MVRHS girls basketball rallies to clip Seahawks

Hughes and Estrella come up big in last minute.

Taylor Hughes in action versus Monomoy in a home game earlier this season. — Ralph Stewart

Taylor Hughes stole the ball twice in the final minute and passed to Kylie Estrella, who made a pair of clutch baskets as the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) girls basketball team rallied for a 34-31 win over the Cape Cod Academy Seahawks, Saturday afternoon in Osterville.

For the second consecutive game, the visiting Vineyarders staged a late rally after trailing for three quarters. “We implemented a full-court press that led to several turnovers throughout the game,” Vineyard Coach Sterling Bishop said. “I knew that they were a younger team and a smaller team, and they only had seven players on their roster, so the game plan was to try to get them in foul trouble and to get aggressive offensively.”

The strategy worked. CCA’s Kaileigh Bickford fouled out with two minutes remaining after scoring eight points, and Hughes made both steals as the Vineyarders employed the full-court pressure.

Pleased as he was with his team’s second win in three days, Coach Bishop wants his players in fourth-quarter form from the opening tip. “We continue to struggle with being a second-half team,” he said. “Somehow, we cannot come out in the first half ready to play hard. We need to find a new identity for our team, because this is not going to work every time.”

Kylie Estrella finished with a Vineyard-high 10 points, while Taylor Hughes, Sasha Lakis, and Riley Yuhas added eight points apiece.

“Taylor Hughes had a sensational game and grabbed numerous rebounds,” Bishop said. Mackenzie Balfore of CCA led all scorers with 12 points.

With the win over the Seahawks, the Vineyarders improved to 3-5. “We’re trying to get back to .500 so we can get full confidence back in this team,” Bishop said. “Two road games in a row, two wins in a row — we’ll take it.”

The Vineyarders return home to the Sancy Pachico Memorial Gym on Tuesday to take on Sandwich in Cape and Islands League Atlantic Division play. JV takes the court at 3 pm, followed by the varsity at 4:30.