Updated Feb. 12
The MVRHS boys basketball team went toe-to-toe with the visiting Nauset Warriors for four periods on Tuesday before emerging with a tense 73-69 victory. The Senior Day win gave the hosts a 9-7 record on the season, leaving them one win shy of tournament qualification with three games to go.
The two teams were mirror images of each other through three periods. Both played tight man-to-man defenses that pressured the dribbler and denied easy passes. Both utilized quick traps to cause deflections and steals. And both were aggressive on the boards, making each rebound a prize.
Poise was another common denominator. Vineyard senior Jared Regan and Warrior senior Bobby Joy ran their offenses smartly, and the shooters slowly began to find openings. Chief among them was Nauset’s Liam O’Hara, whose nine points gave his team a 17-15 first period lead.
The seesaw pattern continued in period two. Once more it was Liam O’Hara leading the way for Nauset, scoring from outside and underneath. But when Jared hit consecutive 12-foot jumpers late in the period, it was again a two-point Warrior lead, 37-35, at the break.
Both teams mixed zone and man-to-man defense in the third period. The result was more of the same: intense action, lead changes, clutch performances. After Vineyard senior Aidan Araujo sparked an early rally, Bobby Joy’s two late hoops cut the hosts’ lead to one. When Vineyard junior Rammon Dos Santos converted a lay-up at the buzzer, it was 56-53.
The Vineyarders started the final period with a 1-3-1 zone defense to limit Liam O’Hara’s shooting and, behind junior Nico DePaula’s six points, built a 67-58 lead with four minutes to go. The Warriors then went to a full-court zone press, and began to chip away. When Bobby Joy hit two big three-pointers and a foul shot, the lead was two points with 17 seconds left.
What happened next was no surprise. As he has so often this season, Jared Regan iced the game from the charity stripe. Fouled twice, his four free throws down the stretch were “nothing but net,” and the hosts had a satisfying and important 73-69 win.
“Perseverance was the key tonight,” said a very relieved Vineyard Coach Mike Joyce. “I was proud of the way we handled Nauset’s press late in the game. We reminded our kids that someone had to be open against the double-teams. And if you’re open, come to the ball. We got it done.”
Jared Regan led all scorers with 24 points, 11 in the final period. Nico DePaula and Aidan Araujo had 15 and 13 respectively. Liam O’hara scored 21 for the Warriors while Bobby Joy and senior Henry Blanchard had 16 each.
The Vineyard seniors and their parents were honored before the game in a special presentation. They include: Aidan Araujo, Adam Knight, Solon Oliver, Jared Regan, and Jeremy Regan.
The boys, now five and five in the Cape and Islands League, were scheduled to host Sandwich High School on Feb. 12 at 4:30 pm as The Times went to press, and will travel to Barnstable Friday for a 5 pm tip-off.
Updated to add more details from game — Ed.