Greg Coleman took over the Island Coast basketball program in 2010 and has yet to miss the playoffs in three seasons.
Tonight Coleman’s squad will be playing in their second consecutive Class 6A regional semifinal at home against Fort Myers, the third meeting between the schools.
Two hours east in Boca Raton Bishop Verot (17-11, 7-1) will battle St. Andrew’s (21-3, 7-1) in the Class 4A regional semifinal.
Fort Myers (24-4, 4-0) won the first meeting Jan. 18 on the road 78-43, and followed that up with an 81-59 win in the District 6A-13 final Feb. 8.
“They’re very good at taking advantage of your mistakes,” Coleman said. “As soon as you gamble, don’t get back or don’t box out they’re going to get you.”
The Gators (16-12, 2-2) will have to cut back on the turnovers to have a shot at upending the Green Wave. They turned the ball over 29 times in January and 21 times in February.
“We’re going to have to be just about flawless,” Coleman said. “We can’t turn the ball over. As soon as we turn the ball over it’s one of those things they’re going to capitalize on.”
Island Coast had to get familiar with each other quickly after losing 11 seniors from last season’s district champion team. Junior guard Kaleb Darrett (17.0 points per game) is the only holdover from that team.
Seniors Angel Inchausti (18.8 PPG) and Jordan Lugo (11.1 PPG) transferred in from Ida Baker and Morgan Foreman (7.4 PPG) transferred from Riverdale.
Coleman found his center, Sonel Mathurin (10.1 RPG) roaming the Island Coast halls. Coleman lived in the Cypress area but moved to the Cape before the school year began.
“I saw [Mathurin] walking the hallways and I was like, ‘Hey, you play basketball?” Coleman said. “He told me he was going to try to this season and I asked him had he played before, he said no.”
Mathurin grabbed 16 rebounds in the Gators 71-57 win over Gulf Coast in the regional quarterfinal.
If Island Coast finds a way to pull out the upset it will be their first regional final appearance in a short school history. Island Coast opened in 2009.
Fort Myers’ pressure defense causes a lot of havoc on the floor, so the Island Coast guards will have to make quick and smart decisions for 32 minutes.
The Green Wave average 11.5 steals per game and have the luxury of a very deep bench. They have the capability to have 10 guys score nightly.
Verot defeated Cardinal Newman handily — 81-45 — in the Class 4A regional quarterfinal at home, and is back at full strength. Junior Ricky Doyle averages 22 points and 7.6 rebounds per game in three games since suffering a stress fracture.
If Verot wins it will be its second straight regional final appearance and its third regional final in three years.