Boys’ hockey legitimizes their winning streak
Going into their rematch against Dennis-Yarmouth on Wednesday, Jan. 18, the Vineyarders had posted seven wins in a row, starting with their run at the Heuchling and Swift Classic at the end of December. The last team to beat them? Dennis-Yarmouth, on Dec. 17. Not only was a chance for revenge at stake, but also a key opportunity for the Vineyarders to legitimize their turnaround season.
The first period started pretty straightforward for MVRHS, with neither team getting many shots off or visibly outplaying the other. Right before the first intermission, however, the Dolphins got a lucky bounce, leading to a breakaway goal with 23 seconds to go in the period. Understandably frustrated going into the locker room, Coach Matt Mincone’s squad was prepared to make a comeback. Back on the ice, the Vineyarders locked in, and began controlling play more and more, ultimately allowing only one Dennis-Yarmouth shot throughout the second period. And on offense, their effort paid off with a few minutes to go in the second, when they earned themselves a power play. If their season thus far had been any indication, a power play for MVRHS essentially meant a goal. Only needing 30 seconds of the two minutes, the Vineyarders tied it up 1-1 when senior defenseman Nick BenDavid scored an awesome solo goal, starting with the puck in his end and skating past a couple of Dolphin defenders before scoring from a tough angle on the other side. BenDavid charismatically skated around to the student section, and the Vineyarders celebrated.
Playing with the momentum, the Vineyarders quickly reassumed control of the puck, and got the offense going again in the Dennis-Yarmouth end. Then, it was sophomore Nate Averill’s turn to electrify the barn. Double-teamed on the far side, Averill dumped it back to junior Aiden Conley, who re-fed Averill the puck in space, and Averill quickly slapped it in. In the span of less than two minutes, the Vineyarders took a 1-0 deficit and turned it into a 2-1 lead.
The Vineyarders went on to win 3-1, with Averill scoring again on an empty-netter from center ice in the final seconds. After the game, Coach Mincone named Averill his Player of the Game, and praised the whole team’s “maturity and heart.” They showed their character once again versus Monomoy away on Sunday, winning 9-3 in comeback fashion. Against the Sharks, sophomore Sol Donnelly earned Player of the Game honors with two goals and one assist, while sophomore Hunter Johnson scored a hat trick. The Vineyarders’ winning streak is now at nine games. They play St. John Paul II away on Wednesday, Jan. 25, and Plymouth North at home on Sunday at 2 pm.
Boys’ basketball takes down Nantucket
On Saturday, Jan. 21, the Vineyarders played their long-awaited game against Nantucket. Postponed a week due to weather concerns, and then an additional 20 minutes while the junior varsity finished up their game, the Pachico Gym was buzzing long before tip-off.
Right out of the gate, the Vineyarders got the crowd roaring with some exciting three-point shooting. Junior point guard Nate Story, junior forward Josh Lake, and junior forward Sam Zack (2) each hit threes in the first quarter, while senior center Matheus Rodrigues added on six points down low to quickly make it 20-10. Initially stymied by some double-teaming and tough bounces, Rodrigues caught fire toward the end of the first quarter and into the second, finishing with 12 points in the first half alone.
In the second quarter, the Vineyarders continued to dominate, and never looked back. Going into halftime, they already had built a 38-24 lead, and ended up winning 70-53. Story and Rodrigues each finished with a solid 18 points, while Zack had 14. On the other end, Lake and Rodrigues were fantastic on rebounds, and senior guard Cam Napior had four steals. MVRHS’ record is now 11-1 on the season, and the team is on a seven-game winning streak.
The Vineyarders also played Cape Cod Academy this week, on Friday in Osterville. MVRHS ended up coming home with the win, 65-54. Interestingly enough, the Vineyarders’ next two games will be rematches against Nantucket away on Saturday, Jan. 28, and then at home versus Cape Cod Academy on Tuesday. The Nantucket game should prove to be a nice battle, considering the Whalers will be on home turf and at full strength (they were without star senior captain Treyce Brannigan, among two other players, against MVRHS on Saturday). “Always a tough game when the Islands play each other; can throw the records out because both teams are super-motivated to compete,” Coach Mike Joyce stated.
