Fueled by 26 points from big man Ramon Dossantos, the Martha’s Vineyard eighth-grade boys travel basketball team rallied from an 11-point first-half deficit to beat Wareham 55-44 in a convincing Cape Cod Basketball League (CCBL) Mayflower Division win on Saturday morning at the Oak Bluffs School gymnasium.
The win evened the season at 6-6 for the Island team with one regular-season game remaining before CCBL playoffs begin the weekend of Feb. 4-5 at Keith Middle School in New Bedford.
Aiden Rogers dropped 17 on Wareham (now 6-6), including two three-pointers. Leo Neville had seven and Andrew Marchand had an important second-half three-pointer. Miles McNeal and Mike Trusty each had a free throw late to help seal the win.
Key to the Vineyard win was their ability to make mid-game adjustments, find out what worked and stick with it in a disciplined way. MV outscored Wareham 33-16 in the second half as a result. Wareham did not adjust to the successful strategy change made by the Island team and it cost them.
Wareham came out of the gate with an aggressive full court press defense, swarming Island ball handlers and causing turnovers and rushed shots early in the contest. On offense, Wareham scorers Jeff Gorman (19 points) and Taeshawn Miranda (10 points) were beating defenders to their shooting spots, slashing inside for uncontested layups en route to an 18-7 lead with 9:30 left in the first half of a game that appeared to be getting away from the Island team.
After a Vineyard timeout, the game began to change. Island inbounders got help from teammates, sometimes using three or four passes to get across midcourt. The strategy worked to break the press, reduce panic and create crisper Vineyard passing. It also served to leave Mr. Dossantos with room underneath to draw fouls. He sank three free throws to cut the lead to 18-10. Aiden Rogers dropped two treys and Mr. dos Santos worked underneath to cut the Wareham lead to 23-22 before two late Wareham baskets stretched the lead to 28-22 at the half.
The teams traded baskets early on in the second half. Wareham was willing to foul Mr. dos Santos and he was willing to make them pay, going 6 for 8 from the line. Lee Neville made a three-pointer and Mr. Rogers sank a jumper to tie the score at 38-38 with 6:43 left. The game was tied 42-42 when Messrs. Rogers and Dossantos combined for the next 13 points in a 13-2 Vineyard run to the wire.
Vineyard six grade boys roll over Mashpee
Earlier in the day, the sixth-grade Vineyard boys put a 48-15 hurtin’ on Mashpee, improving their CCBL Pilgrim Division record to 6-7 with one regular season game left before playoffs begin on Feb. 4-5 at Normandin Middle School in New Bedford.
Nate Story had 13 points, Tobey Roberts 10 points and Cam Napior eight points for the Island sixth grade team.
Both the sixth and eighth grade teams project as mid-range seeds in their respective 17-team leagues. “We should be able to make a good run in the playoffs once we get into them. Playoffs are different,” sixth-grade coach Chris Porterfield said on Sunday morning, en route to the final regular season game.
Vineyard seventh grade boys win CCBL Bay State Division title
The Vineyard seventh grade boys travel team won a pair of road games on Saturday to clinch the CCBL Bay State division championship with an 11-1 record.
In the first contest on Saturday morning, the Vineyard downed Dennis-Yarmouth 42-34. Jayden Coyle carried the Vineyard offense with 21 points.
MV followed up in the afternoon with a 38-29 win over Dartmouth. Kamel Timmons scored 12 points for the Vineyard. Jordan Coyle, twin brother of Jayden, was the defensive standout with 10 rebounds.
The Vineyard seventh graders will open the playoffs with a rematch against Dartmouth next Saturday at the Nauset Middle School in North Eastham.