It was another successful day for Whaler sports on Tuesday. The boys & girls swim teams and boys basketball team were at home and won their respective matches/meets in convincing fashion. The girls basketball team was on the road and remains red hot after winning their fourth straight game. They are on the cusp of reaching the .500 mark and suddenly have high hopes of a possible state tournament berth.
Boys & Girls Swim Sweep St. John Paul II
The boys and girls swim teams each won today in a home meet against St. John Paul II. The girls remain undefeated and won their meet 99-47 while the boys won their meet 64-33.
"(Cape & Island) Championship on Saturday so you could kind of think of (tonights meet) as our last little tune up before champs,” Whaler head coach Dylan Jones said. “If that's what our tune up looks like, I'm excited to see what happens on Saturday."
It was an overall dominant performance for both teams. A total of 19 events took place and all but one of them were won by a Nantucket swimmer or relay team.
Junior Jake Johnson and sophomore Myah Johnson continue to progress with an eye towards states. Jake swam a 22.68 in the 50 free and 50.45 in the 100 free. Myah swam a 26.42 in the 50 free and a 58.12 in the 100 free.
“The Johnsons, I think sometimes in swimming and track the sprinting catches your eye because they’re going faster than everyone else, but they have been talking about getting to those times,” Jones said. “It was good to see.”
Jones also gave a head nod to Presy Penkova, who continues to improve and swam the 500 free today. He said he put her in the 200 free against the Vineyard last week and she enjoyed it, and Jones wanted to see how she would take on the 500 free, which earned their team some points.
“I put her in the 500 (free) and I forgot to tell her about it beforehand, so I think she found out at like 3 o'clock this afternoon,” Jones said. “She swam in it great and scored points. I was like 'This is a good thing.' I think at the Vineyard, I put her in the 200 free for the first time and that actually went like this and I said I think maybe some distance might be up your alley. I just like how she handled it.”
Nantucket will travel off island on Saturday for the Cape & Islands Championship meet, and we will keep you posted on how the Whalers perform.
Francis, Halik Lead Whalers To Dominant Win Over CCA
The boys basketball team hosted Cape Cod Academy Tuesday evening and improved their record to 9-4 following a 65-36 victory. It is the Whaler’s fourth straight victory as they continue to skyrocket up the MIAA Div. 4 power rankings and came in at #8 in Tuesday morning’s latest release.
“I think just coming off of the game the other night on Saturday (74-68 win over New Heights Charter School of Brockton), it was kind of physical, everyone was kind of motivated for that one and maybe didn't come out with the same intensity (tonight),” Whaler head coach Willis Ferreira said. “Guys weren't in the right places, step slow. But I thought we picked it up in the second half there and took care of business when we had to.”
Senior captains Jack Halik and Jayquan Francis finished with 17 points. Senior guard Dwayne Martin finished with 14 points and filled in nicely for senior captain Carlos Aguilar, who was out with an injury.
The Whalers only led 18-14 after one quarter but found their game over the course of the final three quarters - outscoring CCA 47-22 and getting all of their players minutes.
"We can't have those types of starts moving forward and they know,” Ferreira said. “Not having Los (Carlos Aguilar) there changes things too. He brings a lot of defensive intensity so when you're missing something like that… but I really liked the way some of those guys off the bench have come in and played pretty good."
Ferreira mentioned Martin’s strong game and how he didn’t miss a beat as a starter, which deviates away from his standard role as the team’s sixth man and scoring punch off the bench.
Ferreira also thought junior guard Donte Brimm was very good again on Tuesday. Brimm, who finished with six points including a first quarter three, has seen a substantial uptick in minutes in recent games – rarely seeing the bench after seeing very few minutes early on in the season. Brimm has impressed his coach on the defensive end and on the glass in particular.
Ferreira also acknowledged that these types of games where he can empty his bench and get his role players more minutes are important when it comes to team chemistry, morale, and building confidence during a long season.
After beginning the season 1-2, Nantucket has now won eight of their last 10 games and is suddenly just one win away from clinching a state tournament berth.
"Just happy with we are 9-4 now and I didn't think we'd be at nine wins already," Ferreira said. "I thought somewhere along the line we'd lose a couple more. We have won some tight games this year. Finding ways to win and then the confidence has built in the last couple of weeks for us, which is great. Starting with the Vineyard game that was good and I think the guys believe. So we just got to keep believing and we'll find out this weekend. We got a tough little road trip coming up.”
Nantucket will play back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday – both on the road. On Friday, the Whalers will play South Hadley (6-4 and the #18 team in Div. 4) at 6:30 p.m.
On Saturday, the Whalers will then travel to Millbury (8-4 and the #5 team in Div. 4) at 1:30 p.m.
Taveras Scores 13, Leads Girls Hoops To Fourth Straight Win
The girls basketball team continues to find ways to win and after beginning their season 1-6 are suddenly 5-6 following a 36-28 win over Falmouth Academy.
"It was low scoring. I think we missed a lot of opportunities around the rim, which on another day those are going to drop and we're going to score a bunch of points,” Nantucket head coach Rafael Osona said. “But yeah we did enough to make it happen (today).”
The Whalers are outside of their current playoff bracket, but if they finish with a record of .500 or better would automatically clinch a spot in a play-in game to qualify for the Div. 4 state tournament.
"We understood that the first half of our schedule, the first quarter of our schedule, was going to get us really sharp for league play,” Osona said. “We also understood that we want to win that league. We want to come out on top and we have the ability to do that. This was on the horizon for us, but it doesn't come without hard work.”
Nantucket has been led on most nights by junior Maddie Lombardi, but recently more players have stepped up to provide offense and give the Whalers some valuable secondary scoring to complement their leading scorer.
On Tuesday it was junior guard Manny Taveras leading the team with 13 points and junior Alana Ludvigson second on the team with 12 points. Lombardi finished third on the team in scoring with seven points.
"Manny has been ultra confident with his ability to score and take shots and drive,” Osona said. “He has really flourished this year, which is great. Alana has always kind of had that natural ability to score, but now it's coming consistently. It's great to have multiple people that can score. There's other players on this team that are going to have their moments, you know, getting into double digits, which again really takes a lot of pressure off when we can do it as a team.”
The Whalers have already earned as many wins this season as they did in the last two seasons combined (two wins last year; three wins in 2021-2022), which is a sign of some of their players beginning to become more comfortable with the speed of the game at the varsity level.
Nantucket will have an opportunity to improve their record to 6-6 on Friday, January 26th at 5 p.m. when they host the Sturgis West Navigators (2-6) at 5 p.m.
Wednesday, January 24th:
The boys hockey team (9-1) will look to win their 10th straight game and clinch a spot in the state tournament when they host the Dennis-Yarmouth Dolphins (3-9-1) at 5:15 p.m.
The girls hockey team (0-7) will try to win their first game of the season on the road against the Falmouth Clippers (10-1-1) at 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, January 25th:
There are no games scheduled.