MVRHS sports highlights


Boys’ hockey beats Nantucket in overtime

The Vineyarders extended their winning streak to five games with wins over St. John Paul II on Wednesday, Jan. 4, and Nantucket on Saturday, Jan. 7. While the win over the Lions was pretty straightforward (a 9-1 rout at home), the game against the Whalers away was a true thriller.

Against St. John Paul II, the Vineyarders scored three goals in each period, with seven different Vineyarders adding to the scoreboard. MVRHS’ corps of star sophomore forwards Hunter Johnson (two goals, two assists), Frankie Paciello (two goals, one assist), and Nate Averill (one goal, two assists) continued to shine, while sophomore defenseman Robby Pacheco earned Player of the Game for his solid compete level. Overall, the Vineyarders did a fantastic job dominating loose pucks, creating space for themselves, and maintaining possession in the attacking half.

On Saturday, the Vineyarders had their hands a little more full, starting with a 9:30 am boat to Woods Hole for a 2 pm game in Nantucket. The Vineyarders suffered a brutal overtime loss to the Whalers in the playoffs last year, so they knew it would be no easy win. In the first period, though, they looked good, putting a lot of pressure on the Nantucket goalkeeper, forcing him to make some saves, and even hitting the post once. In the second period, senior captain Nick BenDavid nearly scored during a four-on-four, and it felt as if Nantucket were playing a man down, considering how defensively they were playing. Toward the end of the second, however, the Whalers started waking up, and began to genuinely threaten the Vineyard goal.

With both sides hungry for victory, the 0-0 stalemate didn’t last long in the third period. Two minutes in, Nantucket opened up the scoring on a prayer from distance that scooted past senior goalie Zach Mathias, and the Nantucket crowd went crazy. But no more than a minute later, junior captain Chase Grant had a similar goal of his own, and the Vineyard crowd went crazy back. Running with the momentum, MVRHS appeared to score again right after, but unfortunately had their lead negated by a controversial goalie interference call. However, the Vineyarders would get their lead back soon. With 10:45 to go, Johnson won a face-off in Nantucket’s end, and BenDavid tucked it in. It was 2-1 Vineyard.

After two periods of scoreless hockey, three goals were scored in four minutes and 21 seconds. But the action was far from over. After a brief stalemate, the Whalers tied it back up with five minutes to go in regulation. Things really got hairy when the Vineyarders incurred a frustrating roughing penalty, but they managed to get the kill and send the game to overtime, knotted 2-2.

In OT, Coach Matt Mincone sent out BenDavid, Pacheco, Paciello, and junior forward Liam Conley to take care of business. Overtime rules dictated that either team had only five minutes to win, but it took the Vineyarders just 45 seconds to give themselves a golden scoring opportunity. After helping contain a Nantucket attack, BenDavid smacked the puck off the wall for a perfectly timed pass to Conley in the attacking half. Although the lone Whaler defender had several feet on Conley, he was drifting in the opposite direction, while Conley was accelerating straight to the puck. Scrambling to play catch-up, the Nantucket defender hooked Conley and incurred a penalty. During the brief break, Coach Matt Mincone subbed on an attacking unit (Averill, Johnson, senior co-captain Nick Rego, and BenDavid), and as they had been all season, the Vineyarders were clinical on the power play. With 3:15 to go, Averill dropped the puck off to BenDavid at the edge of the neutral zone, circled around the far defender, and skillfully tucked in BenDavid’s blocked shot, winning the game 3-2. The Vineyard faithful went nuts.

Reflecting on the big win over their rivals, Coach Mincone said, “They earned ‘Hockey Island’ today,” referencing the NHL’s promotional video ( He also praised Rego and BenDavid’s leadership, Mathias’ performance in goal, and Paciello’s ability to clean up plays. The Vineyarders’ next game will be against Monomoy at home on Wednesday, Jan. 11, at 4:15 pm. Their record is now 5-3.


Girls’ hockey completes sweep of Nantucket

The Vineyarders had a busy week this week, featuring three games in five days: Wednesday versus Dennis-Yarmouth away, Saturday versus Barnstable at home, and finally versus Nantucket away on Sunday. Despite the quick turnaround, the girls clinched two out of three wins, including the co-ed sweep of Nantucket, the day after the boys beat them on Saturday.

MVRHS started their week off strong, shutting out the Dennis-Yarmouth Dolphins 7-0. The win featured a natural hat trick for freshman forward Emily Coogan (the first hat trick of her career), as well as two goals from senior captain Alana Nevin, and three assists for freshman forward Elle Mone. Freshman Reese Malowski and sophomore Audrey Heidt also scored for the Vineyarders, while senior goalkeeper Penelope Long earned her second straight shutout.

