Thursday, October 28, 2021

Rays Improve to 11-3 With Win Over Battle-Tested Foe

The Marco Island Rays’ magical season continues as they dominated a battle-tested-but-winless Oasis team 83-59, Friday night at the Marco Middle School gym.

Oasis plays a number of big schools, contributing to their dismal record. But that rugged schedule makes them a tough match-up for schools their size, like the Rays.

Senior Dom Moller drives against Oasis.

The Rays, on the other hand, are enjoying one of the best seasons in school history, playing mostly schools their own size. Even doing that, however, the Rays struggled to 5-21 and 4-20 finishes the past two seasons.

While the Rays were taking their lumps, Head Coach Travis Barry told anyone who would listen that his young team would improve and one day be a winner. Well, that day has come.

Travis Barry is the head coach of both the boys’ and girls’ teams at the academy. He had to quickly shift gears to coach the boys.

“I need to catch my breath after that one,” Barry said before taking the court with the boys. The girls staged a big comeback that came up one point short.

His team is still young—just one senior, Dom Moller—is listed on the roster. His core of juniors is really starting to show their stuff.

Oasis came out strong and actually led 18-16 at the end of the first quarter. But the Rays hunkered down in the second quarter, led by Kevin Barry’s 10-point outburst, and had a comfortable 36-26 halftime lead.

Oasis played the Rays nearly even in the third quarter, but the Rays answered every time Oasis tried to make a charge.

In the finale, the frustration of a winless season may have factored in the Oasis collapse. Careless passing and a couple of technical fouls helped the Rays to a 26-point fourth quarter—with nine points coming on 9-10 free throw shooting by Kevin Barry and his sidekicks Johnny Watt and Dom Moller.

Indeed, the Rays looked the part of a winning team, playing under control down the stretch.

Kevin Barry, the coach’s son, led all scorers with 33 points. Watt ended up with 18, Kyler Howard 13 and Dom Moller 12—nine of those coming from 3-point range.

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