lakis, Nicole deBettencourt, and Bella Arias all scoring points for Oak Bluffs. Iovanna Bettencourt and Kylie Estrella were able to add a few more points for the Eagles, but Edgartown’s scoring ended with 6:08 left, when Nicole deBettencourt hit a free-throw to make the score 57-21 in favor of the Blazers. The Blazers added 4 more points en route to a resounding 61-21 victory.
After the Oak Bluffs girls were presented the championship trophy, the boys took the court. The boys’ championship featured the familiar Oak Bluffs black and white, this time taking on the green and white of West Tisbury.
Oak Bluffs jumped out to a 2-0 lead, before the Hawks were able to tie it up at 2.
Shortly after the Hawks tied it, the Blazers sunk a 3 that would give them a lead they would never give up.
With 11 minutes left in the first half the hawks hit a shot that brought West Tisbury to within a point of the Blazers (6-5), but Oak Bluffs was able to break away and build a substantial lead, culminating with a 3-pointer from Ben Peters to put the Blazers up 18-6.
West Tisbury fired back with 6 unanswered points before Andrew Marchand was able to put two more up for the Blazers with just over 3 minutes left. That run put a spark in West Tisbury’s step and the Hawks were able to outscore the Blazers, 5-2, in the closing minutes of the half, sending the game to halftime with Oak Bluffs up, 22-17.
The Blazers came out ready in the second half and Ben Peters
scored a quick bucket to extend the Oak Bluffs lead. West Tisbury added two points almost immediately, but Jeremy Regan followed that up by taking the ball down the court and scoring another for the Blazers, making the score 26-19.
The Hawks kept things close, keeping the Blazers firmly within their sights until Oak Bluffs made a couple of plays around the 3-minute mark that sealed it. With just under a minute left, the Hawks sank a shot to bring West Tisbury a little closer, but the Hawks couldn’t overcome the Oak Bluffs defense and the Blazers came away with a convincing, 47-35, victory.
With the final whistle, both Oak Bluffs teams celebrated on the court, and the Oak Bluffs Blazers were crowned kings and queens of Island basketball.