Since the winter sports playoff season started three weeks, high school soccer teams are now deep into the state playoffs. Girls' basketball season finishes up district tournament play Friday and heads into the state playoffs next week.
Next up is boys' basketball which starts district tournament play on Monday.
The Cape Coral Seahawks tip off at 7 p.m. The Nest against Immokalee in the District 5A-12 Tournament. Semifinals and the championship game will be played at Golden Gate Wednesday and Friday, respectively.
Island Coast junior Jennifer Fasano (23) puts up a shot over Ida Baker’s Kathleen Driscoll in Tuesday night’s 42-37 win in the Districty 6A-11 Tournament. Fasano finished with eight points, but the Gators were knocked out of the tournament 66-45 in Wednesday’s semifinals by Portr Charlotte. More photos are available online at: cu.cape-coral-daily-breeze.com.
No. 2 seeded Mariner awaits the winner between Cypress Lake and Lely in the semifinal round at 5 p.m. Wednesday. Top seed Golden Gate awaits the Cape Coral-Immokalee winner in the other semifinal round game.
District 7A-11, 6A-11 and 6A-12 tournaments tip off on Tuesday.
The four-team District 7A-11 begins with the semifinals with top seeded Fort Myers looking to capture another championship.
In 6A-11, No. 3 seed Island Coast travels No. 2 seed Venice on Wednesday for a semifinal match at 7 p.m.
"We have to bank on our experience," said Gators coach Greg Coleman. "We have to keep our composure to get a win since we lost to Venice twice. They are a scrappy team and fundamentally sound defensively.I'm hoping our playoff experience will pay off."
The Gators (10-13) have been exposed to a No. 2 vs. No. 3 game in a five-team district before. They are looking to earn their fourth straight appearance in the regional playoffs with a victory. They were district runner-up in 2011 and 2012, reaching the Sweet 16 both times, but were eliminated early last season.
"We lost eight games this season by eight points or fewer," said Coleman. "This time of year you have to turn it on. That's what I preach the kids, to develop urgency.
Though below .500 as Gators coach (52-57), Coleman has an overall winning record of 99-93 combining Island Coast and Ida Baker before that.
No. 5 seed Ida Baker visits No. 4 seed North Fort Myers Tuesday with the winner getting a shot at knocking off top seed Port Charlotte in Wednesday's semifinals.
Mariner (16-8) has had a "Jekyll and Hyde" complex at times this season, dropping some games they should have won.
"We have to play team ball," said Tritons coach James Harris. "You have to maintain the grind this time of year because you are one-and-done now. We've got to execute or the season is over."
As No. 2 seed, the Tritons earned a bye into the semifinal round on Wednesday. While a semifinal loss would end their season, a victory guarantees a berth in the first round of the regional playoffs.
Cape High hosts Cypress Lake in the championship game of the District 5A-12 Tournament Friday night.
No. 2 seed Bishop Verot travels to highly favored top seed Dunbar in the title game of District 4A-11 Friday.
Top seed Port Charlotte hosts No. 2 seed Venice in the finale of the District 6A-11 tourney also on Friday.
Winners earn the right to host a regional quarterfinal playoff game on Feb. 6 while the district runner-up goes on the road.
Two Mariner student-athletes will accept college scholarships at a ceremony at 1 p.m. on Wednesday at the school.
Soccer standout Patrick (P.K.) Kibler will sign with Newberry College in South Carolina while baseball player Luis Ferrer will sign with Polk State College near Orlando.