The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School boys’ basketball team secured a spot in the state tournament with a 60-46 win over Dennis-Yarmouth on Wednesday.

Early in the second quarter the Vineyarders were in the lead by 15 points and the boys started to feel too comfortable, said Coach Mike Joyce. Dennis-Yarmouth fought back with a series of three pointers, bringing the score to 28-26 at the half.

Mr. Joyce said he told the boys during halftime that the Dennis-Yarmouth team came in with nothing to lose, and they couldn’t afford to get comfortable with any lead.

Coach Mike Joyce had to fire his team up at halftime. — Mark Alan Lovewell

“I told them, you can’t stop playing, there is no point in the game when you can just sit back,” he said.

The Vineyarders came back strong in the second half, led by sophomore Ricardo Andrade’s 23 points overall, and senior Chase Silva’s 15 points.

Mr. Joyce said he was happy with the team’s performance, especially compared to the game against Somerset Berkley Regional High School last week when they lost by one point in double overtime.

“We had better energy and were attacking the basket,” Mr. Joyce said. “We did a better job of sharing the ball today.”

The team did better on free throws as well this game, Mr. Joyce added. Last week the boys made 17 out of 36 free throws; this game they made 15 out of 24.

“It’s way better than 50 per cent,” said Mr. Joyce.

With the seeding for the state tournament coming out on Feb. 26, Mr. Joyce said the focus for the team remains on effort.

“High school basketball at this level, effort is the biggest determiner,” he said. “Everyone has okay talent, it’s how much effort you put out on the court. And for us, the most inconsistent thing is the effort.”

The team has two more games in the regular season — an away game on Friday against East Bridgewater High School, and a home game on Sunday against Weston High School. The home game begins at 2 p.m.

Prior to the game, Erin Hill from the girls’ basketball team, will be honored for scoring over 1,000 points this season, the first girl to do so in over 15 years.