Bishop Feehan, the defending Mass. Division 1 state basketball champs, overwhelmed the Vineyard girls Friday afternoon in an Eastern Athletic Conference (EAC) tilt at the Sancy Pachico gym in Oak Bluffs.
Feehan jumped on top 7-0 and built a 39-10 halftime lead en route to a dominating 69-20 win.
The Vineyarders had their backs against the wall before the opening tip-off, with co-captain and leading scorer Molly DeBettencourt sidelined with an ankle injury sustained at Thursday’s practice.
Vineyard coach Sterling Bishop said that Ms. DeBettencourt is currently day to day but he hopes to have her back in the lineup for Tuesday’s must-win EAC home game against Somerset Berkley.
“Today is like an audition,” Coach Bishop said before the game. “We’ll see who wants it.”
The Shamrocks’ fluid passing game, sharp shooting and dominating defense was simply too much for the Vineyarders to overcome. The Shamrocks also controlled the boards at both ends of the court, and grabbed numerous uncontested rebounds.
“We were undermanned and underpowered going into the game,” Coach Bishop said. “Feehan’s a powerhouse every year. The girls came out, they were a little nervous, a little overwhelmed, and they got discouraged early in the game. We’ve got a lot of stuff to work on.”
Senior guard Katie Nelson paced the Shamrocks with 23 points. Whitney Schroeder led the Vineyarders with eight points, including two three-pointers. Meghan Sawyer started in place of Molly DeBettencourt and played well, scoring five points. Amanda Bernard chalked up a three-pointer, while Lily Pigott and Rose Engler added a bucket apiece.
“Meghan Sawyer has a lot of potential,” Coach Bishop said after the game, “I expect bigger things from her for the rest of the season.”
With the win, Bishop Feehan improved to 12-2 and a perfect 5-0 in the EAC. Only Archbishop Williams of Braintree and Long Beach Poly Tech (Calif.) have managed to beat the Shamrocks this season. The Vineyarders stand at 7-7 with six games remaining in the regular season. They must win three more games to qualify for the state tournament.
The next game is at home against Somerset Berkley on Tuesday. Tip-off is at 4:30 pm.