Growing up on the Island, Mike Joyce was a three-sport athlete playing on the regional high school’s basketball, football and track teams.

As an adult he’s still shooting hoops, but now as a 27-year veteran of the school’s basketball program. This is his 20th season as head coach of the varsity squad.

The team is 17-2 this year, and ranked number one in the league. After finishing the regular season this week, they await their playoff seed, which will be announced on Friday, Feb. 24.

Tobey Roberts looks for an open man. — Ray Ewing

Coach Joyce said the key to successful coaching is adaptation. Since high school teams don’t recruit athletes like universities do, he said he has to adapt his coaching style to the new mix of strengths and weaknesses he gets every season. He spends a lot time in the pre-season thinking about each player’s skills and how to cater to them.

And when the team is on a roll like this season, he also has to remind his players to stay humble and keep their egos in check, he said.

“You win a few games in a row and sometimes you get a little higher opinion of yourself than maybe you should have,” said Coach Joyce. “They’ve done a pretty good job of keeping their perspective, though.”

Coach Joyce was a three-sport athlete when he attended the regional high school. — Ray Ewing

Senior Tobey Roberts credits the team’s success to Coach Joyce’s leadership and helping to foster the team’s exceptional bond.

“We’ve had some bumps along the road but it helps that everyone likes each other and wants to come to practice and work and play for their teammates,” said Mr. Roberts. “Coach Joyce helps with that a lot.”

Mr. Roberts is also a student in Coach Joyce’s anatomy class.

“It’s all right, but he’s not as hard of a teacher as he is a coach,” said Mr. Roberts.

Kaio DaCosta. — Ray Ewing

In the classroom, Coach Joyce is teaching four biology classes and one anatomy class this year. It’s a tough schedule: the basketball team usually departs on the 1:15 p.m. boat for away games and sometimes doesn’t get back until the 8:30 p.m. boat. With more away games than at-home games, the season is extra demanding. But it’s a schedule he relishes.

“I’m a need-to-be-busy guy,” Coach Joyce said. “Playing three sports in high school, it was the down time in between that was always the hardest part for me . . . I try to give them a day or two off between games but they always end up asking me to be in the gym.”

The team practices every day for nearly two hours. Even in the off-season, players will sometimes meet in the gym to run drills and practice partner shooting.

All of that work has paid off. As the team readies itself for the state playoffs, assistant coach and high school alumnus Kane Araujo describes the group as a “band of brothers.” Many of them are childhood friends and returning players from last year’s varsity or junior varsity teams. He has high hopes that they will go far in the state tournament.

“It’s really all thanks to that guy,” Mr. Araujo said, pointing to Coach Joyce.