The Eagles have landed.
In closely-matched, hard-fought games at the middle school basketball championships Tuesday night, the Edgartown School girls’ and boys’ teams both took home trophies.
The girls won their game against Oak Bluffs 44-38, and the boys beat the Charter School 56-40. This marked the first time for the charter school team to make the finals in the longstanding inter-school rivalry.
And it marks the second year in a row for the Lady Eagles to win the championship.
The girls took the court at the regional high school first and faced a determined Oak Bluffs team led by Molly DeBettencourt (18 points) and her classmates Lacey Dinning (nine points) and Rose Engler (five points).
But Edgartown relied on its height and sharpshooting to pull ahead with four minutes left in the game, going on a scoring spree and leading 42-33 with two and a half minutes left. Eighth grader Erin Hill had a standout game, scoring 26 points for the Eagles and leading the way in rebounds. Meaghan Sawyer had six points, and Kylie Hathaway and Rebeca Lima had four apiece.
Fans packed the bleachers on both sides of the court for the boys’ games, as the Cinderella Charter School Chargers took on the high-flying Eagles. The two teams proved evenly matched in the first half; Edgartown was up 27-25 as the second half began.
But eventually the older, more experienced Edgartown team (five starters are eighth-graders) called on its deep bench to stymie the Chargers, locking down on defense and playing a more team-oriented game. The Eagles scored 10 points in a row to jump to a 46-35 lead which they never relinquished.
“Our boys, they hung together and we just told them to push it down the court — eventually it paid off,” coach Pat Mercier said after the game.
Edgartown coaches said they were more concerned about facing the Charter School, the number three seed, than about a potential matchup against number two seed Oak Bluffs. The Chargers handed the Eagles their only loss of the season in their first game.
“They had the potential, they had the speed, they had the athleticism, and they had Ricardo [Andrade],” assistant coach Darren Belisle said. Team captain Ricardo scored 20 points to lead both teams. Ennis Foster of Edgartown scored 14, and teammate Thomas Weston had 12. Jordan Tate and Nick Bond each had 11. Jared Rivard and Ethan Hall of the Charter School scored seven points each.
Chargers’ co-coach Timothy Penicaud thanked his colleague Asil Cash and the Charter School family and fans for a great season, saying that he was “confident that we’ll be practicing more and even harder next season.
“It’s amazing — we’re so proud,” he said.