Mariner girls on a roll
The Mariner Tritons will start the stretch run of high school girls basketball on a roll.
Mariner (13-2) spotted Riverdale an early lead in the girls final of the New Year’s Howl at South Fort Myers High School Friday, then ran away with a 62-34 victory.
Riverdale (5-6) took advantage of a sluggish Mariner start to lead 17-12 after the opening eight minutes. However, the Tritons exploded in the second quarter, with a 21-2 run highlighting a period that Mariner dominated 23-6 for a 35-23 halftime lead.
“I think they were exhausted” to start the game, Tritons’ coach LaTonya Jones said of her team, which had played twice on Thursday.
Not to mention being short-handed. With three players injured, Mariner only had six players in uniform for Friday night’s tournament championship.
Riverdale, on the other hand, had a full roster — at times substituting five players at once.
“I just had to refocus and tell them that they’re (the Raiders) here for the same reason,” Jones said. “They came to play.
“So it was really just a matter of getting them refocused.”
That 21-2 run was fueled by a defense that kept taking the ball away, or limiting the Raiders to one shot.
“That’s our bread and butter,” Jones said.
The Tritons steadily pulled away in the second half, doubling up Riverdale 62-31 with two minutes left in the game.
Freshman D’Yanis Jiminez and senior Naomi Darrett scored 22 points each for the Tritons, with 12 of Darrett’s total coming in the second quarter. Alexia Popioski added 12 points.
Mariner travels to Port Charlotte Wednesday before a home game with Fort Myers next Friday.
The regular season for the Mariner girls ends Jan. 31, with the District 5A-11 tournament the first week of February.
Island Coast 44, South Fort Myers 8: The Gators had no trouble taking the third-place game of the New Year’s Howl. Island Coast (5-5) held the Wolfpack (5-8) scoreless for the first half. Next for the Gators is a Wednesday contest at Gateway Charter.
SUTS New Year’s Classsic
At Coral Springs
South Broward 37, Cape Coral 30: The Seahawks (7-7) were set to face Orlando Jones (10-6) Saturday after their loss to Hollywood South Broward (6-6).
New Year’s Howl
At South Fort Myers
South Fort Myers 52, Cape Coral 38: A cold shooting night doomed the Seahawks to second place in the New Year’s Howl.
“It was real difficult to score tonight,” Cape Coral coach Calvin Waters said. “We wanted to be good defensively, and we did that. Slow the pace down, slow down their shooters. We just couldn’t convert on offense.
The Wolfpack (8-5) took the lead for good with an 18-5 second quarter for a 24-16 lead midway through the contest. Cape (3-6) would pull within six points on two occasions in the second half, the last time at 38-32 with 5:27 to play.
Now it’s back to the regular season.
“We have a big game with Baker coming up,” Waters said. “We have these guys on the schedule. Hopefully between now and then we continue to grow.
“During the holidays we’ve played some tough teams, a team from North Carolina and a team from Texas. We’ve gotten the experience we need now. We just need to put it all together.” he said.
K’ydn Waters scored 18 points for Cape Coral.
Cade Daugherty led South with 18 points, and Carson Daugherty had 14 points.
“We’re looking to be strong, competitive in the district,” Waters said. “We have a younger team, but we’re going to come out and fight just as hard as we can.”
East Lee County 68, Oasis 51: The Sharks (0-10) played the Jaguars to a 35-all tie for the first half before East Lee (4-8) pulled away to take third place in the New Year’s Howl. Oasis plays at Arcadia Desoto County on Monday.
New Year’s Shootout
St. Cloud 51, Bishop Verot 40: The Vikings slipped to 6-5 with Friday’s defeat. Bishop Verot is home Monday as regular-season action resumes with a game against Ida Baker.
Wesley Chapel Wiregrass Ranch 63, Ida Baker 32: The Bulldogs are 6-6 with Friday’s defeat. Ida Baker was set to take on Neumann on Saturday in in another New Year’s Shootout game, this one at Varsity Lakes Middle School.
Don Stewart Shootout
Fort Lauderdale Elite Academy 65, Island Coast 36: The Gators (1-11) took on Palmetto Ridge Saturday
Tampa Bay Invitational
Cape Coral 3, Lutz Steinbrenner 0: Lucas Cunha, Jacob Jiminez and Bryan Alvarez scored for the Seahawks, while Juan Parra, Adriel Gomez and Diego Alvarez contributed assists. Cape Coral (11-2-2) faces New Port Richey Mitchell on Saturday.
Houston Strake Jesuit 1, Mariner 0: A goal in the game’s first minute lifted the team from Houston over the Tritons (14-3-1).. Mariner faced Melbourne Saturday.