The last time the Cape Coral Seahawks made it to the girls' basketball regional playoffs was three years ago.
The Seahawks went to the regional quarterfinals as the district champion, but lost that first game.
The Seahawks are headed back to the regionals after pounding city rival Mariner 52-20 Wednesday night in the District 5A-13 semifinals at North Fort Myers.
Cape (22-4) tips off against North Fort Myers at 7 p.m. Friday in the championship game. The Red Knights advanced by routing Lemon Bay 56-25 in Wednesday's other semifinal game.
The Knights reeled off the first 26 points against Lemon Bay (9-16), which did not score its first point until 5:29 remained in the second quarter. Most of the second half was played with a running clock.
One bit of irony, the Seahawks beat the Red Knights in the district final in 2009 the last time either program advanced to the regional round.
"We can't come out flat," said Seahawks coach Kirk Myers. "It's playoff atmosphere now with more intensity."
After Mariner (4-23) tied the game 6-6 with 1:30 left in the first quarter, the Seahawks seized control at both ends of the floor.
The Seahawks outscored the Tritons 12-3 in the second quarter to open a 24-9 advantage at halftime.
Junior Camary Williams led the Seahawks with 14 points, evenly spreading her points through each half.
Leading 32-14 midway through the third quarter, the Seahawks went on a 16-0 tear that extended deep into the final period to open a 48-14 bulge.
Monica Bono and Allysa Dodson led the Tritons with five points apiece.
"That is the strongest Mariner has played us all year," added Seahawks coach Olivia Myers.
It is also the fifth game the Seahawks have played without freshman leading scorer McKenna Beach, who is nursing an injury. Kirk Myers said Beach could be ready to go for Friday's game, but likely will be held out for some extra rest until the regionals.
Mariner 6 3 5 6 - 20
Cape Coral12 12 14 14 - 52
MARINER 20 - Bono 5, Gibbs 4, Dodson 5, Brinkdopke 3, O'Connor 1, Griffin 2. Totals: 6 5-8 20. 3PG: Bono 1, Dodson 1, Brinkdopke 1.
CAPE 52 - Williams 14, Smart 6, Brice 6, Griffin 5, Townsend 8, Mims 7, Hunter 6. Totals: 22 5-13 52. 3PG: Williams 1, Griffin 1, Mims 1.
District 6A-13: Jessey Placher, Alycia Emmons and Julia Ramsey combined for 48 points to lead Ida Baker to a 59-41 victory over South Fort Myers Wednesday night in the semifinals of the district tournament at Fort Myers.
While Placher led the way in scoring with 18 points, Ramsey finished with a double-double of 13 points and 15 rebounds. Emmons added 17 points.
The win sends the Bulldogs (16-8) to Friday's championship game against Fort Myers. It also locks up a district berth in the regional playoffs, the first appearance in the regionals for the Bulldogs program.
"It is good for the program, but I've said before that we are not in the district just to be there," said Bulldogs coach Jason Briggs. "We came to win it. It will be a big task against Fort Myers and we have a lot of work to do tomorrow in practice before we come out and play Friday."
South FM 8 13 5 15 - 41
Ida Baker16 12 12 19 - 59
SOUTH 41 - Mitchell 2, Campbell 14, Carson 2, Purvis 2, Puichaert 10, Talford 11. Totals: 17 5-16 41. 3PG: Talford 2.
BAKER 59 - Nicloy 2, Yanovich 2, Emmons 17, Placher 18, Del Negro 5, Benvie 2, Ramsey 13. Totals: 22 12-21 59. 3PG: Placher 2, Del Negro 1.