The Port Charlotte Pirates and Venice Indians are still looking for their rhythm as boys basketball season begins. In Wednesday night’s non-district contest at The Teepee, Port Charlotte opened the game with a 19-4 run and never trailed as they dismantled the host Indians 64-50. With the win the Pirates improve to 5-0 on the season while the Indians fall to 0-2.
I’m really proud of my boys for how they responded right off the bus,” Pirate coach Kip Rhoten said. “We have six or seven seniors and our experienced paid off tonight.”
The Pirates scored the first seven points of the game as Brandon Gainey hit a three and a layup followed by a layup from Rondell Adderly. Chason Rockymore got Venice on the board with two free throws and a layup before Gainey and Tyler Perry led a 12-0 run to force an Indian timeout.
“We kind of let it get away from us and lost our composure,” Venice coach John Flynn said. “We played well in spots and fought back but we got down early.”
The Indians got within 10 in the second quarter but Tyler Perry scored seven points and received help from Shemar Fleurissant and Alex Romero to open the lead to 37-21 at halftime.
“We knew Venice would be a physical team that would play hard defense so we wanted to get out and get some easier baskets,” Rhoten said. “For the kids to come off a back-to-back and play this well lets me know I have a special bunch.”
As the third quarter began the teams traded baskets as the Pirates displayed patience on the offensive end and answered every Indian run with a score of their own. The Pirates, who shot 13-24 from the free throw line for the game, allowed the Indians to stay within striking distance. Venice guard Adam Gebel nailed a three with 4:35 left to make the score 42-32 but that was as close as the Indians would get.
“We’re normally a better free throw shooting team than this,” Rhoten said. “I’d like to shoot better but overall I’m pleased with how hard we played.”
Perry led the Pirates with 14 points and four rebounds while Fleurissant added 13 points and seven rebounds. After his quick start Gainey finished with nine points and four rebounds.
Gebel led all scorers with 15 points on five three pointers. Cyrus Lusk added 14 points and seven rebounds while Rockymore scored 10 points and pulled down five rebounds.
I’m satisfied with our effort and I’m glad we scheduled two tough teams like Port Charlotte and Riverview to start the season,” Flynn said. “We’re continuing to work hard and we’re going to start settling into our roles. It’s early.
Port Charlotte hosts Island Coast on Friday night while Venice travels to Englewood to take on Lemon Bay.