Next, the Vineyarders welcomed a big, skilled, Red Hawk team to the Barnes-Swartz Rink. At first, the Vineyarders quickly went down 2-0, but refocused and slowed down the Barnstable attack. By the end of the second period, the Vineyarders had created several solid chances for themselves, but Barnstable’s goalkeeper was playing out of her mind (she ended the game with 32 saves), and seemed to be stymieing all of MVRHS’ tricks.

Coming out of the second break, though, the Vineyarders finally beat their keeper, as Mone made it 3-1 only a few minutes into play. Playing with momentum and zeal, the Vineyarders scored again on a fast break and then a crossing pass, smacked in by Emily Coogan with 9:11 to go. It was 3-2 Vineyard. Unfortunately, however, the dynamic Audrey Heidt went down with an injury, and the Barnstable defense eventually locked back in and prevented any further scoring. Regardless of some impressive puck movement and intensity on power plays, the girls weren’t able to finish the comeback.

Finally, the Vineyarders traveled to Nantucket on Sunday to play the Whalers on short rest. “[It was a] ​​very physical game over on Nantucket, as we expected,” Coach Geoghan Coogan explained. “The environment over there is always difficult to play in, not only the travel experience, but the arena is always packed, and the crowd is loud.” Evidently, the Vineyarders didn’t let the fatigue, pressure, or frustrating finish against Barnstable get to them, and resiliently routed the Whalers 4-1. In a true team victory, four different Vineyarders scored for MVRHS, and six had assists. Junior assistant captain Savannah Meader kicked off the scoring for the Vineyarders, and Heidt, Nevin, and Mone followed. After the game Coach Coogan stated, “Our top line of Elle Mone, Alana Nevin, and Emily Coogan is really producing. They move the puck so well. Our secondary lines are starting to hit the score sheet, which is huge!”

This upcoming week, the Vineyarders have two more big games ahead of them. On Wednesday, Jan. 11, they play Norwell (ranked 10th in MIAA DII) away, and then St. Mary’s of Lynn (first in MIAA DI) at home on Saturday. The Vineyarders’ record is currently 3-2-2.


Boys’ basketball wins three straight; now 8-1

The Vineyarders played three opponents on the road this week, beating them all: Nauset (53-50), Sturgis West (51-28), and then Dennis-Yarmouth (67-55). The first two games were rematches from earlier in the season, but it was the first time the Vineyarders had faced Dennis-Yarmouth.

On Thursday, Jan. 5, MVRHS played Nauset in “a physical game from the start,” according to Coach Mike Joyce. Despite shooting poorly in the first quarter (4 points scored) and entering halftime down 28-21, the Vineyarders rallied to victory on the heels of some hot three-point shooting and a dominant third-quarter run. Junior forward Josh Lake had five threes across the second and third quarters (he finished with a double-double), while junior Sam Zack made two threes in the fourth. At the very end, “Nauset had a chance to tie with 3 seconds left, but missed, and Matheus [Rodrigues] grabbed the rebound to secure the win,” Coach Joyce explained. He added that senior center Rodrigues was ultimately the Player of the Game, scoring 11 points and snagging 18 rebounds in a tough matchup against Nauset’s 6-foot, 7-inch, center.

Against Sturgis West the day after, the Vineyarders had a much more comfortable start, building a 34-7 lead at halftime. Coach Joyce got his bench players some valuable playing time in the second half, and 10 of 11 eligible Vineyarders got points on the board. The game also featured Tysean Thomas’ first game back from injury this season.

Finally, MVRHS traveled to Yarmouth to play the Dolphins on Tuesday, Jan. 10. As he has been all season, Rodrigues “was a force inside,” and finished with a hefty double-double with 26 points and 18 rebounds. Junior point guard Nate Story scored 12 points and had four steals, while senior guard Cam Napior also finished with double-digit points. Coach Joyce said, “Defense and the boards were where we did our best work, [with] only one made 3 … We really pushed the ball down the floor to get easy buckets.” On Saturday, the Vineyarders will aim to extend their winning streak to five games, and improve their record to 9-1, against Nantucket at home at 1:30.


Girls’ basketball gets first win

After losing by only four points to Bourne and then Barnstable in back-to-back games last week, the Vineyarders clinched their first win of the season against Sturgis West at home on Friday, Jan. 6. Building an 11-2 lead by the end of the first quarter, and extending it to 22-6 by halftime, MVRHS started strong and never looked back against the Navigators. Coach Melissa Braillard stated after the game, “We started playing great defense, and getting some fast-break opportunities. We moved the ball well on offense against the zone, which we worked on a lot in practice yesterday.” Sophomore shooting guard Piper Blau had 10 points at the break, and senior captain Maria Andrade had seven down low.

In the second half, Coach Braillard was able to give her bench players some game time, as the Vineyarders cruised to a convincing 38-14 victory. Sophomore point guard Delilah Oliver finished with eight points and three rebounds, while both senior captain Josie Welch and sophomore guard Avery Mulvey led the way on defense with four-plus steals each. “The girls were really excited to get their first win. They were also excited that everyone on the team got to play and contribute to the win,” Coach Braillard said.

