With steady Cole Stretton leading the way the Marco Island Academy boys basketball team won its second straight Class 2A District 10 championship by downing Seacrest Academy.
The win on Jan. 16 resulted in the Manta Rays going undefeated in the district at 6-0. In the Seacrest win, Stretton scored 27 points, the lone Manta Ray in double figures.
Strong on defense was Tyler Gresham. Coach Roger Raymond said, “Tyler is a very young player in terms of experience. As a sophomore player, hisvarsity experience is “on the job” training. He basically sat out last year, and he has to make up for that missed time. His rebounding is very good as he is a force on the boards on both ends of the floor.”
The victory made Senior Night on Tuesday (Jan. 20) even better. Seniors Peter Servente, Preston Reese and Connor Schmidt were introduced with their parents. The girls team, with four seniors, Victoria Vale, Jessica Ragan, Alyssa Solinas and Sarah Colburn were introduced with theirparents.
The Rays boys team celebrated with a convincing win over Evangelical Christian, losing 63-43.
Stretton pumped in 21 points, Servente, 19 and Brandon Estremera, 10. The Rays are 13-4 on the season.
The girls had a much tougher time with a very good Sentinels team, losing 73-27. Vale, who has been the stalwart for her four years, tallied 15 points. Holly Golden dominated with 30 points for the Sentinels, 22 in the first half. Freshman Gianna Rose is gaining valuable experience at the point and tossedin five points. Junior Shannon O’Regan added four points and played strong defense, along with Colburn.
The Lady Manta Rays are 8-6 on the season. The team finished the district season tied for first place at 5-1, but lost a coin flip so that Seacrest will get top tournament seed and the Manta Rays second seed. Everglades City hosts the tournament. The Rays open with Everglades City at 6:30 PM on Tuesday (Jan. 27). The Rays are favored to make the championship game at 7 PM on Thursday (Jan. 29).