The Martha’s Vineyard boys high school basketball team punched their ticket to the playoffs Saturday with a gutsy 65-58 victory over rival Nantucket.

With the roar of a riled-up home crowd behind them, the Vineyarders held the Whalers to only 20 second-half points and sophomore guard Nate Story hit two clutch three-pointers in the final quarter as the Vineyard scratched and clawed their way to victory.

Matheus Rodrigues led the Vineyard in scoring with 15 points along with 3 blocks and a steal. Josh Lake had 14 points and 2 steals and Nico Arroyo added 11 points and 3 steals in the victory.

Ty Matthew heads to the basket. — Mark Alan Lovewell

After beating the Whalers on Nantucket earlier in the season by just three points, the Vineyarders knew they were in for a physical, fast-paced contest.

“We were prepared to go zone against them because they are big and physical and they have very fast guards,” said Vineyard assistant coach Kane Araujo, filling in for head coach Mike Joyce who was out with an illness.

However, what purple was not prepared for was Nantucket’s shooting. The Whalers caught fire in the first half from behind the arc, cashing nine three-pointers before the halftime buzzer. Despite Nantucket’s hot hand, there was never panic on the Vineyard bench as Coach Araujo told the boys to keep their foot on the gas and play their brand of basketball.

“I called a time out and told the guys, listen, you’re fine, we’ve been running this stuff for three months, just take your time, control the basketball, and we’ll get back in it,” the coach said after the game.

Matheus Rodrigues led the Vineyard in scoring with 15 points. — Mark Alan Lovewell

With some extra effort on defense and faith in their offense to find them open buckets, the Vineyarders erased multiple Whaler leads and tied the score at 37 apiece going into the half.

For this group of Vineyarders, battling adversity has been a theme this season as the team not only had to overcome injuries and illnesses but also an early season six-game losing streak. But lately it has been all wins, as the team put themselves playoffs contention with a seven-game winning streak going into the Nantucket game.

At halftime Coach Araujo emphasized how important the upcoming half of basketball would be to the boys now and later on in life.

“I went into the locker room and told them at halftime, you guys will never get this back, this is the last time you seniors will play Nantucket, you will never get your high school years back so just play as hard as you can at all times … every rebound, every loose ball, every time you can control the ball and not turn it over, that’s going to help us win the game,” Coach Araujo said.

Nico Arroyo clinched the game with some clutch drives and free throws. — Mark Alan Lovewell

For most of the third and fourth quarters, it remained a one-possession game as the Vineyarders stifled the Whaler’s offense but could not get a basket to fall. However, with the game on the line in the final five minutes of play, MV locked in and pulled ahead.

“We realized we really needed to want it and want it more than them and that’s what we did,” said senior Nico Arroyo after the game. “There was a lot of resilience. We would get beat but we kept our head up, kept playing defense, kept going after them and stood strong.”

After Nate Story’s two momentum-shifting threes, Arroyo put the win on ice with four-straight free throws as the Vineyard faithful erupted with cheers.

“My teammates were great, Matheus down low was a beast, Josh was hitting threes and Nico piled on points,” Story said after the game.

The Vineyarders play their regular season finale Monday at Apponequet before they learn who they will face in the playoffs.

“We may be ranked low but we’re going to surprise a lot of people,” Nate Story said.

Vineyard boys hockey team has also secured a spot in the playoffs with a record of 12-3. The lost a tough one on Sunday against the Lynnfield Pioneer, 2-4.

“That’s a top-notch team that we hung pretty tough with, and we probably made about four mistakes during the game, and [Lynnfield] scored on all four of them,” head coach Matt Mincone said after the game. “The learning point from the game that you play against really good fast teams and you have to learn from your mistakes.”

The Vineyard opened the game with two goals in the first period, but Lynnfield roared back with three goals in the second period and another in the third period.

On Monday the girls hockey team lost to Norwood High School 2-6. The team is 7-11 on the season and according to head coach Geoghan Coogan have a chance to make the playoffs if they can knock off Nantucket on Thursday.