What a week for area basketball.
Multiple matchups featured top-ranked teams in the region and the week saw multiple overtime and last-second finishes that went in local teams’ favor.
Having said that, here’s how it effects the power rankings:
1. Charlotte (10-4): The Tarpons faced a gauntlet of a schedule last week including games against Venice, Naples and Fort Myers. Charlotte went 2-1 during that stretch with decisive victories, most notably against Fort Myers, which was ranked third in southwest Florida, according to Maxpreps.
The Tarpons have paired strong offense with good defense to become one of the marquee teams in the region with two more tough games this weekend in the Wally Keller Classic.
2. Port Charlotte ( 8-6): The Matchup with playoff contender Mariner was sloppy, but remained close late though the Pirates couldn’t overcome the deficit. They bounced back later in the week at home against Ida Baker.
The emergence of Alex Perry has given a spark down the stretch. The Pirates held the final spot in the playoff rankings prior to those two games.
3. Venice (6-10): The Indians finally snapped a long losing streak with an overtime win over North Port and have been a bit underwhelming lately given the talent.
They lost in overtime in the Lehigh Shootout against Riverdale and played Charlotte tough for a a half, but it’s still a bit of a work in progress to get things rolling how they should.
4. Lemon Bay (7-9): The Mantas played two games without big man Caleb Geisendorfer, but managed a narrow win over Sarasota Military Academy with clutch free throws in the final minute and a win over Imagine School, losing to DeSoto County in between.
The young Mantas are turning a corner and could pick up steam as the season wanes.
5. Community Christian (7-5): The Mustangs went 3 for 3 last week, beating IMG Gray, Classical Academy of Sarasota and the Canterbury Crusaders. They’ve now won 4 of 5 and are rolling through the middle of the season.
A big reason why is the production they are getting throughout the starting five with three different players scoring in double digits last game with Ethan Bray coming one assist shy of a triple double.
6. DeSoto County (6-8): The Bulldogs have won four straight games now with wins over Oasis, Fort Meade, Lake Placid and Lemon Bay in the span of five days.
DeSoto County believed they were better than their 2-8 start and they are starting to show why with freshman Jamari Redding heating up offensively. He scored 21 against the Mantas.
7. North Port (3-11): The Bobcats won a thriller against Immokalee with Jalen Brown hitting a 3-pointer with second left to win in overtime. North Port then had another overtime game against Venice, which didn’t go its way.
The play is improving, but with a challenging schedule, the wins haven’t caught up just yet.
8. Imagine School (2-10): The Sharks beat Gulf Coast HEAT last week, but still sit at 2-10 on the year with a loss to Lemon Bay on Saturday. The slate doesn’t get any easier with Community Christian and Venice up next.