EASTHAM — John Piemontese, head coach of the Nauset girls basketball team, said before the season started that the team’s goal was to win the Cape and Islands League championship. Now, they have another goal.
“We want to win every game,” Piemontese said.
It could happen. The team started the season 3-0. The Warriors beat the Nantucket Whalers twice, then took a game with the Martha’s Vineyard Vineyarders.
Burns said she had been training since the end of last season to prepare for her senior year. That was evident in the season opener — she led her team with 38 points, while fellow senior Korin Mereste scored 20 points in a lopsided 90-22 win over Nantucket.
The 38 points from Burns was a program record and earned her a spot on the Boston Globe’s list of high school basketball players of the week.
In the second game against Nantucket, which Nauset won 56-20, Burns scored 17 points and Mereste had 16, while Raegen Perry led Nantucket with 11. In their first three games, the girls team scored 208 points and held opponents to just 54. The win over the Vineyarders was also decisive, by a 62-12 score.
Meanwhile, boys basketball is off to a solid 2-1 start. The team lost to Nantucket in the first game of the season, then defeated the Whalers in a double overtime thriller.
The Warriors went on a 12-0 run to lead the Whalers by 7 points with just over 5 minutes to go. With the momentum on their side, it looked like the Warriors were going to complete the comeback victory, but Nantucket made a final push at the end of the game to tie it at 53 and force overtime.
The first overtime session went back and forth. Nauset’s Will Casey hit two clutch free throws to put the Warriors ahead 61-58 with just 7.7 seconds left. But the Whalers hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to send the game into a second overtime.
The Warriors’ defense held in the second overtime as the team finally prevailed 66-64. Casey finished with 17 points, while Nantucket’s Justin Bloise scored 25.
Nauset defeated Martha’s Vineyard 44-40 in the third game of the season. The team was led by juniors Seth Asiimwe, Mikey Gray, and Jeffrey McCarthy. Asiimwe finished with 9 points, while Gray and McCarthy both scored 7.
Each team has had an opponent postpone one game so far this season due to Covid-19. Nauset players are allowed to invite two spectators per home game, but all other fans are not allowed to attend. Fans can live-stream or watch recordings of the games on the Nauset Athletics channel on YouTube.