BOSTON — The Vineyard boys’ basketball team’s successful season came to a close Saturday, as the team came back from an early 16-point deficit but fell just short, losing 70-65 to undefeated Wareham in the division 3 south section championship game at UMass Boston.
The loss also ended a dream year for all four of the high school’s winter teams. The boys’ and girls’ basketball and hockey teams all made their post-season tournaments. Boys’ basketball was the last one left playing until Saturday.
The Vineyarders, seeded second in the tournament, ended their season at 21-3 before a large, boisterous contingent of Vineyard fans.
“It’s not the outcome we were looking for,” coach Michael Joyce said after the game Saturday, as the team headed for the ferry back to the Vineyard. He said the Wareham team’s strong start — they had a 19-3 lead in the first quarter — was too hard to overcome. “After starting off really poorly, we played really well for three and a half quarters.”
“Those first five or six minutes just cost us a lot of ground.”
The Wareham team held the lead for the entire game. The Vineyarders tightened the gap, though, and ended the first quarter down 21-12 after a 9-0 run.
The deficit was “too much to overcome against a team that good,” Mr. Joyce said. “You can’t give a team that good that much of a lead.”
By halftime, the score was 41-32, and a third quarter three-pointer by senior Delmont Araujo brought the game to within two points, 48-46. The third quarter ended with Wareham leading 52-46.
Junior Jack Roberts, scoring in the fourth quarter, lifted the Vineyarders to within three points, at 59-56, with three and a half minutes remaining.
The team played without Senior Izak Browne during the second half, after he left the court with a hip injury at the beginning of the third quarter.
“That really hurt us, not having him for second half,” Mr. Joyce said.
He cited senior Charlie Everett’s 22 points, a personal best, as a big factor in the team’s effort.
In assessing the entire season, he praised the team as the best the high school has had in almost 40 years, with a great group of seniors and talented players that played well together.
A vocal Vineyard crowd created a sea of purple in the stands at the UMass Boston court, and they were on their feet for most the game, shaking the stands and chanting “Let’s go Vineyard.”
“It was fabulous,” Mr. Joyce said of the hometown crowd, some of whom took early morning ferries to get to the game.
“It just shows you how neat a place it is, Martha’s Vineyard, and how great a community there is [that supports] a group of kids representing the Island.”
All four winter sports teams made it beyond the preliminary rounds of their tournaments before losing. (Boys’ hockey had a bye in the first round.) The girls’ hockey team made it to the postseason for the first time.
Wareham was knocked out in the next round of tournament play, the state semi-finals against Danvers earlier this week.