The Vineyard high school boys basketball team won the Cape and Islands league championship after defeating Falmouth 58-46 Friday evening.

It was a game of ups and downs, but the Vineyarders rode a 17-0 run into the fourth quarter and held the Clippers to six points in the final quarter to claim the championship. Rammon Dos Santos led the Vineyard with 20 points, Mike Trusty scored 15 and Leo Neville, Nico DePaula and Aiden Rogers came up big down the stretch to preserve the lead for the Vineyard.

Cape and Islands League champs. — Aaron Wilson

Falmouth had a strong start, connecting on deep three-pointers and swarming the Vineyard under the basket, holding a narrow lead for almost the entire first half.

The Vineyard kept it close though, with Trusty hitting three-pointers and finding his teammates for open shots. At the half, Falmouth was up 28-27.

The Vineyard team had a tumultuous start to the second half, committing turnovers, missing free throws and giving up a string of Falmouth three-pointers that put them in an eight-point hole with less than four minutes remaining in the third quarter.

Then they made their run.

Rogers and Neville sank back-to-back three-pointers after Dos Santos converted under the rim, and the score was tied at 40 heading into the final quarter. Neville opened the fourth with a steal and assist to Trusty for the lead, then Dos Santos scored two more with assists from DePaula and Neville to put the Vineyard up six. DePaula followed with a jump shot and Neville sank a three-pointer with two minutes remaining. And the Vineyard’s championship dreams became a reality in a year when no one was sure there would be high school sports played at all.

After the game Trusty said he and his fellow seniors, Dos Santos, DePaula, Rogers, Neville, Nate Porterfield and Josh Billings had wanted this since freshman year. “My class said our senior year is going to be our year,” the Vineyard captain recalled.

“This summer we were all worried that we weren’t going to have a season,” he continued. “As soon as we found out we were, we knew that this was our year. We had to show what we’ve been waiting for these past four years.”

Vineyard Head coach Mike Joyce said his team’s defense, especially in the second half, led them to victory.

“Defensively we clamped down. Not only were we contesting shots but we were getting fingertips on shots, getting to loose balls and putting so much pressure on their ball handlers that they couldn’t operate their offense the way they wanted to and that made a big difference,” the coach said.

“I think the seniors realized where they were at and I think they saw the urgency and started playing like it. This was great for them. This is such a good group of kids, it’s great for them to have this.”