The Mariner Tritons dominated Estero Wednesday night in the first round of the Mariner Christmas Tournament like no other team in the first four games.
The Tritons used a 23-0 run in the first half to open a huge lead en route to a 54-19 rout of the Estero Wildcats.
The win sends the Tritons (8-3) into the semifinal round against Lely at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Lely advanced with a 57-51 win over Island Coast.
Earlier in the day, North Port beat North Fort Myers 79-60 and Charlotte rallied to down Riverdale 54-50. North Port and Charlotte face off in Thursday's other semifinal game.
"I think we wer just tired of losing," said Tritons coach James Harris. "I was very proud of our guys for the way they responded to some of the challenges I laid out for them."
The lead changed hands three times in the first few minutes before 6-foot-10 senior Kendrec Ferrara tipped in two missed shots to put the Tritons in front 6-3. Estero tied the game 6-6 a few minutes later, but then the Tritons went on that 23-0 run to open a 29-6 cushion with 2:20 left in the first half.
"We got a lot more shots tonight," said Harris. "We didn't force the ball inside to Kendrec. It's a fine balance and we've got to find that, but we were tired of the silly turnovers."
The Tritons were guilty of just nine turnovers throughout against the Wildcats, who had eight turnovers in the first half alone.
"This was a great team game," said Harris. "It was good to get everyone in. (Matt) Godfrey and (Cailin) Nash gave us points off the bench."
Godfrey and Nash contributed eight points each toward the rout in which nine of 13 players on the roster got in the scoring column. Ferrara finished with a game-high 12 points, the only player in double figures.
"Ley is a dangerous team to me," said Harris. "We're going to treat it like a district tournament. If you don't show up to play in the semifinals you go home, so tomorrow we've got to play into the finals."
Estero 6 3 4 6 - 19
Mariner15 16 17 6 - 54
ESTERO 19 - Hall 5, Kincaid 2, Shadrack 1, Richter 2, Ruedy 3, Matthews 6. Totals: 4 11-19 19. 3PG: none.
MARINER 54 - Sillie 2, Ferrara 12, Blissett 2, Godfrey 8, Hunter 8, Minto 4, Moore 6, Bender 4, Nash 8. Totals: 21 8-14 54. 3PG: Godfrey 1, Hunter 2, Nash 1.
Lely 57, Island Coast 51: Lely tot stronger the longer the game went, igniting a 21-10 run in the fourth quarter to overtake and beat Island Coast Wednesday in the Mariner Christmas Tournament.
"We led the whole way, but they outplayed us in the fourth quarter," said Gators coach Greg Coleman. "They started to get to every ball and we didn't play our toughest defense. I think we wore down and they really got after us."
The Trojans also converted 11-of-12 at the free throw line in the fourth quarter.
"That's how a team closes out a game right there," said Coleman. "This area anyone can beat anyone on a given night. That's how much parity there is. We can't get a lead and start to coast."
The Gators (4-5) played well enough to win with three players in double figures. Tim Dal Bon led with 18 points, Pablo Matos added 12 and Isaac Aponte contributed 11. Terrell Griffin was held to four points, but grabbed 10 rebounds.
The Gators slip into the consolation bracket to face Estero at 4 p.m. Thursday.
Lely 8 13 15 21 - 57
Island Coast11 14 16 10 - 51
LELY 57 - Roguette 17, MacDonald 4, Millen 3, Lancaster 7, Talko 20. Totals: 17 17-21 57. 3PG: Ronguette 1, Talko 1.
I. COAST 51 - Aponte 11, Dal Bon 18, Griffin 4, Matos 12, Stark 6. Totals: 17 8-13 51. 3PG: Aponte 1, Dal Bon 4, Matos 2, Stark 2.
Sarasota 60, Ida Baker 38: A strong second-half effort, including a 22-3 run in the third quarter, enabled Sarasota to snap Ida Baker's four-game winning streak Wednesday night.
"They started to full-court man press us in the second half and we started to turn the ball over," said Bulldogs coach Jason Briggs. "We had 10 turnovers in the third quarter alone, but we hung with them well the first half."
Ali Nicloy, who topped the Bulldogs with 13 points, did not play most of the third with foul trouble. Jessey Placher added 12 points.
The Bulldogs (10-3) square off against Ocala Forest next Wednesday in the first round of the Queen of the Palms Classic at Baker.
Sarasota12 11 22 15 - 60
Ida Baker12 10 3 13 - 38
SARASOTA 60 - Willix 6, Warner 8, Cavallaso 10, Wallace 2, Williams 6, Clark 2, Bradtmueller 2, Kositz 4, Blackwell 2, Burns 16, Blokino 2. Totals: 25 9-11 60. 3PG: Cavallaso 1.
BAKER 38 - West 1, Ross 3, Nicloy 13, Placher 12, Del Negro 8, Benvie 1. Totals: 13 8-18 38. 3PG: Ross 1, Placher 2, Del Negro 1.