Vineyarders handle Norton for first-round playoff win


The No. 14 Vineyarders welcomed the No. 19 Norton Lancers to the Pachico Gym Sunday afternoon for their first-round playoff game in the MIAA Division III state tournament. The Lancers were last year’s state semifinalists, but a blistering start for the 17-3 Vineyarders led to a comfortable 69-51 win.

In the first quarter, the Vineyarders opened up a 19-6 run, with junior point guard Nate Story quickly dropping eight points, and senior center Matheus Rodrigues scoring six. Up 33-18 at halftime, things were looking good for the Vineyarders. But they were coming off back-to-back losses in Apponequet, where they gave up second-half leads, capping off an otherwise dominant regular season. 

Determined to win, and with support from the crowd, the Vineyarders commanded the third quarter this time around, exploding for 22 points, while holding Norton to only seven. Rodrigues capped off a typically dominant performance with nine points in the quarter alone, including a galvanic dunk over two defenders with 2:10 to go. Meanwhile, junior forward Josh Lake couldn’t miss with his pull-up jumper, scoring nine of his 19 total points.

On the defensive end, MVRHS did a fantastic job of making Norton work for their buckets, and on offense, the Vineyarders were moving the ball seamlessly. As soon as they would add to their lead, the Vineyarders would press the Norton ball handlers, inducing turnovers left and right.

In the fourth quarter, the Vineyarders took their foot off the gas and let a 30-point lead dwindle to an 18-point lead, but were otherwise dominant all game. As the final buzzer sounded, the Vineyarders exited the court to applause, the crowd cheering the Vineyarders on for their final home game of the season.

The Vineyarders played No. 3 Old Rochester Regional yesterday evening, after The Martha’s Vineyard Times print deadline. 

Last year, the Vineyarders finished 10-9, and weren’t able to make it past the first round, so this Sweet 16 matchup versus a fast Bulldog team was highly anticipated by MVRHS Coach Mike Joyce and his team. Check our online sports section for updates, at