Travel hoopers finish season strong

Sixth grade boys win the Baystate Division

Sixth grade MV Travel Basketball team donning their CCYBL Baystate Championship T shirts. From left, Nate Story, Kaua Lima, Josh Lake, Geo Meikle, Jack DeBettencourt, and Charlie Porterfield. Not pictured: Sampson Zack and Josh Rodrigues. — Courtesy Chris Porterfield

Martha’s Vineyard Travel Basketball, a part of the Cape Cod Youth Basketball League (CCYBL), wrapped up the regular season with the sixth grade boys winning the Baystate Division at 12-2, only to be knocked out of the playoffs by Dartmouth, the No. 1 team in the Mayflower league.

The sixth grade boys also played in the Barnstable tournament this past weekend, and went to the championship. They won the first game, beating rival Nantucket 37-28 in a physical game, with great press transition defense by Charlie Porterfield, Nate Story, Jack DeBettencourt, Kaua Lima, Josh Lake, Geovane Meikle, and Parker Bradley. The Nantucket coach said after the game, “I love your guard play. They pressure, take away the ball, and play off each other so well.”

A big reason for the success this season was great team play between steals, assists, rebounds, and points scored. They moved on to beat Canton Connecticut 45-28, led by Nate Story with 18 points and Geovane Meikle with 10 points. In the semifinal game they beat South Plymouth 40-12, led by Story’s 11 points and Porterfield’s 9. They advanced to the championship to face a tough St. Joe’s of Worcester team. The game was tied at the half, and the Vineyard — a little tired, beat up, and in foul trouble — would be beat at the free throw line, having to foul in the last minute to attempt pulling off the win. Martha’s Vineyard ended up losing 34-29.

The seventh grade boys came in second in the Baystate Division at 9-5, and faced stiff competition at Barnstable. Tobey Roberts, Ryan Koster, Eamon Savard, Kauan Parilla, Matheus Rodrigues, Marcos Rodrigues, and Cam Napior would head to the Barnstable Tournament. They challenged the top team, South Plymouth, from the CCYBL, with a tie game at the half, only to lose 41-29.

In the second game they were challenged again by a tough Dartmouth team, and lost 34-24. The time change got the best of them, getting up for an early game against St. Joe’s, and lost 57-12.

The eighth grade boys came in second in the Baystate Division, at 7-5. They were 2-1 this past weekend at the Barnstable Tournament, beating the home team 59-56. Hiaggo Goncalves led them with 10 points. In the second game, they lost in double overtime to Nantucket, 45-44. They were down 12 points with five minutes in regulation, and battled back to tie it. Gabe Arritt led with his high-scoring game of the season, 22 points. Jaden Coyle and Antone Moreis led the way against Barnstable with 8 points in their final game of the tournament.

The fifth grade boys team, with a mix of third, fourth and fifth grade boys and girls, were challenged and continually improved over the season. After their \inaugural season, they should return strong and more experienced next year, playing at the same level. At the Barnstable tournament, they lost the first game in a tough defensive battle against Plymouth North. They fought hard in their two other games, and played competitively. They eventually lost to the tournament runner-up.

The eighth grade girls, in their inaugural season, were challenged to win a game playing against teams that have been playing together for five years. The Vineyard team, made up mostly of seventh graders playing at the eighth grade level, will return experienced and competitive. Their game progression over the season was obvious, as they had their highest scores in the final games of the season against Dartmouth and Rochester.