The Vineyard boys’ basketball team lost 75-62 to conference rival Bishop Feehan on Tuesday, ending an 11-game winning streak.
Earlier this month, the Vineyarders hit a three-point shot to beat Bishop Feehan in the closing seconds. But this week it was the Shamrocks turn for dramatics; they overcame a 10-point deficit in the first quarter and forced the Vineyard into 24 turnovers.
But it wasn’t all bad news this week: the boys put on a defensive clinic last Friday against Bishop Stang, another conference rival, and won 67-44. Their record now stands at 11-2 overall and 4-1 in the Eastern Athletic Conference, with three league games to go, and have qualified for the state tournament.
The one bright spot in Tuesday’s loss to Feehan was Lamar Moreis, who had a career high 28 points with an astonishing eight three-pointers, five in the first quarter. Moreis was 10 for 16 from the field.
The game was a bit of a departure for the Vineyard boys, who have spread the scoring around all season. They looked more like themselves in Friday’s win over Stang; Steven Handy had 20 points, Randall Jette had 12 and Justin Mercier had 11.
They play at home against Somserset tomorrow at home. (It’s a jam-packed day of high school sports, with girls’ hockey at 1 p.m., girls’ basketball at 2 p.m., boys’ basketball at 4:30 p.m. and boys’ hockey at 5 p.m.)
The team had setbacks this week with losses to Bishop Stang on Saturday and Somerset on Wednesday. After a promising start, the team record is now 5-9 on the season and 2-3 in the conference, with hopes for postseason play fading fast.
Coach Matt Mincone is understandably cranky.
“I thought we were rolling after last week’s win against Coyle; the players were intense, they understood their roles, they were tough. But the very next game we went out and were flat,” he said. “It’s been a bizarre season; once we fix one problem an old one pops right back up, and it’s frustrating.”
Against Stang in New Bedford on Saturday, the team quickly fell behind 7-1 after two periods. But they showed some spark in the final frame and made the final score a more respectable 8-2. “We were emotionless and flat; they scored on us at will, early on,” the coach said.
The team played somewhat better Wednesday at Somerset, but still came away with a 4-3 loss. Coach Mincone naturally still believes in his team, and wants them to dig deep.
“I’m not going to quit, so the players better not. I don’t feel defeated; frustrated maybe, but not defeated. There is a solution and we’re going to find it. But if I start to see players drop their shoulders, they won’t play . . . it’s that simple. We still have a chance [of making the tournament],” he said.
The Vineyard boys will need to win five of their last six games to qualify for state tournament play. The good news is that five games are at home, where they have played much better this season.
The team lost 56-43 to Bishop Stang on Friday and 60-49 to Bishop Feehan on Tuesday, both conference games. Jillian Sedlier had 15 points in Friday’s loss to Stang, and Hanna Persson had nine. Sedlier had 19 points in Tuesday’s loss, Jenny Lindland had 18 and Katie Hines had eight.
The girls’ record now stands at 6-7 overall and 1-4 in the conference.