Thursday, September 24, 2020

Manta Rays shock Seacrest for district win, 78-61

The ball is up for grabs in Marco Island Academy’s 78-61 win over Seacrest at home on Dec. 16.

The ball is up for grabs in Marco Island Academy’s 78-61 win over Seacrest at home on Dec. 16.

By Roger LaLonde
roger@coastalbreezenews.com

After the first quarter Marco Island trailed Seacrest Country Day School, 18-12.

No problem for the 7-3 Manta Rays as they ran away with the contest in the last three quarters, resulting in a 78-61 win. It was their third straight Class 2A-District 12 victory.

Peter Servente came off the bench and singed the nets for a career high 32 points, with seven three-pointers. Quietly, team leader Cole Stretton added 20 points, including three three-pointers and Brandon Estremera made four three-pointers for 12 points.

During the game the Rays ran hot and cold, but when Seacrest

Brandon Estremera follows through on a three-point shot the referee concurs is good. Estremera made four three-pointers as Marco Island Academy crushed Seacrest.

Brandon Estremera follows through on a three-point shot the referee concurs is good. Estremera made four three-pointers as Marco Island Academy crushed Seacrest.

challenged they responded with double-digit leads as high as 17 points.

Seacrest’s Peter Charles knocked down 19 points, Elliott Chavez, 16 and Tyler Lopes 13 as they dropped their first district game after two wins.

With nearly half the season gone, Stretton continues to be the man. The junior has surpassed 1,000 points in his career and is averaging 20 points a game. He made the Naples Daily News All-Area first team a year ago and is not showing signs of slowing down.

Stretton is quick to credit the team for his offense. “When we play good defense

Marco Island Academy’s Cole Stretton draws double coverage much of the time, but still averages 20 points a game. He did the same in the Manta Rays win over Seacrest Country Day, 78-61, on Dec. 16.

Marco Island Academy’s Cole Stretton draws double coverage much of the time, but still averages 20 points a game. He did the same in the Manta Rays win over Seacrest Country Day, 78-61, on Dec. 16.

it helps create the offense easier,” he said. The defense is averaging 10 steals a game.

“The team’s chemistry is better with the addition of (Tyler) Gresham,” Stretton said. “We have a lot of ways to put the ball in the basket.”

Coach Roger Raymond agrees.

“We live by the three-point shot, but what makes it go is the defense, he said. “Peter Servente lit it up tonight and Cole had another solid game. We have Brandon (Estremara) and Brian Flynn who can also hit the three’s which makes it a bit better for our inside men who

Manta Rays coach Roger Raymond gives instruction to Brandon Estremera during a break.

Manta Rays coach Roger Raymond gives instruction to Brandon Estremera during a break.

usually are outsized up front.”

Preston Reese, Patrick Michel and Gresham handle the boards. Reese and Michel have been he-men against taller players. Reese again leads the area in rebounding at 10 per game. Gresham, a sophomore, is getting better as he learns how to use his size and athleticism.

The Rays surpass the national average in every statistic:

Points per game, 57.9 to 52.5; rebounds, 43 to 27; assists; 10.9 to 9.8; steals, 9 to 8.5 and blocks per game, 4 to 2.5.

The Rays are off for the holidays, resuming play in hosting Fort Myers-Canterbury at 7 p.m. on Jan 6. 

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