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Seahawks advance with strong second half effort

February 1, 2014
By LYLE FITZSIMMONS - Special to the Breeze , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

They'll look at smiling snapshots and cherish happy memories, but regardless of the result of Friday's District 5A-12 finale against Cypress Lake a 63-26 win that yielded a second straight trophy chances are Cape Coral's girls won't ever watch the film.

In fact, had it not been for the happy ending, even coach Kirk Myers might have panned it.

"That's playoff basketball," the Seahawks co-coach said after finishing another round of bench-side team photos snapped by celebrating friends and relatives. "We have to expect that we're going to get everybody's best shot in these games, and we're going to have to match their intensity. We played lax in spots and we relaxed in spots, and we can't let that happen."

The win is Cape's third in three games with the Panthers this season, all by 26-point margins or more.

While the third go-round was never in significant doubt after the Seahawks scored the first 12 points in the first four minutes, it was what happened immediately afterward that troubled Myers the most.

The suddenly stone-cold hosts managed one free throw in the final half of the opening quarter, then scored only one basket, an early follow by Julia Ramsey, in the first seven minutes of the second, a stretch in which the slow-paced Panthers scored a dozen points to turn a laugher into a nail-biter.

The Seahawks got the half's final four points to reach the break with a 19-12 lead, but as the players filed into the locker room they had a pretty good idea of what to expect on the inside.

"(Myers) said he we needed a lot more energy and he said that we looked sluggish," said junior guard McKenna Beach, who missed six straight shots from the floor after the initial surge. "He does whatever he thinks it's going to take to get us going, so we knew he'd say something, but we never know exactly what we're going to get. It usually works, though. Whatever he does, we seem to respond."

Crystal Townsend felt another means of motivation kicking in.

One of just two seniors in the starting lineup and a 22-point scorer when the teams played in Fort Myers, Beach's back court mate was determined to not let her district career end with a smudge.

"Being a senior, I didn't want my time on my home floor to end like this," Townsend said. "I wasn't doing my job. (Coach) told me to pick it up and to be 'Huge' that's my nickname so I needed to do those things. Be energetic, get rebounds and push the ball."

It didn't take long to see she'd heard him.

The Seahawks connected on 8-of-14 shots from the field in the third quarter and 6-of-9 in the fourth, after an opening half in which they'd made just 7-of-26. Meanwhile, Cypress Lake made just three shots in the third and one in the fourth watching Cape High score 20 straight points in one stretch and finished with a 19.5-percent shooting clip for the game.

Cape High led 43-21 at the end of the third, and, by the time it was over Beach (21), Townsend (10) and Ramsey (14) reached double figures, while only Joy Brownell and Annette Navarro managed as many as seven points for the Panthers.

The Seahawks open the state regional playoffs at home against the loser of the Lemon Bay-Sebring game, while Cypress Lake begins its state run with a visit to the winner of that game.

"We're off to the next stop," Myers said. "Now that we've got this out of the way, we're looking at the big picture. We want to go all the way to Lakeland. We want the hardware. That's what we've been working since August for. We want to be playing in Lakeland."

Cypress Lake 6 6 9 5 - 26

Cape Coral 13 6 24 20 - 63

CYPRESS 26 - Brownell 7, Slone 4, Navarro 7, Dusenberry 4, Mahone 4. Totals: 8 9-25 26.

CAPE 63 - Sillevis 7, Jones 4, Beach 21, Townsend 10, Ramsey 14, Orozco 4, Mendoza 3. Totals: 21 14-19 63.



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