The boys basketball Hurricanes of Coral Shores High keep it in the Keys for season-ending games Thursday and Friday against local rivals from Key West and Marathon.
Coral Shores hosts Key West High at 6 p.m. Thursday (JV at 4:30 p.m.) and Marathon High at 7 p.m. Friday (JV at 5:30 p.m.) in the Tavernier gym.
The Canes stood at 7-11 for the season earlier this week, pending results from Tuesday’s scheduled game against Palmer Trinity. Coral Shores will not play in the state postseason.
The Canes went on a second-half run of 53 points, a season best, in last Friday’s trip to South Dade High, but that followed a frightful 11-point effort in the first two quarters, head coach Jarrod Mandozzi said. The Canes closed a huge 32-11 gap at the break to six points in the late going before falling, 72-64, to the Buccaneers (11-10).
“I didn’t feel terrible about where we were at halftime,” Mandozzi said, “aside from the obvious fact that we dug a deep hole against a very good defensive team.”
Senior guard Jason Polanco hit five 3-pointers in the third quarter, part of his 24-point game, in the late surge.
With the Bucs moving to stop Polanco’s barrage, guard Elijah Woods (24 points, seven steals) and forward Connor Rhyne (12 points) ramped up the offense.
“I was very proud of our fight,” Mandozzi said. “A lot of teams would have mailed it in after the first quarter but our guys kept digging deeper.”
Robbie Prosek, a 6-foot-6 junior forward, grabbed 14 rebounds with two blocks and a pair of steals. The last Cane points of the game came when Prosek “perfectly” tipped a South Dade in-bounds pass to Woods, who went the distance for the score, Mandozzi said.
The Lady Cane lacrosse team, under new head coach Dominique Colarusso, host the District 32-A preseason tournament starting at 4 p.m. next Wednesday.
Key West’s Lady Conchs, along with Gulliver Prep and Palmer Trinity, will compete in a series of exhibition matches at George M. Barley Jr. Stadium. Longtime Coral Shores lacrosse coaches Mark and Cindy Hall serve as volunteer advisers this spring.
The regular season starts with a Feb. 20 trip to Gulliver, followed by a 4 p.m. Feb. 23 trip to Key West High. The Lady Canes’ first regular-season home match is a non-district game March 3 against Taravella High.
The Hurricane boys lacrosse squad, coached by Dan Flynn, opens the regular season at home in a 7 p.m. Feb. 19 game against visiting Florida Christian.
Coral Shores’ boys baseball and girls softball teams also practicing for season openers in coming weeks. Schedules were pending at deadline.
Kevin Wadlow: 305-440-3206