Last Friday night the middle school basketball championships took place at the regional high school gym. While that might not be on par, at first glance, with a major sporting event — Wimbledon, the World Series, Super Bowl or closer to home the Island Cup, for example — the excitement at the gym on Friday night ricocheted off the rafters.

Nearly every space on every bleacher was filled with fans from around the Island to watch the West Tisbury Hawks face off against the Oak Bluffs Blazers in the girls team final and the West Tisbury Hawks team play the Tisbury Tigers in the boys team final.

While the action on the floor excelled, middle schoolers playing on the big stage of the high school gym did not shrink from the spotlight, the energy in the stands was equally remarkable. Most heartening was the overwhelming support for the Tisbury Tigers team. The school has had a particularly hard year, having to separate its grades at the start of the school year due to lead paint remediation, with the upper classes attending classes at the regional high school all fall.

Being reunited never felt so good, it was clear to all, as the Tisbury fans rolled the deepest and cheered the loudest, perhaps because everyone in attendance cheered with them.

There were winners but no losers at the event, which of course sounds like a cliché. And to be fair the Oak Bluffs Blazers prevailed in the girls final and the West Tisbury Hawks defeated the Tisbury Tigers in the boys final.

But no one on the hardwood floor or in the stands went home disappointed. When town sports rivalries add up to community togetherness the effect is contagious.

And for those sad about a Super Bowl weekend without the Patriots, it is not a stretch to say that middle school basketball was the perfect antidote.