Island Coast built a big lead in the third quarter, and then held on for an exciting win against Hudson, 70-61, at the Island Coast Turkey Shootout Friday night.
The game started out fast with Hudson breaking out to at 13-6 lead, but Island Coast settled down and scored the last seven points of the quarter to knot it at 13 after the first period.
The Gators speed was hard to defend, and so they got to the free throw line by driving to the hoop and getting fouled.
Ida Baker Bulldog Mike Perez tries to get a rebound from Naples’ Oliver Zaiser in the Turkey Shootout held at Island Coast High School on Friday.
Hudson was also bothered all night by Island Coast's changing defensive strategies. The Gators moved from half-court traps to full-court presses every few times down court.
"We're good at the half-court trap because of our length (meaning his players have long and agile arms), and we're good at the full-court press because of our speed," said Gator Head Coach Greg Coleman. "But we've got to do a better job of closing the game out."
With just over two minutes left in the third quarter, the Gators had climbed to a 52-35 lead, and looked ready to pull away even more. They were causing several turnovers by the Cobra ball handlers.
But then Hudson showed some spark and cut it to 54-41 at the end of three quarters. They threw in their own wrinkle and pressed full-court, which caught Island Coast off guard. The Gators gave up the ball several times, and a Cobra basket at 3:52 left brought them to within five at 62-57.
Normally a team with a five-point lead opts for ball control and looks for a good shot, but the Gators kept shooting threes, and giving the Cobras even more opportunities. Fortunately for Island Coast, Morgan Foreman hit one, and gave the Gators a more comfortable lead.
"We really want better clock management at the end of the game," said Coleman, "We'd rather have a lay-up than a three-point shot. But that will come. We have 11 new guys on the team this year, so I'm happy the way they are sharing the ball."
Hudson Head Coach Jason Vetter was happy to be able to come down to the Turkey Shootout.
"We probably won't face this kind of defense (1-3-1 trap) in our conference," he said. "So if we make it to regionals at the end of the season, this kind of exposure is good for us."
Junior Sonel Mathurin was playing in only his second organized game ever. He pulled down 21 rebounds for the Gators.
Suiting up only nine players for the game, the Cobras relied heavily on Zack Petersen in the second half. He scored 20 of his team's 36 second half points. He led all scorers with 25.
The two-day round-robin tournament is the second for Island Coast. It expanded from eight teams last year to 16 this year.
Hudson plays Saturday morning against Community School of Naples while Island Coast hosts Naples Saturday night.
Hudson 13 12 16 20 -- 61
Island Coast 13 22 19 16 -- 70
Hudson - Durham 13, Peterson 25, Johnson 11, Szilagyi 2, Lovell 4; Free throws: 15-20; 3-point shots made: 4
Island Coast - Foreman 17, Inchausti 21, K. Darrett 11, Lugo 12, Mathurin 4, I. Darrett 1, Diaz 4; free throws: 23-38, 3-point shots made: 5
C.S. Naples 82, Ida Baker 24: Friday's second game of the young season was no better than Monday's opener for the Ida Baker Bulldogs, who shot poorly and played poorly in a lopsided defeat at the hands of Community School of Naples in the Island Coast Thanksgiving Shootout.
The Bulldogs (0-2) converted on just 22 percent of their field goal attempts, including 3-of-27 from the three-point arc. They failed to score in double digits in each of the four quarters.
"We were lethargic and slow," said Bulldogs first-year coach Jay Sanderson.
The Bulldogs finish play in the shootout at 9:30 a.m. Saturday against Sunrise Piper.