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Cape downs Lehign to advance to state basketball final four

Mariner's Minto wins Class 2A wrestling championship

March 4, 2018
By PETE SISK ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

The Cape Coral Seahawks' road show is rolling on to Lakeland and history: the state high school basketball final four.

Cape earned its first trip to the state Class 7A semfinals Friday night, taking control in the fourth quarter at Lehigh for a 54-48 victory and the 7A-3 region championship.

The Seahawks (24-7) will meet either Oakland Park Northeast or Doral Academy on March 9 in the state semifinals. Those two teams were set to play Saturday for the Region 7A-4 title.

Article Photos


Cape Coral senior Harwin Francois, right, and teammate James Gibson celebrate the Seahawks' 54-48 regional championship win over Lehigh Friday night. To view more photos from the game, see our Facebook page.

Since losing to Lemon Bay at home for the District 7A-10 title, Cape Coral has played three state games on the road. The results: a win at Boca Ciega, a sweet-revenge victory at Lemon Bay and then Friday's victory at Lehigh.

"I knew that we could beat them," first-year Cape Coral coach Brandon Sensor said. "They're a great team, but I thought we matched up well with them.

"They had the experience, for sure. That's one thing I was worried about. But this is a special group and I have a lot of confidence in them. They're playing for each other, that's the big thing, and they deserve it. They really do."

The Lightning (26-4), coached by former Ida Baker and Island Coast coach Greg Coleman, were seeking a return trip to Lakeland after earning Lehigh's first final four a year ago.

"It's not where we wanted the season to end, but it's where it ended," Coleman said. "Coach Sensor did a great job.

"If you had told me we would hold them to 54 points I would have been sure we would win the game, but we couldn't get the shots to go down."

After seeing an early 12-7 lead evaporate, Cape found itself trailing at the end of each of the first three quarters. Lehigh led 15-14 after eight minutes, 23-20 at the half, and 41-39 going into the final period of play.

The early fourth quarter was a seesaw affair, with Delshawn Green's 3-pointer giving the Lightning its last lead at 48-45. Harwin Francois answered with a three for Cape Coral, and then senior Jonnathan Moreno took over.

Moreno, fighting through frustration much of the night as his shots just wouldn't roll in, got a layup with 2:48 to play that gave Cape Coral the lead for good. He hit another with 1:15 to go, and then passed to senior Bryan Markovich for the game's final basket.

"Keep shooting, get my rhythm," Moreno said. "Those two buckets, all I wanted was to get my team going. That's all I wanted to do."

"That's all we wanted since our freshman year was to go to state, and we finally did it," Markovich said. "We knew we could do it. We knew we had it in us."

"We've told them, just believe in yourselves," Sensor said. "Miss a shot, I don't care. Just take good shots. I don't care of you're 0-for-10. As long as they're good shots.

"He (Moreno) knows that. He's been playing for four years."

The Seahawks had scored the game's last nine points, celebrating their victory in the first matchup of two Lee County schools with a region championship at stake.

"I'm very proud of them for that," Sensor said. "We've been working on the press, and getting into our spots. Lehigh fought hard. They had a couple ot turnovers at the end. Some of their buckets didn't fall and somehow we end up on top at the end."

"Both teams knew what was going on," Coleman said. "They did a good job defensively on us. But we missed a couple of layups and a couple of shots that we usually make, that usually start our runs. We're a team of runs. We just couldn't get a run tonight."

6A-3 Final

Sarasota Booker 44, Mariner 42: The Tritons (21-9) fell short of making it back to another final four when Booker's Jaylen Jones made a layup with 2.9 seconds to play. Booker led 42-38, but Dakota Deverteuil hit two foul shots and Jahmel Myers scored a bucket to tie the score until Jones' shot. Mariner held a 31-30 lead going into the final quarter. Myers scored nine points and Deverteuil and Elijah Adams seven each for the Tritons. Mariner reached the state final before falling last season.


Mariner 3, Island Coast 1: Yasmine Halaby was 1-for-3, driving in two of the Tritons' three runs. Hannah Holloway struck out 12 Gators batters. Mariner improved to 5-4, 2-0 District 6A-11, while dropping Island Coast to 2-4, 1-2.


Oasis 12, Immokalee 2 (4): Nick Oliveira was 2-for-3 with a double, three runs scored, two stolen bases and an RBI for the Sharks (4-1). Lewis Evans was 2-for-2 with a double, two RBI and four runs scored. Steven Siciliano added another double, scored twice and had an RBI. Stephen Salamida earned his first pitching victory of the season, giving up two runs on five hits with three strikeouts and two walks over four innings of work. Oasis faces Gateway Charter on Monday at the Cape Coral Sports Complex.

Cape Coral 5, North Fort Myers 3: Two runs in the top of the seventh inning lifted the Seahawks over the Red Knights. Freshman Allen Guerrero was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored for Cape (5-1, 1-1 District 6A-11). Senior Matt McDade pitched six innings, with only one of three runs scored against him being earned. McDade struck out seven batters. The loss was the first of the season for North Fort Myers (5-1, 3-1).

Tampa Jesuit 9, Bishop Verot 8: A seven-run rally by the Vikings in the top of the sixth inning was countered by six Jesuit runs in the bottom of the sixth. Bishop Verot slipped to 2-3.

Boys lacrosse

Bishop Verot at Gulf Coast: No score reported.

Girls lacrosse

Cape Coral at Port Charlotte: No score reported.

Saturday report

Mariner High School wrestler Christian Minto won the Class 2A wrestling championship at 160 pounds on Saturday in Kissimmee. Minto defeated Miguel Hernandez of Lake Gibson by major decision 12-3 in the championship match.

Justyn Cordones of Mariner was sixth at 220 pounds and Adolphus Taylor of North Fort Myers sixth at 285 pounds.



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