The senior-laden Bishop Stang Spartans schooled the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) Vineyarders, 69-49, in a jailbreak-style state tourney sectional quarterfinal basketball game Friday night at the John C. O’Brien Gym, in North Dartmouth.
Stang pressed and double-covered in-bounds passes, forcing steals and turnovers that led to the majority of Stang points on the evening.
The Spartan strategy early on produced a 20-4 first-quarter bulge. The Vineyarders settled down to “win” the second quarter, and went to the dressing room at 31-17. They set purple hearts aflutter briefly, opening the second half with an Aidan Araujo three-ball and one to cut the margin to 10, as close as they would get. They scrapped and dove for loose balls to the end, particularly senior leader Sam Wallace, who had six points and was a floor presence all night.
Solon Oliver and Aidan Rogers led the Purple with nine points each, Aidan Araujo had seven, Rhammon Dos Santos had five, and Jeremy and Jared Regan, three each.
The gym was sold out, and a bedlam atmosphere made talking impossible. Stang loves its hoops.
“We’re a young team, and it showed tonight. Nothing we haven’t seen before, but not with the pressure and intensity of this place,” MVRHS Coach Mike Joyce said. So the young Vineyarders have had their first taste of playoffs and we’ll wait till next year.