The boys basketball team faces a tough home playoff test Friday evening when they begin the 2017 playoff run against rival Bishop Stang, the defending Division 3 state champions.

Game time is 4:30 p.m. Thursday at the high school. — Steve Myrick

Play gets underway at 5 p.m. Friday at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. The game was rescheduled from Thursday afternoon.

The Vineyard team finished the season at 14-6, sharing a piece of the Eastern Athletic Conference title with Bishop Stang. The Vineyarders are ranked eighth in the playoff bracket, while the Spartans are a notch below at number nine.

The teams are familiar with one another after facing each other twice during the regular season. The Vineyarders came away with a comfortable 82-74 win Jan. 13 on the road, but got walloped a month later when the Spartans prevailed 87-63 here on the Island.

“Sometimes it’s the devil you know or the devil you don’t know,” Coach Michael Joyce said. “I don’t know which is better.”

With seven seniors on the team, the Vineyarders will rely on experience in the playoff opener. Standout guards Nick Bond and Ricardo Andrade are expected to carry much of the scoring load. They will need to keep a close defensive check on Bishop Stang guard Trae Rezendes, who has been scoring with abandon from beyond the three-point arc.

“We just need to come and play with energy and effort,” the coach said.