Playoff bound: Tournament play begins for Vineyard teams


A number of Martha’s Vineyard high school sports teams are headed to the playoffs, including boys and girls hockey and the boys basketball team.

Here’s a rundown of the final games of the season and a tournament look ahead.

Boys’ hockey finishes regular season, hosts first round playoff game today

On Wednesday, Feb. 22, the Vineyarders hosted Nauset for their final game of the regular season. The Vineyarders lost their first matchup 4-0 earlier this month, so they were looking to avenge themselves and go into the postseason on a high note. It was also their senior day, in which they honored co-captains Nick Rego and Nick BenDavid, as well as Trevor Gullotta, Parker Blake, Sam Riley, Richie Combra, and Noah Smith.

In the first period, the Warriors came out fast, and were largely controlling possession of the puck. The Vineyarders were fending Nauset off, however, until 8:40 to go, when Nauset capitalized on a poorly managed MVRHS line change, making it 1-0. The Warriors found themselves in a two-on-one in front of net, and made the Vineyarders pay. 

In the second period, the Vineyarders were more aggressive, turning the game into a back-and-forth dogfight. Both teams earned power plays, and sophomore Hunter Johnson hit the post twice, but somehow the score remained 1-0 going into the second intermission. In the third period, the Vineyarders didn’t let up, and had Nauset playing on their heels. Finally, after several nice attempts on goal, sophomore Nate Averill beat the Nauset goalie with five and a half minutes to go. Off a scrum induced by freshman Griff Callahan behind the net, Johnson threaded the needle to Averill through two Nauset defenders, and Averill smacked it in.

Over the next few minutes, action remained high, and both teams were looking scary on the counterattack. On two separate occasions, junior Liam Conley and then senior Nick Rego forced the Nauset goalie to make some tough saves, but Nauset would ultimately retake the lead on an open wrist shot from deep with 2:37 to go. MVRHS earned a five-minute power play with 1:27 remaining, but couldn’t send it into overtime, and lost 2-1.  

Coach Matt Mincone was confident after the game, despite the loss.

“Grit and gratitude were on display for today’s game,” Mincone said. “The boys fell short 2-1 but gave a taste of what’s to come as the MIAA State tournament approaches. All the season battles now come down to one game (45 minutes) at a time.” 

Next up, the Vineyarders (12-8; No. 8 seed) will play Fitchburg/Montachusett Tech (10-10; No. 25 seed) in the first round of the MIAA Division IV playoffs. The game will be played at home on Wednesday, Mar. 1, at 4:30 pm, after the paper deadline. If MVRHS wins, they will move onto the Sweet 16 this weekend.

Girls’ hockey rests up, prepares for first round playoff game Thursday

This time around last year, the Vineyarders’ season would have been done. But things are different this season, as the upstart Vineyarders have qualified for the MIAA Division II playoffs for the first time in eight years, even hosting a first round game on Thursday at 4:30 pm.

Interestingly enough, their opponents will be the Norwood Mustangs, who they played in their regular season finale, losing a thriller 4-3. But Coach Geoghan Coogan and Co. aren’t fazed, and are even looking forward to the rematch. 

“I think we came into that game a little high on ourselves from the [five-game] stretch we’d had,” Coogan said. “Stay out of the [penalty] box, come out on fire, and we have all the confidence in the world in ourselves,” 

When asked how they’ve been preparing in practice this week, Coogan explained that his team is putting faith in their identity. “We will try not to change much in practice this week.  We’ve built a season on being our best, not focusing on what other teams do or don’t do.  We have to continue that.  If we play our best, we can beat anyone in our way.”

If the Vineyarders (12-6-2; No. 15 seed) beat No. 18 Norwood (10-6-5; No. 18 seed) at home tomorrow, they will move onto the Sweet 16 this weekend, which will likely be played off-Island.

Boys’ basketball ends season 17-3; hosts first round playoff game Saturday

Last week, the Vineyarders participated in a four-team tournament in Apponequet to wrap up their regular season. They faced Bishop Stang in the first round, and then Apponequet in the second, losing two close games to fall to 17-3.

Against Apponequet, senior center Matheus Rodrigues had a huge double-double (20 points, 18 rebounds), and junior forward Josh Lake logged a nice eight points, five rebounds, and five assists. The Vineyarders were up 11 at halftime, but a cold third quarter led to the 49-47 loss.

Heading into the tournament, the MVRHS was on a 13-game winning streak, featuring two-game sweeps of Nantucket, Abington, Monomoy, Dennis-Yarmouth, and Cape Cod Academy. The Vineyarders also swept Nauset this season.

MVRHS (No. 14) will look to bounce back on Saturday, when they host Norton (No. 19; 11-9) at the Pachico Gym at 2  pm. With a win, the Vineyarders will advance to the MIAA Division III Sweet 16 later in the week.

Indoor track athletes compete at Massachusetts Meet of Champions

This Saturday, senior Daniel Serpa, senior Adrienne Christy, and sophomore Camille Brand represented MVRHS at the Massachusetts all-State meet in Roxbury. The trio qualified last week at the Division V Championships, setting themselves up for a date with the best athletes across all five divisions.

In the 1,000m run, Serpa muscled past the pack to finish in eighth with a time of 2:38.68, .04 seconds behind his personal record. Coach Joe Schroeder said, “His heat was pretty physical, making it difficult for the runners to get into their pace. He rose above all that to run a solid last two laps.” He was the sole competitor to qualify from the Cape & Islands.

In the two-mile run, Christy ran a solid 11:50.18, less than six behind her personal record. Schroeder stated, “Wren finished her indoor career with another good time. She’s definitely looking forward to outdoor [season] and the bigger track.” She came in 22nd overall, and was also the only runner from the Cape & Islands in the girls’ two-mile run.

Finally, the high-jumping Brand made her career debut at the MIAA Meet of Champions, coming in tied for 8th with a jump of 5’2”. She tied her own school record with this performance, and “just missed 5’4”,” according to Schroeder. He added, “The high jump was pretty intense; lots of waiting around… I was encouraged by her poise.” Like Serpa and Christy, Brand was the only athlete from the Cape & Islands to qualify for her event.

Moving forward, Serpa (800m) and Brand (high jump) have qualified for the New Balance Indoor Track Nationals in Boston on March 11-12, alongside seniors Daniel da Silva (800m) and Eloise Christy (high jump). Serpa stated, “We’re at a point in the season where all of the hard work is paying off, so it’s all about having confidence and showing how much work we’ve put in during the season.


  1. I know the High School is wonderfully diverse. I am wondering why these photos do no reflect that diversity? Where are the photos of athletes of color?

    • Kelly — the article addresses 4 teams.
      You can go on facebook or the MVRHS website and see team pictures.
      18 of the 18 boys on the boys hockey team appear to be caucasian
      20 of the 20 girls on the girls hockey team appear to be caucasian
      14 of the 15 boys on the boys basketball team appear to be caucasian
      9 of the 10 girls on the girls indoor track team appear to be caucasian
      9 of the 9 boys on the boys indoor track team appear to be caucasian

      since only 2 of the 57 players involved are persons of color, and most of the pictures are of the hockey teams which are exclusively caucasian, it would seem to present a very low statistical probability that a person of color would appear in these pictures.

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