The Vineyard boys basketball team became back-to-back Cape and Islands league champions Tuesday as they dispatched Cape Cod Academy 82-32 at home for their 13th win of the season. 

Sam Zack gets into position against Cape Cod Academy. — Mark Alan Lovewell

Since the loss to Nantucket at the TD Garden last month, the boys have rattled off six straight wins and are building momentum with the playoffs in sight. The Vineyarders are currently ranked in the top 10 of division three with an offense stacked with shooters and playmakers that carve up the competition and a stifling defense that leaves adversaries searching for answers.

“They’ve grown as the year has gone on to understand what they need to do to win,” Coach Mike Joyce said after the game. “They look for each other in the spots they need to, I think they’ve got a good feel for how to play with each other.” 

For many of the boys, this is their first season playing together at the varsity level. “Even though we have plenty of talent, we didn’t have guys with experience,” Coach Joyce said. 

One of the younger players who has benefited from varsity playing time is freshman Landon Lepine. “Right now he doesn’t look like a freshman. He plays really well and he’s been phenomenal for us, especially the last four games. His progression has really given us the chance to be something special,” Coach Joyce said. 

Girls hockey defeated Nantucket 8-2 last week. — Mark Alan Lovewell

What’s also evident about this group of Vineyarders is how close they are and how much they care about seeing their teammates succeed.

“They’re great, they’re such easy kids to deal with. They’re nice, they like each other and they keep it going. It’s all good with them,” the coach added. 

Against the Seahawks, five Vineyarders scored double figures. Jack DeBettencourt, Josh Pereira and Josh Lake led the way with 13 each. Sam Zack and Kaio DaCosta both scored 10 while Charlie Porterfield and Landon Lepine added nine each. 

Over the weekend, on Saturday, the boys got their revenge against Nantucket as well. They defeated the Whalers 60-47 on Nantucket as Sam Zack drained four threes in a 26-point effort and Josh Lake scored 18. 

Next, they’re off to Lynn to take on Saint Mary’s Saturday before returning home for the final game of the regular season against Monomoy Tuesday. Tipoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. 

Across Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road at the ice area, the girls hockey team continued their success with an 8-2 walloping of Nantucket on Saturday for their ninth win of the season. Issy Blake got the scoring started with a signature breakaway set up by Clara Mikos then Abby Geary and Ava Mikos gave the Vineyarders a lead that could not be beat. Caroline Cotton and Katherine Chvatal also scored while Emily Coogan netted two and Ava Mikos notched another as well. 

The next hockey home game is Saturday. — Mark Alan Lovewell

On Wednesday, Sandwich came to the Island for a matchup between two of the top teams in the Cape and Islands league. The Blue Knights proved to be too tough a test for the Vineyarders though as their offense couldn’t find their rhythm and the girls fell 3-0. They’ll be back on home ice Saturday for another big game against Falmouth; the puck drops at 5 p.m. 

On the boys side of the ice, things have been up and down as they beat both Barnstable 3-1 and Dennis-Yarmouth 7-1 at home but then lost on the road to both Nauset 4-0 and Nantucket 5-3 last week. 

However, the Vineyarders are still over .500 on the season and had a chance to bounce back against Falmouth at home on Wednesday after the girls’ game. Unfortunately, the boys also couldn’t get their offense going until it was too late and they lost to the Clippers 5-1. 

Next up is the Fairleigh Dickinson tournament, starting Feb. 17 with Hopkinton, Bourne and Lynnfield scheduled to come to the Island. 

In other action last weekend, the indoor track team competed at the Cape and Islands league championship at the Reggie Lewis Center in Roxbury on Sunday. The top finisher for the Vineyard was the boys 4x400 relay team of Caleb Guerrero, Enzo Reis, Felipe Aredes and Broden Vincent. They won the event with a time of 4:05.66. Other top Vineyarders included Rodeo Purves-Langer and Vincent who placed third and fourth in the 1000 meters with times of 3:01.79 and 3:05.28. Camille Brand came in third in the high jump with a 4’ 10” leap and Caroline Bettencourt placed fourth in the 55-meter dash with a time of 8.10.

The wrestling team was back in action at a couple of round-robin meets with several Vineyarders winning their matchups. 

400 freestyle relay: Kaua DeAssis, Emmett Silva, Claus Smith and Ronan Mullin. — Courtesy of Jennifer Passafiume

On Jan. 27 they faced off with Quabbin, Worcester Tech and Northbridge. Against Quabbin, Odin Robinson, Jordan Souza, Michael Magaraci and Caiden Gardner all won their matches. Then, against Worcester Tech, Souza, Magaraci and Zeb Athearn were winners. Against Northbridge, Xeandre Miller won and Souza won again to complete the sweep.

In their most recent action on Saturday, the boys went up against Barnstable and Sandwich. Robinson, Souza and Magaraci all won against Sandwich and then Robinson and Liam Welch notched wins against Barnstable. 

Finally, in the pool, the Vineyard swim team had a few of their final chances to qualify for the state and sectional championships against Durfee last Tuesday and on Friday at home against other Cape and Islands squads.

At the meet with Durfee in Fall River, Ronan Mullin qualified in the 100 butterfly for the state championship and Kaua DeAssis qualified for the sectionals in the 100 butterfly as well. Mullin finished in 57.69 seconds while DeAssis was right behind him at 58.38 seconds.

Swim team continued its winning ways all season. — Courtesy of Jennifer Passafiume

Then, at the last chance meet with Nantucket and Barnstable, after missing the qualifying time for the state championship by half a second in the meet with Durfee, the boys 400 free relay team hit the mark finishing in 3:38.45. Mullin (55.10), Claus Smith (55.76), Emmett Silva (55.75) and DeAssis (51.84) “nailed every start and turn,” Coach Jennifer Passafiume said.

Up next for the Vineyard swimmers is the sectional championships this weekend at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Those who have qualified include Olympia Hall in the 100 free, Paula Geschke in the 100 fly and 500 free, DeAssis in the 50 and 100 free, Mullin in the 100 fly and three relay teams: 200 medley, 200 free and 400 free. Those who make up those relay teams include DeAssis, Silva, Mullin, Smith, Simon Hammarlund, Andy Carr and Grady Stalgren.