Girls’ basketball beats Nantucket, Cape Cod Academy in busy week
This past week, the Vineyarders played four games: Wednesday, Jan. 18, versus St. John Paul II away, Friday versus Cape Cod Academy at home, Saturday at Nantucket, and Tuesday against Monomoy at home.
The Vineyarders started their week with a tight loss to St. John Paul II, 42-39. According to Coach Melissa Braillard, the “offense was working … looking really good,” and the Vineyarders nearly made a 12-point comeback in the fourth. With 20 seconds to go, MVRHS had brought it within one, but the Lions made a couple of clutch free throws to ice the game. Sophomore guard Delilah Oliver led the way for the Vineyarders on offense, finishing with 11 points, and her counterpart Piper Blau finished with 10. On defense, senior captain C.J. Walsh did a great job neutralizing the Lions’ best player down low, tallying four blocks and 11 rebounds. Braillard stated that MVRHS is looking forward to their rematch, which will also be their home finale and senior night on Feb. 17.
Next, the Vineyarders beat Cape Cod Academy 47-28, in a “great team win.” Senior captain Josie Welch was the Player of the Game, scoring 12 points while also locking down the Seahawks’ primary offensive threat, sharing defending duties with senior co-captain Maria Andrade. Meanwhile, Blau had 11 points, and Walsh had another field day in the box score, finishing with 14 rebounds, three steals, three assists, and six points. Coach Braillard explained that her girls were really pumped to take down Cape Cod Academy in such a convincing manner, especially considering they lost to them twice last year.
For their marquee matchup of the week, the Vineyarders traveled to Nantucket and beat the Whalers on their home court, winning 37-28. According to Coach Braillard, the game started off really slow, with the score at 3-1 in favor of MVRHS at the end of the first quarter. Then, in the second, the scoring took off, with the Vineyarders ahead 22-14 going into halftime. In the second half, Walsh and Oliver stepped up to squash the Nantucket comeback attempt, finishing with 11 rebounds and nine points, respectively. Andrade also put up 10 points, while Blau and Welch each scored seven.
Finally, the Vineyarders hosted Monomoy, losing 38-27. The Sharks’ stingy defense kept the Vineyarders largely off the scoreboard until the second half, which made it too little too late for MVRHS. “The second half started out strong [for us] with eight straight points, but they were able to stay ahead,” Coach Braillard stated. Andrade finished with six points and eight rebounds, and Oliver and Welch each scored seven.
Moving forward, the Vineyarders next three games will be rematches against Nantucket at home (Saturday, Jan. 28 at 1:30), Cape Cod Academy away (Tuesday, Jan. 31), and Monomoy away (Friday, Feb. 3). The Nantucket game will also happen to feature performances from various MVRHS performing arts groups pregame and at halftime.
Swim team beats Nantucket for the first time in school history
In addition to the boys’ and girls’ basketball teams, the boys’ swim team also defeated Nantucket this week, but in much more historic fashion. For the first time in their 11 years of existence, the boys’ team toppled their rivals, doing so rather convincingly, 72-57.
Last year, the Vineyarders only lost to the Whalers by one point, so “they were fired up” for their meet against Nantucket at the Martha’s Vineyard YMCA on Saturday. The first key event for MVRHS was the 200-yard freestyle, in which all three Vineyarders swam personal bests, with junior Andy Carr (2:08) placing second, junior Emmett Silva (2:12) third, and seventh grader Micahel Calheta (2:50) sixth. Meanwhile, in the 100-yard breaststroke, junior Simon Hammarlund (1:22) claimed first, while also helping the Vineyarders take second through fourth in the 100-yard freestyle (alongside sophomore Kaua DeAssis and senior Christian Flanders). Ultimately, though, it was the 200- and 400-yard freestyle relays in which the Vineyard boys emphatically cemented their victory, with Carr, DeAssis, Silva, and Flanders leading the way in both events. In the 200, the Vineyarders cruised to a seven-second victory (1:40 to 1:53), while the 400 was a true thriller to end the meet, with the Vineyarders coming out on top 3:55 to 4:00.
