Let the bracketology begin.
The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletics Association postseason begins this week, and for the third year in a row, all of the varsity winter sports teams are in the tournament mix.
The first round of the playoffs begins Tuesday, with boys’ basketball taking on Norwell at 4:30 p.m. at the regional high school. Later, the puck drops at 6 p.m. for the boys’ hockey team as they play Sandwich.
Play continues Wednesday when the girls’ hockey team hosts Algonquin at 4:30 p.m. in a preliminary matchup. The girls’ basketball team is away, taking on Coyle & Cassidy.
The varsity swim team wrapped up its season earlier this month. Swimmers do not compete in a tournament but do participate in regional and statewide meets.
For the four teams in the playoffs, it’s been an eventful road to the postseason. The squads are young — no team has more than five seniors — and all have faced tournament-worthy competition during the regular season.
Boys’ basketball, with a 16-4 record, earned a number three seed in the south section division three bracket. Norwell is 10-10 on the season and seeded 14th. A win for the Vineyard on Tuesday would put them in the section quarterfinals against either East Bridgewater or playoffs rival Wareham (the Vineyard has faced Wareham in the last four tournaments).
The team is coming off a loss to Bishop Connelly in the annual Dedham Tournament, but demonstrated the clutch play needed to succeed in the playoffs in a recent 85-83 overtime win against Somerset Berkley. They finish the season as Eastern Athletic Conference co-champions, sharing the title with Bishop Feehan. This is the fifth year in a row the boys have had a share of the conference title.
But it’s the first year that the boys’ hockey team has been EAC co-champs. It’s not easy to carve out a spot next to 10-time defending champions Coyle & Cassidy, yet the Vineyarders did just that this season, matching Coyle’s 6-2 league record. The Vineyard boys are 13-5-2 overall, and earned a number six seed in the division two tournament. Their opponent Sandwich is seeded eleventh with a 8-7-3 record.
A win Tuesday would pit the Vineyard against number three seed Medfield or number fourteen seed Quincy.
The girls’ hockey team picked up a first of their own this season, going 8-1-1 in the Southeastern Massachusetts Girls Hockey League to walk away at the top of their division. They are 11-6-3 on the season, and seeded fourteenth in the Division two bracket, which features 28 teams. Opponent Algonquin, with a 9-7-4 record, has the number nineteen seed. Seedings are based solely on win-loss record and do not take into account strength of schedule. Algonquin defeated Medway, the winner of the Vineyard’s Nan Rheault tournament, earlier this month.
The Vineyarders would play number-three seed Falmouth, who received a bye, in the next round.
Girls’ basketball travels to Taunton on Wednesday to play Coyle & Cassidy. The team is 11-9 on the season, and seeded eleventh in the South Section Division Three bracket. They have faced league opponent Coyle & Cassidy twice in the regular season. In the teams’ first meeting, the girls took a narrow 36-34 loss. The Vineyard fell 56-47 in the second meeting.
Coyle & Cassidy, with a 15-3 record, is the number six seed. A win on Wednesday sets the Vineyard up to play either Dedham or Norwell.
Tickets for basketball and hockey games are $5 for students and seniors, and $7 for adults.