The Island middle school basketball season tipped off on Nov. 21 with a pair of games played in front of passionate, capacity crowds.
The girls opener at the West Tisbury School featured a rematch of last season’s championship game between the West Tisbury Hawks and Oak Bluffs Blazers. Last January, the Hawks claimed the crown with a 32-25 victory, but this time, the Blazers got even, and won an intense, seesaw battle by a 38-31 count.
West Tisbury jumped out to a 7-0 lead, but OB answered with an 11-0 spurt to close out the first quarter on top. In the second quarter, the Hawks clamped down on defense and outscored the Blazers 6-2, knotting the score at 13-13 by halftime.
OB sank the first pair of buckets in the second half, but West Tisbury used a 10-0 run midway through the third quarter to build a 27-22 lead heading into the final period.
The fourth quarter was the Ali Dyke and Piper Blau show. The Blazer sharpshooters accounted for all of OB’s points in a 16-4 turnaround. Dyke drained a huge three-pointer with 2:40 left to give the Blazers some breathing room down the stretch at 34-29, and finished the game with 15 points. Blau scored 11 and Paige Malowski added 10 more, to go with a half-dozen steals on defense. Clare Mone had a monster game for West Tisbury, leading all scorers with 21 points, and Delilah Oliver chipped in six.
At the Tisbury School, the host Tigers and Charter School Chargers met in the boys opener. The teams managed just one basket apiece through the first three minutes, but Tisbury exploded for 13 unanswered points to lead 19-6 after the first quarter, and pulled away for a 66-29 win.
Josh Lake was the top cat on the scoreboard with 27 points, and Kaua Lima scored 12. Miles Hayes (nine points), Matheus Magri (7), Luciano Baldwin (6), and Shaun Thomas (5) paced the balanced Charger offense.
The action continued on Monday afternoon. The Edgartown Eagle boys traveled to the Cottage City to take on the Blazers at the Oak Bluffs School. Edgartown’s Geo Meikle led all scorers with 23 points, but Oak Bluffs ran away with a 59-31 win. Noah Jones paced the Blazer attack with 18 points, and Kaio DaCosta added 11 more.
In the girls game at the West Tisbury School, the Hawks picked up their first win by defeating their crosstown rivals from the Charter School, 32-16. West Tisbury led 30-8 after three quarters, but the Chargers lived up to their nickname in the final period by doubling their previous output and outscoring the Hawks 8-2.
Clare Mone and Charlotte Scott each scored six, and Sam Warren added four points for West Tisbury, while Koko Capece, Scarlett Marino, and Aberiel Tomkins had four points apiece to lead the Chargers.