On the girls’ side, the Vineyarders put up a good fight, but were severely outnumbered, putting them at a big disadvantage. Regardless, the Vineyarders left it all out there, resulting in well-deserved personal bests for three girls, as well as multiple top three finishes. In the 50-yard freestyle, freshman Nora Motahari, freshman Leah Debettencourt, and seventh grader Nora Duncheva achieved personal bests, while junior Olympia Hall placed second (27.87 seconds). In the 100-yard freestyle, Hall placed second again with a time of 1:00.35, qualifying for the Cape & Islands Last Chance meet, and sophomore Sylvia Carroll finished third with a time of 1:05.93. Finally, in the 100-yard breaststroke, Debettencourt swam a personal best of 1:44.
After the meet, Coach Jen Passafiume told her team, “You all should be very proud of yourselves.” This upcoming week the Vineyarders will look to finish out their season strong against Bishop Connolly away on Tuesday, Jan. 24, and against Durfee at home on Thursday. This weekend, they will race in the Cape & Islands Championships off-Island.
Girls’ hockey loses rematch with Sandwich
On Saturday, Jan. 21, the Vineyarders hosted the Blue Knights for their first game in six days, which was also a rematch of their Dec. 14 matchup in Sandwich. Coming off a 2-1 showing at the Nan Rheault tournament the weekend prior, the Vineyarders were eager to turn the tables on their league rivals.
The first period was pretty uneventful for both sides, but after the intermission, the Vineyarders quickly earned themselves a couple of power plays to kick off the second period. Unfortunately, Sandwich got the penalty kills, and both teams would exchange one more penalty kill each to end the period.
Going into the third period knotted at 0-0, both teams started playing less conservatively to try to break the tie. With 12 minutes to go, the Vineyarders took a series of nice shots on goal, but the Sandwich goalkeeper made the saves. Then, 20 seconds later, Sandwich opened up the scoring, before rattling off a couple more in the next few minutes. According to Coach Geoghan Coogan, “We let in that back-breaking goal in the third, and the wheels came off.” The Vineyarders ended up losing 5-0, but Coach Coogan is confident that the game was an important learning moment for his team. “We have no losses, only lessons … and we’ll learn from that one.”
Moving forward, the Vineyarders will play Nauset/Cape Cod Furies away on Wednesday, Jan. 25, and host Dennis-Yarmouth on Saturday at 2:30. Despite the loss, the Vineyarders boast a solid 6-4-2 record.
Indoor track team shows up late, shows out
On Saturday, Jan. 21, the Vineyarders traveled to the Reggie Lewis Track & Athletic Center in Roxbury to compete in the MSTCA Division 5 Relays. Featuring 48 teams from around the state, including Cape & Islands rivals Dennis-Yarmouth and Sandwich, the meet kicked off at 9 am. Unfortunately, the first boat to Woods Hole was canceled due to the weather, so the Vineyarders had less time to warm up before their events. But despite the hectic morning, and the relatively small size of the team, MVRHS still had a great meet, with the girls’ team finishing ninth overall.
The sprint medley relay (200-200-400-800) was a key event for both the boys (3:48.5) and the girls (4:37.7), who placed sixth and fourth overall, respectively. Next, the 4×200 girls’ relay team finished with a time of 1:57.24, good for 16th. Finally, sophomore Camille Brand (4 feet, 10 inches; second overall) and seniors Eloise (4 feet 8 inches; tied for third) and Wren Christy (4 feet 2 inches; tied for 21st) racked up a bunch of points for the Vineyarders. Brand, Christy, and Christy were jumping on dead legs, which made their performances even more impressive.
Next weekend, the Vineyarders will be competing in the MSTCA Coaches Invitational, also held at Reggie Lewis. An invite-only event, Brand (high jump), Eloise (300m, high jump), Wren (two-mile run), sophomore Madison Mello (shot put), junior Caroline Bettencourt (55m dash), senior Daniel da Silva (1,000m run), and senior Daniel Serpa (1,000m run) have qualified to represent MVRHS.