The Island Coast Gators got even with Mariner Friday night. Now they'll try to do the same tonight against Port Charlotte.
Island Coast reached the championship game of the Mariner Christmas Tournament with a 77-72 win over the Tritons. The Gators (8-5) avenged for a 62-61 overtime loss to the Tritons (7-6) back on Dec. 11. Port Charlotte defeated Island Coast 70-52 in November.
The Pirates (10-1) defeated Estero 63-59 in Friday's other semifinal matchup at Mariner to reach today's championship game at 7:30 p.m. Mariner takes on Estero (5-8) at 5:45 in the third-place contest.
Mariner’s Antonio Davis (10) passes the ball to a teammate in the Tritons’ win over Canterbury Thursday night in a first-round game in their Christmas Tournament. The Tritons were not as fortunate in Friday’s semifinal loss to Island Coast. More photos are available online at: cu.cape-coral-daily-breeze.com.
"We played hard," Gators coach Greg Coleman said. "We didn't necessarily play smart all the time, but we played hard. Always. That kind of covers up some of the mistakes that you make. When you play 100 miles an hour, you play really hard, it covers up a lot. That's what we did tonight."
Guards Kaleb Darrett and Angel Inchausti provided the scoring punch for Island Coast. Darrett knocked down 32 points, including hitting five three-pointers. Inchausti had three threes among his 27 points.
"We've got two guards who can really play with the ball," Coleman said. "We had to work hard for every shot we got. Especially Angel. They were denying him the ball like crazy. They do a great job. Coach (James) Harris has been at this a long time. They do a great job of game planning."
Sonel Mathurin grabbed seven rebounds.
"Big number 24 pulling down all those rebounds was a huge key," Coleman said.
Rodney Hunter led Mariner with 30 points. Rick Moore hit six three-pointers and finished with 21 points and Callin Nash added 15 points for the Tritons.
Darrett scored 15 of the Gators' 19 first-quarter points. They fought off Mariner rallies in the second and third quarters and led by as many as 13 in the fourth period.
"It seemed like the game was of mini-runs," Coleman said. "I know in the back of (players') minds was worrying about blowing that lead (to Mariner) last week. We did a great job of withstanding their runs then firing right back at them and not letting them gain control."
In Island Coast's first meeting with Port Charlotte, Coleman said, "We jumped out on them, were ahead of them 24-16 in the first quarter, by two at halftime. They went on a 28-4 run in the third quarter that pretty much sunk us. They're big, they're physical. We're going to have to play a tough game."
In Friday's other games, North Fort Myers (2-9) defeated Canterbury 64-49 and will face Riverdale in the fifth-place game. The Raiders beat Cypress Lake 60-49.
Island Coast19 18 15 23 - 77
Mariner17 12 19 24 - 72
Island Coast 77 - Inchausti 27, Lugo 9, Darrett 32, Foreman 5, Mathurin 2, Rubicco 2.
3PG: Inchausti 3, Darrett 5.
Mariner 72 - Moore 21, Nash 15, Hunter 30, Mitchell 4, Sillie 2.
3PG: Moore 6, Nash 3, Hunter 2.
Sarasota 48, Ida Baker 39: A 17-9 run in the fourth quarter gave Sarasota enough momentum to pull away to defeat Ida Baker Friday night.
Seth Woods led the Bulldogs with 15 points while Chris Snyder added nine and Preston Grimm handed out five assists.
The Bulldogs (1-10) have lost six in a row and are looking for their first win in a month when they travel to Golden Gate on Thursday to face Waterloo (Canada) at 5 p.m.
Sarasota11 9 11 17 - 48
Ida Baker10 8 12 9 - 39
Sarasota 48 - Aranbula 2, Haga 5, Robbins 7, Garrett 2, Hardy-Bear 17, Cotner 2, Johnson 8, Rawden 2. Totals: 14 16-36 48.
3PG: Robbins 1, Johnson 2, Rawden 1.
Baker 39 - Benvie 2, Grimm 2, Woods 15, King 3, Snyder 9, Sammons 2, Evans 4, Wicks 2. Totals: 15 4-6 39.
3PG: Woods 3, King 1, Snyder 1.
Sports editor Jim Linette contributed to this report.