Island Coast just couldn't keep up with the Fort Myers Green Wave Tuesday night.
The Gators (16-13) lost 66-44 at Fort Myers in the Class 6A boys' basketball region semifinals.
With key senior guard Angel Inchausti slowed by a hip injury, the Gators were overwhelmed by the Green Wave (25-4).
Island Coast’s Christian Diaz tries to get the lay-up past the outstretched arms of Fort Myers Devin Williams in a 6A - 3 Regional Semifinal game held at Fort Myers High School Tuesday night.
Inchausti played most of the game, having to come out briefly late in the third quarter, but couldn't perform at anywhere near 100 percent.
"I don't know what he did in the first quarter to hurt his hip or something," Gators coach Greg Coleman said. "It took him out of his game a little bit. Obviously coach (Scott) Guttery is a good enough coach to know who our scorers are so they're going to focus on the guys who are going to score for us. So they made it a little difficult for him, and him tweaking that hip didn't help matters."
"He's a good player and we were able to contain him all night," Guttery said of Inchausti. "We got him shooting a little out of his range, kept him from driving the paint."
Junior Morgan Forman led the Gators in scoring with 13 points, with junior Kaleb Darrett adding 12. Inchausti wound up with seven points.
Neither team could find the basket with any regularity in the first half, with the Wave managing a 21-13 edge at the break.
"The game plan was to come in and try to pack it in with our man-to-man and make them beat us from the outside," Coleman said. "It obviously worked in the first half, but we just couldn't score. We had a lot of opportunities but they do a good job of making you rush shots."
While both sides shot better after halftime, the Gators couldn't match the Green Wave. Senior forward Billy Graddy scored all 16 of his points after the break. Reserve Rodney Castor led the Green Wave with 19 points.
"We came out in the second half and played much better all-around basketball," Guttery said. "A lot of it for us was we weren't executing our offense. We were taking really bad shots; we were impatient. This is a very patient and unselfish group, and we didn't play that way in the first half. We came out in the second half, and the reason we shot better is that we ran our offense."
"They're now 25-4 for a reason," Coleman said. 'The big thing is, they're deeper than us, and they're a little bit mentally stronger than we are. When things started to unravel in the third quarter we had no answer mentally to stop the bleeding."
The Green Wave travels to Miami to play Norland for the Region 6A-3 championship on Saturday.
Despite Tuesday's loss, Coleman likes the direction the Gators are heading.
"We return three starters for next year, and our first guy off the bench is only a freshman. So the future looks bright. Third year in a row in the state playoffs and second year in a row in the sweet 16. Maybe one of these days we'll take that next step and get to the elite eight or maybe further. For it only being the fourth year of varsity basketball at Island Coast, it's a tremendous accomplishment for these guys and the program."
Island Coast 5 7 17 15 - 44
Fort Myers 8 13 24 21 - 66
Island Coast 44 - Inchausti 7, Lugo 8, K. Darrett 12, Mathurin 2, Forman 13, Thompson 2. Totals: 14 12-18 44.
3PG: Inchausti 2, Darrett 1, Forman 1.
Fort Myers 66 - Matthews 4, B. Graddy 16, W. Graddy 3, Williams 2, Stewart 7, Belcher 2, Castor 19, Bornelus 2, Roberts 2, Brunson 9. Totals: 24 10-12 66.
3PG: Brunson 3, B. Graddy 1, Stewart 1, Castor 3.
Region 4A-3: St. Andrew's rallied in the fourth quarter to overtake and defeat Bishop Verot 48-41 Tuesday night in the semifinal round of the regional playoffs at Boca Raton.
Mason Taylor garnered a game-high 18 points to lead the Vikings (17-12) while Ricky Doyle added 11 points and seven rebounds to the cause.
The Vikings led 35-32 entering the final period only to be outscored 14-6 down the stretch.
St. Andrew's advances to the regional finals on Saturday.
Bishop Verot 4 13 18 6 - 41
St. Andrew's 8 15 9 14 - 48
Verot 41 - Schell 3, Fundingsland 2, Taylor 18, Baker 5, Jack Kavanagh 2, Doyle 11. Totals: 15 6-8 41.
3PG: Schell 1, Taylor 3, Baker 1.
Andrew's 48 - Andino 13, Mooney 8, Radovicz 4, Vargas 2, Kalkavan 5, Lawson 14. Totals: 15 11-14 48.
3PG: Andino 4, Mooney 2, Lawson 1.
- Sports editor Jim Linette contributed to this report.