The Cape Coral Seahawks are one step closer to their goal.
The Seahawks' girls' basketball team defeated the Lehigh Lightning 54-35 Tuesday night in the Class 5A region semifinals.
For the Seahawks (25-1), the next step is a big one - taking on a highly regarded 25-2 Fort Lauderdale Dillard team for the regional title and a trip to the state Class 5A final four.
Cape Coral senior point guard Camary Williams (1) drives around Lehigh’s Jabria Irons during the Seahawks’ Class 5A regional semifinal win Tuesday night. More photos are available online at: cu.cape-coral-daily-breeze.com.
Saturday's game is at The Nest at Cape High.
Dillard defeated Plantation American Heritage 67-53 in Tuesday's other regional semifinal for its 10th consecutive victory.
The three-time defending state Class 5A champions lost only once to an in-state team this season, the Plantation Heritage squad the Panthers have now beaten three times.
Cape already has surpassed last year's 22-6 team that lost in the first round of the district playoffs. That defeat spurred the Seahawks' "Unfinished business" slogan for this year.
In Tuesday's first road game of the postseason, the Seahawks relied as always on defense. Cape held the District 5A-14 champion Lightning (21-5) to eight points or fewer in the game's first three quarters.
That defense, as always, was spurred on by senior guard Camary Williams. Williams was all over the court Tuesday night, hustling after loose balls and throwing herself at the Lightning.
"She knows what time it is," Seahawks co-coach Kirk Myers said. "She knows that every game now could possibly be our last game. But it's not just her. Everybody out there knows it's possibly the last game of the season.
"It starts with (Williams). It starts with number 13 (Danaria Brice), it starts with number 10 (McKenna Beach). It's just a team effort. We want it."
Beach led the Seahawks in scoring with 14 points. Williams and Crystal Townsend scored 10 points each. For Lehigh, Jabria Irons led the way with 13 points and Shay Parson added 10.
The Seahawks had a big advantage at the foul line, making 20 of 34 free throws compared to 3-of-8 for the Lightning. As Lehigh fell behind, the Lightning fouled time and again to try to throw off Cape's momentum. Cape made 10=of=16 foul shots in the fourth period.
Before Tuesday, Cape's last road game had been a win at Fort Myers in the regular-season finale on Jan. 25.
"We're ready to play," Myers said of Saturday's matchup with Dillard. "We're excited. We've going to live this moment. We'll be ready."
Cape Coral 11 18 13 12 -- 54
Lehigh 7 8 6 13 -- 35
Cape Coral; 54 - Williams 10, Beach 14, Orozco 1, Townsend 10, Mims 8, Ramsay 9, Jones 2. Totals: 15 20-34 54.
3PG: Mims 2, Ramsay 2.
Lehigh 35 - Irons 13, Bell 3, Jones 3, Burch 4, Parson 10, Francois 2. Totals: 14 3-8 35.
3PG: Bell, 1 Irons 1, Parson 2.