ENGLEWOOD – Lemon Bay was ready to go from the jump Tuesday night, rolling past Island Coast 60-21 in the final game before their clash with Charlotte.
The Manta Rays (8-5) ripped down the first 12 rebounds of the game, forcing six Island Coast (1-12) turnovers in the first quarter to score the first eight points.
“We did a good job getting into their passing lanes,” Lemon Bay head coach Sean Huber said. “They had a hard time getting into their offense. We rotated really well when they tried to counter and ended up creating turnovers off of that, which helped us get into transition.”
Transition was the name of the game for Lemon bay on Tuesday. They used 18 Gators turnovers to spark several fast break layups, fitting the ball through tight passing lanes to generate easy buckets.
“Our transition game was good today,” Huber said. “We created some turnovers and got the tempo the way we wanted it. We wanted to put our foot on the gas and not take it off until that clock was running.”
The Manta Rays blew the game open in the second quarter, going on a 15-0 run over a five-minute stretch to push their lead to 25.
“I made it a focus for our guys to do a better job creating some energy off the bench and I thought that translated to the big run in the second quarter,” said Huber.
The bench played an integral part of Tuesday’s win. Huber used 15 players in the victory, with each one either recording a point or a rebound.
“The energy off the bench was a lot better than what it’s been,” Huber said. “That’s something we had talked about – that guys off the bench have to provide some punch and we haven’t been doing that.”
Senior guard Gunyr Morrill was the only Manta Ray to reach double figures in scoring, turning in a game-high 11. Senior big man Caleb Geisendorfer pulled down 10 rebounds while Martell Yale tallied eight points, six rebounds and four assists.
“I think it’s important (to get everyone into the game),” said Huber. “(The third line) practices too. It’s important for them to get in and get meaningful minutes. I coach those guys just as hard as I coach the first group. I don’t care if you’re player one or player 15, there’s certain things we have to do well. Those decisions are the same decisions whether it’s close or not.”
Despite a 22-point lead at halftime, Lemon Bay did not let up in the second half. Huber left the starters on the court for the first six minutes of the third quarter, extending the lead to 56-18 after three.
“When you let guys hang around, things get chippy,” said Huber. “I wanted to get our guys some work and start preparing for Friday.”
Huber implemented a full-court press and different set plays on offense to get the starters some extra minutes together before the Manta Rays’ showdown with Charlotte on Friday.
LEMON BAY 60, ISLAND COAST 21
Island Coast 9 7 3 2 – 21
Lemon Bay 18 20 18 4 – 60
Island Coast (21): Cole Koch 7, Ramsey Vega 5, Nai’jhae Cook 4, Alex Corchado 3, Connor Roberts 2. Totals: 9 (1) 2-5 21.
Lemon Bay (60): Morrill 11, Yale 8, Leon Fleming 7, Sean Shamasian 7, Donnie Harvey 5, Geisendorfer 5, Jacob Martinez 4, Tyler Kreissler 3, Iraj Patel 3, Riley Haynes 3, Trevor Hedges 2, Aiden Moore 2. Totals: 24 (3) 9-15 60.