On Tuesday, Jan. 10, the Vineyarders welcomed a 5-1 Dennis-Yarmouth team to the Pachico Gym. Dennis-Yarmouth’s potent three-point game and deep bench ended up overwhelming the Vineyard defense, handing MVRHS a 49-22 loss. “We played great defense in the first quarter, but we couldn’t contain all of them,” Coach Braillard explained. “The girls worked hard and didn’t give up, so I was really proud of their effort.” Oliver had another successful scoring performance, leading the way for the Vineyarders with nine points. The Vineyarders’ next game will be against Nantucket away on Saturday, Jan. 14, at 12:30. They will then host Abington High the following Monday afternoon at 12:15.


Swim season picking up

After nearly a month off following the Sandwich Relay Carnival on Dec. 10, the MVRHS swim team returned to action this three meets in five days. On Thursday, Jan. 5, they hosted St. John Paull II; on Saturday, they competed in the Cape Cod Classic in Sandwich; and on Tuesday, they hosted Barnstable.

Against the Lions on Thursday, the “biggest excitement of the night came from the first event,” said Coach Jen Passafiume. Boys’ Christian Flanders (back), Simon Hammarlund (breast), Andy Carr (butterfly), and Emmett Silva (freestyle) broke a school record for the 200-yard medley relay that had lasted 10 years, finishing with a time of 1:59.47, and grabbed first along the way. The Vineyarders also won the 200- and 400-yard freestyle relays, on the backs of strong performances from Kaua DeAssis, Nathan Cuthbert, Michael Calheta, and Claus Smith. For the girls, MVRHS swimmers Olympia Hall, Sylvia Carroll, Leah Debettencourt, Nora Motahari, and Elenora Duncheva put up 27 points, “which is very hard when swimming against a field of 16,” explained Coach Passafiume. Hall and Carroll impressively swept the top two spots in the individual 100-yard freestyle, while Debettencourt also achieved a personal record in the same race. The boys ended up winning 93-53, while the girls lost 27-106.

At the Cape Cod Classic, the three most impressive events for the boys were the 200-yard medley relay, the 200 individual freestyle, and the 50 individual freestyle. To start, Flanders, Hammarlund, Carr, and Silva broke their own record by more than a second, taking home third out of eight. Next, Cuthbert (2:12), Hammarlund (2:16), and Smith (2:26) all PR’d in the 200 individual freestyle, with Cuthbert and Hammarlund claiming third and fourth place out of 12, respectively. Finally, DeAssis (25.02; personal record), Flanders (25.13), and Silva (25.43; personal record) finished second, third, and fifth out of 15 in the 50-yard freestyle. For the girls, Hall took home fifth of 16 in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:22), and Carroll finished sixth of 17 in the 100 freestyle (1:06). The boys ended up placing third overall, and the girls sixth among the Cape & Islands competition.

Finally, the Vineyarders faced the Red Hawks at home. The boys team won their second straight dual meet, 74 to 53, while the girls put up a good (albeit numerically unbalanced) fight, but fell 89 to 45. The boys excelled in the 50-yard freestyle race for the second meet in a row, with all three participants having personal bests (Cuthbert, first place, 25.11; Carr, second, 26.71; Grady Stalgren, fifth, 29.91). Meanwhile, Carr dropped his PR by more than a minute in the 500-yard freestyle (5:56), and both the 200-yard medley and freestyle relay teams took first. On the girls’ side, the Vineyarders dominated the 100-yard freestyle (Hall, first; Carroll, second; Motahari, fourth), as well as the 200-yard freestyle relay (won first by a margin of 8.61 seconds).

The Vineyarders have another busy week ahead of them, with two big dual meets against Nauset away on Thursday, Jan. 12, and Nantucket at home on Saturday, Jan. 14.


Chess team wins rematch against Nauset

On Thursday, Jan. 5, the Vineyarders traveled to Nauset for a rematch of their matchup earlier this winter. Last time, the two teams tied, but on Thursday, the Vineyarders came out on top.

In match one of two, four Vineyarders won their games, and one drew. Senior Nikola Nikolav (board 1), junior Kestutis Biskis (board 2), sophomore Finn Robinson (board 3), freshman Grady Stalgren (board 4; first career win) came away with full points, and freshman Ronan Kelly earned the draw. It was 4.5-0.5 MVRHS.

In match two of two, Stalgren and Kelly led the way, “easily defeating their opponents,” according to Coach T.J. Reap. Robinson earned a draw, making it 2.5-2.5 for the second-round score. Coach Reap also praised alternates Vivian Peak, Linus Munn, and John Hoff for all winning at least one of their games. The MVRHS chess team is now 2-1-1 on the season, and will travel to play Dartmouth next Thursday.