The Mariner Tritons were perfectly awful hosts Friday night, and probably are pretty happy about it.
The Tritons rolled Cypress Lake 72-44 in the nightcap of Friday's Mariner Christmas Tournament opening round to advance to a semifinal game Saturday against Southwest Florida Christian.
Mariner (9-2) did most of its damage in the first half, leading 47-18 at intermission. Coach James Harris gave his bench players plenty of court time in the final two periods.
Kaleb Darrett scored 27 points to lead the Tritons, including 12 in the second quarter. Rodney Hunter hit three three-pointers in the first period and finished with 14 points.
An outmanned Panthers (1-10) were led by Fritz Maxi's 15 points. Devin Grimm added 11.
Still, Harris wasn't entirely happy with his team's performance Friday. The Tritons seemed to lose intensity after building that big lead.
"We're trying to turn the corner on that," Harris said. "Being engaged for 32 minutes instead of 16 or 20. In the second half the bench guys were getting a lot of playing time. They've got to execute, too. Those guys are going to have to be big for us as the season goes on. I don't like the idea of coasting. I want to finish well."
Harris said the Tritons need to be ready Saturday.?"SFCA presents a great challenge for us," Harris said. "We played them in a preseason classic and were more engaged than we have been lately. They knocked off a very good (Lehigh) team Thursday. They certainly have my full attention. If the guys aren't focused, they can knock off two teams in a row."
The Kings have an advantage on the Tritons by having played their opener Thursday. That gave them a day of rest while the Tritons are playing for the second night in a row.
"I'm hoping the minutes we saved our guys tonight will kind of equal that out," Harris said.
Despite his 27 points, Darrett got an earful from Harris in the second half.
"He's so talented that you have to live with the flaws," Harris said. "Sometimes he gets in his world where he has to do it himself. He has more pieces around him. He has a supporting cast of guys. He needs to learn that less is more. You can get more by doing less.?"Rodney (Hunter) has learned that. If we can get Kaleb to learn that, those two will play off each other really well, and they have other good complementary pieces."
Cypress Lake takes on Lehigh at 4 p.m. today.
Cypres Lake 10 8 13 13 - 44?Mariner 25 22 9 16 - 72
CYPRESS LAKE (44) - Maxi 15, Grimm 11, Cruz 7, Clark 3, Muench 2, Douglas 2, Riggins 4. Totals: 19 11-21 44. 3PG: Maxi 2, Grimm 1. ?MARINER (72) - Davis 7, Darrett 27, Sillie 6, Carpenter 8, Hunter 14, Deems 4, Taylor 6. Totals: 25 17-24 72. 3PG: Davis 1, Carpenter 1, Hunter 3.