It was the battle of the Islands on the ice last weekend as the Vineyard boys and girls hockey teams trekked to Nantucket to defeat the Whalers dramatically and defiantly.

The boys contest saw the Vineyard capitalize on an overtime power play as Nate Averill knocked in a rebound off a Nick BenDavid shot that silenced the crowd and gave purple a 3-2 victory.

The Vineyard girls were dominant from start to finish, peppering the Whaler netminder with 54 shots as Alana Nevin, Audrey Heidt, Elle Mone and Savannah Meader all scored in their 4-1 triumph.

After starting the season 0-3, the boys have righted the ship and it all began with the seas being too choppy for the Steamship to sail. With the Christmas Eve eve windstorm canceling boats, Plymouth North was unable to make the trip over but that wasn’t going to stop the Island from playing puck. Coach Matt Mincone assembled an alumni team for a scrimmage that could prove to be a turning point for the Vineyarders.

Maria Andrade looks to the basket. — Mark Alan Lovewell

“One of the better things that could’ve happened to us,” Coach Mincone said of the alumni scrimmage. “It was one of those things where you needed a reboot to know that we could play at the level I know we’re capable of playing at. That alumni game and all the alumni that came and played was a special thing for us. I think it kind of changed our course.”

The early returns after the scrimmage were encouraging, as the boys headed to the University of New Hampshire for the Heuchling and Swift tournament for the first time since 2019. Covid kept the Vineyarders from participating in recent years but like the 2019 team, purple swept their opponents and emerged the tournament champions.

In the championship game against host Oyster River, Coach Mincone said he knew they were in for a challenge against a very cohesive team. After falling down 1-0, the Vineyarders clawed their way back to earn a 4-1 victory in an effort the coach called their best game of the season so far.

“We felt good winning the championship up there. That was a good accomplishment for us,” Coach Mincone said.

While the boys battled on Nantucket Saturday, the girls team was on home ice taking on Barnstable, one of the toughest teams on the Cape. The Red Hawks quickly jumped out to a three-goal lead and held it for the majority of the game, thanks to stellar play from their goalie. However, the Vineyarders never backed away from the challenge and scored twice in the final period but couldn’t net the equalizer.

Piper Blau lookss for an opening. — Mark Alan Lovewell

“We kind of dug ourselves into a hole but kudos to those girls, they don’t quit,” said head coach Geoghan Coogan. “They knew they could skate with that team.” The next day the girls still had plenty in the tank as they defeated the Whalers on Nantucket to improve their record to 4-2-2 on the season. “It was good to see them not only come back against Barnstable but keep that momentum going,” Coach Coogan said.

Against Nantucket, the head coach said his team found success in remaining focused while proficiently passing the puck to set up multiple looks for shots on net.

“We’re happy with it, it’s always a tricky place to play over there,” Coach Coogan said. “They have lots of fans, it’s intimidating and a long day of travel so it’s good to get over there, take care of business and have everyone come home healthy.”

Next up, the girls participate in the Nan Rheault tournament set to begin on Saturday. The Vineyarders will open the annual competition with a clash against Saint Mary’s of Lynn, the number one ranked team in division one. The puck drops at 5 p.m. on Saturday In other action last week, the boys basketball team continued to roll as they notched wins over Barnstable, Nauset and Sturgis West. With the wins, they improved to 7-1 on the season. Matheus Rodrigues has remained dominant in the paint for the Vineyard this year as double-doubles in points and rebounds have become the norm in every matchup. Additionally, the long-range shooting of Josh Lake and Sam Zack bolsters purple’s arsenal while superior guard play from Nate Story and Ryan Koster keeps the offense moving like a well-oiled machine.

The boys next home game comes against Nantucket on Saturday; tipoff is set for 1:30 p.m.

Getting ready to begin the 100 meter freestyle. — Courtesy swim team

The girls basketball team secured their first win of the season last week with a 38-14 defeat of Sturgis West Friday at home. It was a bounce-back effort from the girls as they came close to defeating Barnstable earlier in the week on the Cape. Maria Andrade put up a double-double in points and rebounds but it wasn’t enough as purple fell 27-23.

On Saturday the girls will also be facing Nantucket but will be the visitors in the contest; tipoff is set for 12:30 p.m.

Last Saturday also saw the Vineyard swim team in action as the Island swimmers traveled to Sandwich to compete with five other Cape teams in the 17th annual Cape Cod Classic.

For the girls, some of their best times on the day came from Olympia Hall, who finished the 100 breaststroke in 1:22.51 for fifth place and the 500 freestyle in 28.66 for seventh place. Sylvia Carroll also had a strong showing in the 100 free, finishing in sixth with a time of 1:06.56. Hall, Carroll, Nora Motahari and seventh grader Nora Duncheva completed the 200 free relay in 2:06.95, good for ninth place.

The boys, who finished third overall on the day, began by setting a new school record in the 200 medley with Christian Flanders, Simon Hammarlund, Andy Carr and Emmett Silva finishing in 1:58.09, good for third place. In the 200 freestyle, Nathan Cuthbert finished in 2:12.05 for third place. Kaua DeAssis took second in the 50 free with a personal best of 25.02 while Mr. Cuthbert earned the Vineyard’s other second place finish in the 100 free with a personal best of 54.73.

Christian Flanders doing the breastroke. — Courtesy swim team.

This week will be a busy one for the Vineyarders as they have meets against Barnstable, Nauset and then Nantucket at home on Saturday.

In indoor track last week, the Vineyarders traveled to Wheaton College for the third Cape and Islands meet of the season. Daniel da Silva and Daniel Serpa each took home a first place finish for the boys as they both bested the second place finisher

by more than four seconds in the 600 meter (1:28.86) and 1000 meter (2:40.95) respectively. The boys 4x400 relay team also took the top spot by over 10 seconds with a 3:54.92 finish. For the girls, in the high jump Camille Brand and Eloise Christy tied for first with a five foot leap while Madison Mello took second in the shot put with a 32-04.75 toss. The girls 4x200 relay team also took first with a time of 1:58.35. Wren Christy finished second in the mile with a 5:45.66 time, Eloise took third in the 300 meter finishing in 46.72 and Caroline Bettencourt and Shantavia Whylly finished third and fourth respectively in the 55 meter dash with times of 8.16 and 8.19.