When the current Island-wide seventh grade boys basketball team first played together in third grade they won just one game in off-Island competition. The next year they won two games. After a Covid break in fifth grade, they came back to win five games as sixth graders.

This year, they capped a 20-2 season with a first place finish in the Cape and Islands League and last weekend a second place finish at the state tournament held at Foxborough.

“I am wiped out today,” said head coach Jeremy Light. “I had to come back to work to rest.”

The team was one second away from winning the state championship, losing to Arlington 46-44 in double overtime.

“It was heart-breaker,” Mr. Light said. “A kid hit two buzzer beaters to tie us in regulation and then to win it in double overtime. But I am so proud of our team.”

Each fall, Mr. Light and assistant coach Jay Napior hold tryouts for the team. “Tryout is a loose word,” Mr. Light said. “We had 11 kids tryout and everyone made the team.”

Compare that to eventual champ Arlington whose coach told Mr. Light that they had 62 kids tryout, with 23 kids making the team.

“For our kids to go up against those towns that are so much bigger, it was special for the team to do so well.”

The team, which includes Mr. Light’s son, Jacoby Light, and Mr. Napior’s son, Leo Napior, was given a tall boost this year with the addition of Landon Lepine. Mr. Napior saw Landon playing hockey and suggested to the 6-foot, 5-inch seventh grader that perhaps basketball should be in his future.

“I’m not going to lie, having a 6-foot, 5-inch kid join your team definitely helps,” Mr. Light said.

Despite the tough loss, Mr. Light said the team is already moving forward.

“On the boat ride back they kept saying ‘Let’s do it again next year coach.’”

“I am such a proud dad and proud coach,” Mr. Light added.

Paul Bagnall contributed reporting.