Cape Coral’s boys basketball team entered the region quarterfinals with a far inferior record than its opponent from Lely. But apparently no one told the Seahawks that.
And so Cape Coral gave the District 5A-14 champion Trojans all they could handle before finally succumbing to Lely 50-47 in the Class 5A region quarterfinals Thursday night at Lely High School.
Cape, the 5A-13 runner-up, led by as many as five points in the first half, trailed for much of the second and had a chance to win it, behind only 48-47 with 8.4 seconds left.
Trying to use up the rest of the clock, the Trojans were whistled for traveling in their end of the floor. Cape Coral got the ball back with an inbounds pass under the Lely basket, but a pressing Trojan defense stole.
Nick Ronquette then iced it with two free throws.
Chase Galzuny scored 15 points for the Seahawks (12-16) and Andrew Taylor also had 12.
Nick Talko led Lely (19-10) with 11 points.
Lely will meet Golden Gate or Mariner next Tuesday in the region semifinals.
Lely picked up its first win in the region in four years, when the Trojans fell one game short of the final four.
Cape Coral coach Thomas Kenna was driven to tears after the game.
“The kids did everything they had to do to win,” Kenna said. “Lely trapped us on the inbounds play at the end. They played as hard as anyone, but we just came up a little short.”
A big factor in the game was in the second half when the Seahawks were limited to only one point in an eight-minute stretch.
“We just stopped executing for a while,” Kenna said. “We played hard, but couldn’t execute. After the game, I apologized to the players, because I wanted to bring home a win, but I couldn’t get it done.”
“Since I’m a new coach here this year, we brought it a lot of changes,” Kenna said. “We persevered and played with a lot of heart right until the end, but it just wasn’t enough.”