This Whaler Sports Roundup includes updates on the boys basketball team, which earned a victory in Boston at TD Garden Sunday afternoon against Martha’s Vineyard, as well as the boys & girls swim teams following their meet against Barnstable on Friday.
Aguilar’s 20 Points Lift Whalers Over Martha’s Vineyard
For the first time since January 12, 2019, the Nantucket boys basketball team came away victorious against the Martha’s Vineyard Vineyarders following a 67-58 victory Sunday afternoon at TD Garden – home of the Boston Celtics.
The Whalers were able to snap the losing skid against their island rival in large part thanks to senior captain and point guard Carlos Aguilar – who finished the game with 20 points.
Aguilar came out red-hot with 11 points in the first half. He drilled four 3’s in the game and said afterwards that it was a blessing to be able to play a basketball game on the Celtic’s famous parquet floor.
“Playing at TD was definitely a huge blessing and experience,” Aguilar said. “Especially for all of us coming from Nantucket, you don’t get this many opportunities. You step on the court, look around and you’re just amazed like ‘Wow – Nantucket basketball is really playing at TD right now.’
“It was so fun and definitely a huge eye opener for a lot of us,” Aguilar continued. “Also since it’s against the Vineyard, a lot of us really had so much to prove so it just made us 10 times more hungrier to win than we already were.”
It was easily Aguilar’s best game of the season. He has worked hard to find his offensive stroke that earned him regular minutes as a starting guard for the Whalers in the previous two seasons and is hoping Sunday is the breakout performance he needed.
Sophomore big man Ethan Jarrett tallied 13 points before leaving with an injury. Senior captain Jayquan Francis scored 11 points including a three-pointer in the fourth quarter. Amare Bramwell, the promising sophomore guard being used by head coach Willis Ferreira as the team’s top defensive guard this year, has gradually grown his offensive game this season and finished with 10 points – including two three’s.
Senior captain Jack Halik finished with six points and also expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to play at the Garden after the game.
“The whole experience was insane,” Halik said. “It was my first time being to TD and to play on it was a blessing. I just tried to soak in every second.”
The Whalers are now 6-4 this season, however this win will not count towards the MIAA state tournament power rankings. The game was part of the Andrew James Lawson Foundation Tournament, which was created to honor Andrew Lawson, a 27-year-old man who had Down Syndrome and passed away in 2018 after a two-year battle with cancer.
This tournament raises funds for the foundation, which was established to help other people with intellectual and developmental disabilities experience inclusion in their communities through scholarships.
You can read more about how this game came to be, as well as the foundation itself, by clicking here. Lots of work put in by head coach Willis Ferreira, Athletic Director Travis Lombardi, and Assistant Athletic Director Matt Hunt to not only get the game scheduled but navigate the stormy weather to prevent it from being canceled.
The Whalers next game is scheduled for Thursday, January 18th at home against the Nauset Warriors at 5 p.m. Some more photos from Sunday's game - taken by Brandon Falconer - are below.
Boys & Girls Swim Pick Up Wins Over Barnstable
The boys & girls swim teams picked up victories over the Barnstable Red Hawks Friday afternoon – winning 54-48 and 113-47 respectively.
Head coach Dylan Jones said that his team has been going through some intense practices of late with eyes towards the sectional and state tournaments. He said he’s focused on getting them in the best possible position to be able to perform at the highest level once those meets arrive.
"One thing to keep reminding them when they're like 'we didn't have any best times' is if we get best times right now, it's like gravy,” Jones said. “It's grueling physically, but then also mentally just to remind them and convince them that it's fine if we're not going out and getting season-best times right now.
“We are swimming well and we're still winning meets,” Jones added. “That's good. The general idea in swimming is you have hard practices and then as you're getting closer to big meets, we start easing off a little bit so then we're rested and ready to swim our fastest at the end of the season.”
Jones was happy with how his swimmers performed in the Cape Cod Classic last week, and the girls team remains undefeated this year with a 6-0 record. He said the versatility they provide him is a huge luxury that has helped them stack up wins this season.
As for the boys, they came away with a victory over Barnstable despite having just four swimmers available. Depth has been an issue the Whalers have needed to navigate this season but their two middle school swimmers – Pavlin Aleksiev and Robert Graves – continue to impress Jones while Jake Johnson and Eli MacIver continue leading the boy’s side with their experience.
The boy’s team is now 3-3 this season. The Cape & Islands Swimming & Diving Championships are just two weeks away and scheduled for Saturday, January 27th in Sandwich at a time still to be determined.
The Whalers next meet is currently scheduled for Friday, January 19th on the road against Martha’s Vineyard at 3 p.m. Aside from their meets against the Vineyard, the last dual meet of the year is at home on Tuesday, January 23rdagainst St. John Paul II.
Monday, January 15th:
The girls hockey team will be on the road facing King Phillip at 2 p.m.
The boys hockey team will be on the road facing St. John Paul II at 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, January 16th:
The indoor track team will be on the road facing Martha’s Vineyard at 3 p.m.
The girls basketball team will attempt to improve their win streak to three games when they host Sturgis East at 5 p.m.