The Whaler boys basketball team was able to bounce back from a heartbreaking loss to Martha’s Vineyard on Saturday with a 71-53 victory over the Monomoy Sharks Tuesday evening to bring their record back up to .500. With Nantucket’s record now at 7-7, they are three wins away from clinching a spot in the MIAA state tournament and are currently ranked #21.
“We started off slow and didn’t have much energy,” head coach Willis Ferreira said. “I’m not really sure why. Maybe it was from having it pretty easy the first time we played Monomoy (a 71-32 victory), and it was also our first time on the road since that Vineyard game (Jan. 21). I just think we were a little off. We were only up eight at halftime. We definitely improved defensively in the second half but it was a tight game through three quarters.”
Junior center Jack Halik led the team with 21 points. Senior captain Karson Wellington had 10 points. Junior forward Chris Simpson came off the bench and scored seven fourth quarter points to help Nantucket pull away from the Sharks. Ferreira also said junior guard Cole Chambers came off the bench and provided a spark with an offensive rebound in the third quarter followed by a putback bucket and then a three-point shot as well in the following possession.
“We were a step slow defensively, a step slow offensively, our press didn’t do much,” Ferreira said. “It was just one of those games you expect every once and a while after you beat someone the first time. Monomoy made eight threes while we only made two. They play hard, they play fast, they play well defensively.”
Ferreira said the Whaler’s next three games, all on the road, will be key and will dictate whether Nantucket is able to move up the standings or whether they will move down. While a home game is very unlikely for the Whalers, they still have a solid shot at moving up to #18 and an outside shot at #17 in the rankings. If things go south these next three games, the possibility of falling to #23 or #24 is possible.
The Whalers will be traveling to Cape Cod Academy on Friday, February 3 if the weather permits for a rematch with the 7-8 Seahawks who are currently #19 in the Div. 4 state tournament rankings. CCA is coming off a narrow 60-57 defeat to Martha's Vineyard on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, February 7, the Whalers will be traveling to Dennis-Yarmouth to play the 3-10 Dolphins. Ferreira said their record does not reflect the team’s ability. He said they have plenty of talent and expects them to give Nantucket a good game in this rematch after the Whalers beat them at home 64-51 on January 3.
On Wednesday, February 8, the Whalers will be playing one of their biggest games of the season when they travel to Wareham to take on the 11-1 Vikings, who are currently the #3 seed in Div. 4. Wareham has not lost a game since Dec. 23 when they traveled to Bishop Feehan High School and lost 66-60.
“We found a way to win and it is never easy to win so you take that, understand we are back to 7-7, and hopefully we can get on a little roll,” Ferreira said. “We have some good basketball left ahead of us, in particular these next three games. We have to try to move up the rankings and just need to continue to get better.”