LEHIGH ACRES – If the North Port High School boys basketball team could have played like it did in the third quarter Saturday, on the second day of the Lehigh New Year’s Shootout at Lehigh Senior High School, it might have been a different story for them.
However, games are 32 minutes long and not eight, and Cardinal Gibbons was able to play consistently on both sides of the ball while holding the Bobcats for most of the game.
Isaiah Edden scored 24 points to lead an otherwise balanced Chiefs attack in an easy 79-55 victory for the school from Fort Lauderdale.
Gertautas Urbonavicius had 10 points and seven rebounds, while freshman Kamden Ayers had nine points and six assists to lead Gibbons (10-3), which won its third straight and seventh of its last eight.
“We have a young team with one senior so we’re still gelling with my style and the way we want to play,” said first-year Cardinal Gibbons coach Devin Barta. “We were efficient and we preach sharing the ball. We tell them not to do it alone, but together and we did that well today.”
North Port (6-7) couldn’t get anything going in the first half as it was held to 17 points and found itself down 23 at the half.
Ryan Power, North Port coach, said unlike the previous night against Southwest Florida Christian, they just didn’t bring the effort.
“We got away from our defensive mentality and they were able to jump out to the lead and pick up the defensive mentality, and when we can’t get stops, we can’t get into our transition game,” Power said. “Gibbons is big and physical and were able to switch out every screen, but we need to execute on offense. We made a lot of silly turnovers.”
But the Bobcats found their offensive stroke in the third quarter, hitting six three-pointers as Eric Baker scored 11 of his 13 points in that span. Being as far behind as they were, they were only able to get within 15 as the Chiefs were able to score 20 and pulled away again in the fourth.
Mitch Tosi came off the bench to also score 13 points for North Port. Nick Passamonte added 11.
“If we had come out in the first quarter like in the third quarter, I would like to replay that game, but Gibbons started strong early and kept it up,” Power said.
CARDINAL GIBBONS 79, NORTH PORT 55
17 23 20 19 – 79
7 10 26 12 – 55
Cardinal Gibbons (79): Isaiah Edden 24, Gertautas Urbonavicius 10, Ayers 9, Vertus 8, Boynton 8, Udine 7, Gaines 4, Taylor 4, Antoine 3, Rodriguez 2. Totals: 32(5) 10-16 79.
North Port (55): Mitch Tosi 13, Eric Baker 13, Nick Passamonte 11, Morales 8, Curley 5, Iribarren 3, Brown 2. Totals: 18(8) 11-15 55.