The Queen of Palms Tournament ended in frustration for the Cape Coral Seahawks Monday night.
The Seahawks (15-3) lost to Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas 53-48 in the third-place game of the high school basketball tournament's Diamond Division at Cape High.
Combined with Saturday's semifinal loss to Gainesville, Cape Coral has its first two-game losing streak of the season.
Cape High senior Crystal Townsend puts up a shot Friday in the opening round of the Queen of Palms Tournament Diamond Division. The Seahawks advanced 60-45. More photos are available online at: cu.cape-coral-daily-breeze.com.
Aquinas (11-5), a Class 7A team, featured 6-foot-5 center Mary Katherine Moore and a pair of 5-foot-10 players. Moore had six blocked shots, 13 rebounds and eight points for the Raiders. With Moore in the middle, the rest of the Raiders concentrated on denying Cape's outside shooters a chance to take three-pointers.
"Our plan was to keep her out of the game as much as possible," Cape co-coach Olivia Myers said. "We were not as successful as we would like to have been."
Aquinas' strategy paid off until guard Kiki Carrabes got her fourth foul in the third quarter. That opened up the outside as Cape turned a 22-19 halftime deficit into a 36-26 lead with 2:45 left in the third.
Then, Cape's McKenna Beach got her fourth foul. Aquinas' Shanell Atkins (24 points) led a charge that had the Raiders back in front 43-36 at the 7:23 mark of the fourth period.
"I wouldn't necessarily say that (Beach's foul trouble) is what stopped our run," Myers said. "I can attribute that to other things. We have a system and what we like to do is run our system. Sometimes that'll work and sometimes it does not. At the end of the day it's a total team effort and we all have to play our roles and do what's expected of us."
The Seahawks had one more rally left, with Beach's hoop with 2:45 left giving Cape a 46-45 lead. The lead was 48-47 on Crystal Townsend's two free throws before Aquinas ended the game on a 6-0 run for the win.
Beach led Cape with 17 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and two steals. She scored 14 of her 17 points in the second half. Meka Sillevis scored 12, while Townsend had nine points, seven rebounds and three steals.
"This is one game," Myers said. "We've got many more to come. The season is not done. Get back out there and get ready for our regular season.
"We accept all challenges. We try to adjust and do whatever it takes to move forward. We don't run" from anybody. We want to learn from it. We knew that they had a 6-5 player and we knew it would be a challenge. As I said, we're up for all challenges. Some days we'll win and be on top and some days we won't."
Earlier Monday in the Diamond Division, Miami Dr. Krop defeated Orlando University for fifth place and Riviera Beach Suncoast took seventh over Miami Florida Christian. In the Sapphire Divsion, Bartow took third with a 34-30 win over North Miami, Leesburg downed Palm Bay Heritage 58-42 for fifth and Port Charlotte topped Estero 50-46 for seventh.
St. Thomas Aquinas 13 9 18 11 -- 53
Cape Coral 12 7 17 10 -- 48
ST. THOMAS AQUINAS (53) - Ambroise 5, Carrabes 5, Smith 3, Dakto 3, Tunnage 5, Atkins 24, Moore 8. Totals: 18 14-20 53. 3PG: Dakto 1, Tunnage 1, Atkins1.
CAPE CORAL (48) - Sillevis 12, Jones 2, Beach 17, Townsend 9, Hanley 1, Ramsay 7. Totals: 16 13-24 48. 3PG: Beach 2, Ramsay 1.