It was another busy weekend for Whaler sports. The girls basketball team clinched a spot in the state tournament, the boys hockey team’s win streak increased to 15 games, the boys & girls swim teams competed in the MIAA sectional meet, the boys basketball team got back in the win column, and the girls hockey team was shutout at home against Barnstable.
Lombardi Scores 20, Girls Hoops Clinch State Tournament Spot
After winning just five games over the past two seasons, the Whaler girls basketball team has doubled that number this season year – earning their 10th win of the season on Friday 37-20 over Falmouth Academy to improve their record to 10-7, win the Cape & Islands Lighthouse Division Championship, and punch their ticket to the MIAA Div. 4 state tournament.
“They've earned it,” Nantucket head coach Rafael Osona said of his team’s playoff berth. “There have been plenty of moments of adversity along the way, which was good, you know? They had to go out and get it. I'm super excited for them. They feel good about it. We've got two seniors, but we've got a lot of young players. It'll be good for them and good to see some really super talented playoff teams depending on how we do.”
Junior guard Maddie Lombardi led the team with 20 points and continues to embrace her role as the team’s anchor on the offensive end.
“A 20 piece for Maddie and I think I have come to terms with the fact that we’re a three-point shooting team and a transitional team,” Osona said. “I think that is our strong suit. We’re going to get out and run.”
Nantucket still has three games remaining on their schedule. On Tuesday, February 13th the Whalers will be traveling to Sturgis West to face the Navigators at 5 p.m.
Boys Hockey Extends Win Streak To 15 Games
Senior center Colby O’Keefe led the Whaler boys hockey team to a 5-0 victory Sunday afternoon - securing the hat trick and helping Nantucket extend their win streak to 15 games.
"It was a good, physical game. The refs let them play for the most part. They only called two penalties. They played well and they played hard,” Nantucket head coach Jack Moran said. “We're very happy with the way they played. They controlled the game. I'd say 95 percent of it seemed like we were in (Monomoy’s) end the whole time.”
O’Keefe scored the first three goals for the Whalers. His first goal came with just under 4 minutes to go in the first and then to begin the second period, scored two quick goals 25 seconds apart to extend the lead to 3-0 five minutes into the middle period.
Senior center and assistant captain Ryan Davis made it a 4-0 game with 10:07 to go in the game. With the game in hand, senior winger Braden Knapp made it 5-0. Senior goalie and team captain Griffin Starr earned his fourth shutout of the season.
Moran added that it was nice to see his team playing with good pace after a slow and sluggish day on Saturday against Bishop Stang on the road. While the Whalers won 2-1, they weren’t at their best. The Whalers needed a goal late from Davis to win the game in regulation.
But moving forward, anything less than Nantucket’s best could lead to issues given the tough stretch of games the Whalers face to end their season.
On Wednesday, February 14th they travel to Nauset to face the top seed in Div. 3. Nauset is 14-1-1 this season. Their only loss came to Nantucket on the island December 13th 6-4.
After the Nauset game, the Whalers will then travel to the Gallo Arena to face the Sandwich Blue Knights on Friday, February 16th at 2:40 p.m. Sandwich is 15-3-1 this season and the #5 seed in the Division 4 bracket (Nantucket is #2).
The Whalers then have the Jeff Hayes Memorial Tournament February 19th and February 20th at the Gallo. They will play North Reading in Round 1 and then depending on whether they win or lose, play the winner or loser of Sandwich/Auburn.
North Reading is 7-7 and currently the #12 seed in the Div. 4 bracket. Auburn is 11-5 and currently the #14 seed in the Div. 2 bracket.
Boys & Girls Swim Compete In MIAA Sectional Meet
The Nantucket girls & boys swim teams competed in the MIAA sectional meet over the weekend. Girls swam on Saturday while boys swam on Sunday.
The girls placed 10th at their meet and the boys placed 24th. While all scores weren’t immediately available, there were some notable times shared by the Whaler team on their team Instagram.
In the girls 200-yard medley relay, Nantucket’s team featuring Sara Dussault, Martina Savova, Hannah Gerardi, and Myah Johnson placed 4th with a time of 1:55.72.
Individually, Myah Johnson placed 6th in the 50-yard free with a time of 25.37 and 7th in the 100-yard free with a time of 57.11. Hannah Gerardi competed in the 100-yard breaststroke and placed 4th with a time of 1:10.40.
On the boy’s side of things, Jake Johnson placed 4th in the 50-yard free with a time of 22.10 (third fastest of his career) and 5th in the 100-yard free with a time of 48.38, which was also the fourth fastest time in school history.
“I think the environment and anticipation of being around really fast swimmers pushed me to go fast,” Johnson said Sunday evening. “Definitely a big relief being able to see that the hard work that the boys are putting in is reflecting on the season bests they’ve been swimming.”
There will be more times and details to come on this past weekend’s sectional meet, as well as an eye towards next weekend’s state meet in Wednesday’s Current.
Below are some photos from the meets shared with us from the team.
Boys Hoops Back In Win Column
The boys basketball team improved their record to 11-8 this season following their 71-59 win over Cape Cod Academy on the road Friday afternoon.
The Whalers beat CCA at home earlier this season 65-36 and entered Friday desperately needing a win following their 76-64 loss to Nauset last Tuesday.
The Whalers were pegged in the #12 spot in the latest MIAA state tournament power rankings that came out on Friday. Friday’s win should go a long way in ensuring Nantucket finishes in the bracket’s Top 16, which would earn the Whalers a round one home tournament game.
Nantucket has one more game remaining on their regular season schedule, and it is a big one. They will be traveling to Monomoy to face the Sharks on Thursday, February 15th at 3:30 p.m.
The Sharks lost to Nantucket 58-43 on the island January 30th and are currently the #25 seed in the Div. 4 bracket.
Girls Hockey Shut Out By Barnstable
The girls hockey team was shutout by the Barnstable Red Hawks Saturday afternoon 6-0 at home.
"We have played much better hockey games," Whaler head coach Andrew McNeilly said after the game. "We played them much better in Barnstable. The energy wasn't there (today)."
The Whalers were without two of their top players in Emerson Pekarcik, the team's number one center, as well as Adeline Edwardes - the team's top defenseman.
McNeilly said he felt Edwardes absence in particular was felt given she brings much of the energy that gets the team going game after game on the bench.
"It's tough to play without two key people," he said. "We just didn't have too much offensive presence. We had a lot of penalties which doesn't help our case."
McNeilly said some of his younger players such as Lorelei Fox, Harper Frazer, and Aliza Mansfield all played well and continue to develop - adding that his team's bottom six players were his best players on Saturday.
Nantucket's record is now 0-13 and they have just three more regular season games on their schedule as they attempt to win their first game of the year.
On Monday, February 12th they host the Sandwich Blue Knights at 5:15 p.m.
On Friday, February 15th they travel to Dennis-Yarmouth to face the Dolphins at 4 p.m.
On Saturday, February 17th they will host Brookline in their regular season finale at 2 p.m.
Monday, February 12th:
The girls hockey team will host the Sandwich Blue Knights at 5:15 p.m. They are the only varsity team on the schedule today.
Tuesday, February 13th:
The girls basketball team is the only team on the schedule. They will travel to Sturgis West to face the Navigators at 5 p.m.