After a pair of tough road losses at Carver and Falmouth to start the season, the Vineyarder girls varsity basketball team put one in the win column with a scrappy 36-20 Cape and Islands League victory over the Dennis-Yarmouth Dolphins, Friday afternoon, Dec. 20, in the home opener at the Sancy Pachico Gym in Oak Bluffs.
Nothing pretty about this one. The teams combined for 42 turnovers, with the Vineyarders accounting for 23 of ’em. But a win is a win.
“We finally played together, finally had some confidence as a team,” Vineyard Coach Sterling Bishop said after the game.
The Vineyarders were stingy on defense throughout, and won the battle of the boards by a 39-30 count, but offensive results were slow to materialize. MV trailed 7-4 with 4:30 left in the first half, and 9-8 a minute later, but turned the game around with an 8-0 run to lead 16-9 at the break, and never looked back.
“We just needed to kind of come together. They were all still very nervous, and, quite honestly, a little bit surprised that we were winning the game, so they weren’t really ready mentally to handle that, and we had to settle them down, change the offensive set a little bit, and try to take advantage of our size and skill, so we went inside to Sasha [Lakis], who, she’s like 6 foot 2, and they had no one who could actually stop her,” Coach Bishop said.
Senior co-captain Lakis finished as the high scorer in the game with 12 points, including 4 for 4 from the line, and grabbed 13 rebounds. In all, seven Vineyarders scored points. Kylie Estrella had 11 points and six boards; Taylor Hughes scored four points and added six rebounds; and Riley Yuhas drained a trey in the third quarter to go with four boards. Jovanna Lowell-Bettencourt, Isabella Thorpe, and Josephine Welch each scored a bucket, with Welch adding a team-high four assists. Senior co-captain Kat O’ Brien had four boards, and chipped in two assists. Grace Presswood led the Dolphins with seven points, with Elsie Augurkis adding five, plus 10 rebounds.
Prior to the varsity contest, the Vineyarder JV girls edged the Dolphins in a 24-22 thriller. Isabelle Ribeiro popped the game-winning jumper with 30 seconds remaining, and Maria Andrade, the game’s high scorer with 12 points, added an insurance free throw. Wadeline Florime-Hall also had a strong game, and finished with eight points.
The Vineyard girls are back at the Sancy next Friday to take on Monomoy, with the JV game tipping off at 1 pm and the varsity game at 3.