The Mariner Tritons fought back from a first-half deficit to catch up and pull away to a 52-43 victory Thursday night over Lely in the semifinals of the Mariner Christmas Tournament.
"I don't know why we started out so slow," said Tritons coach James Harris. "Lely came out fired up, caught us on our heels."
Lely held a 21-16 lead at halftime, but the Tritons erased that to take a 35-34 lead into the final quarter, where they pulled away to seal the win.
The win sets up a rematch of last year's tournament final between Mariner and Charlotte, which knocked off North Port 78-59 in Thursday's other semifinal matchup.
Island Coast spanked Estero 71-47 to earn a spot in the fifth-place game at 4 p.m. Friday. North Fort Myers topped Riverdale 60-51 to earn the other fifth-place berth.
North Port faces Lely at 5:45 p.m. Friday in the third-place game while Riverdale and Estero square off in the seventh-place game at 2:15 p.m.
Senior Kendrec Ferrara led the Tritons to victory Thursday with a game-high 21 points, backed by double-figure scoring from Donald Minto with 10 points. Ferrara also pulled down a team-high 11 rebounds with Tyler Bender contributing four points and six rebounds.
"We will have to attack on their perimeter," said Harris. "We have to make sure we exceed their intensity."
Lely 16 5 13 9 - 43
Mariner 8 8 19 17 - 52
LELY 43 - Charles 6, Ronquette 7, Dirogene 1, Olbrice 3, Milion 6, Lancaster 13, Jackson 1, Talko 6. Totals: 18 6-12 43. 3PG: Lancaster 1.
MARINER 52 - Nash 5, Bender 4, Moore 3, Minto 10, Hunter 6, Ferrara 21. Totals: 18 10-17 53. 3PG: Nash 1, Moore 1, Hunter 1.
Island Coast 71, Estero 47: Island Coast built a big lead in the first half and held off Estero Thursday night in the consolation round of the Mariner Christmas Tournament.
Tim Dal Bon pitched in a game-high 23 points to lead the Gators with Robert Stark adding 22 points, including six three-pointers.
"I challenged them to play hard because I knew Estero played hard," said Gators coach Greg Coleman. "We had to match their intensity. We shared the ball really well, had a lot of assists today."
Isaac Aponte had a double-double of 10 points and 10 assists while Tim Belizaire pulled down a team-high 12 rebounds to go with five blocks and four points.
"We finally got a big lead and didn't let the other team back in it," said Coleman.
The Gators (5-5) take on North Fort Myers at 4 p.m. Friday in the fifth-place game.
Island Coast 21 22 13 15 - 71
Estero 16 10 11 10 - 47
I. COAST 71 - Chery 4, Aponte 10, Forit 4, Dal Bon 23, Matos 7, Stark 22, Belizaire 4. Totals: 27 10-21 71. 3PG: Dal Bon 1, Stark 6.
ESTERO 47 - McFadden 3, Ruedy 6, Driggers 9, Shadrack 5, Kincaid 9, Matthews 15. Totals: 16 15-24 47. 3PG: none.
Mariner Invitational: For the fourth time in four years the Ida Baker girls' soccer team has laid claim to the overall team title. They did it Thursday with three shutout victories. Riverdale finished second.
Monique Elliott scored four goals on the day and Mary Farella had three goals, including the game-winner in a 1-0 decision over Charlotte in the first match. The Bulldogs (16-1-3) followed that with wins over Immokalee and Lely, both by 6-0 scores.
"It was hot in the middle of the day," said Bulldogs coach Dave Trepkowski. "We're used to playing at night, so we kind of wore down at the end. The girls are exhausted. We played the best in one of our three games, the last one against Lely."
Baker goalkeeper Amanda Kopale made just six saves over the three games.
The Bulldogs do not play again until Jan. 9 against Estero.
Mariner's girls finished third in the team standings, having won two and lost one match.
Mariner Invitational: Despite being physically depleted and very thin defensively, the Mariner Tritons willed themselves to the overall team title Thursday with two wins and a tie. Immokalee finished second.
"I'm proud of the kids," said Tritons coach Martin Cardenas. "Several players came off the bench to contribute. We made adjustments defensively and got a shutout (1-0) against Lely and Charlotte (4-0). We gave up a goal we shouldn't have and tied Immokalee (1-1)."
Immokalee had two wins before the finale with Mariner, but the Tritons took the title because they had two shutouts and Immokalee surrendered one goal in its first two matches.
Tim Thomas scores two goals against Charlotte and Patrick Kibler added one goal against Lely. Travis Pacheco's goal against Immokalee wound up nailing down the title.
Goalkeeper Jacob Olmstead made a total of 15 saves in two games while Alex Trujillo had three against Charlotte.
The Tritons (14-2-3) do not play again until January against Riverdale.