The Marco Island Charter Middle School basketball team plays quite differently when Ariana Garousi’s not in the game.
When she is, the team’s motor runs smooth.
Garousi, slowed by a right knee injury, caused coach Mike Lampos to use her mostly at key moments in the Lady Eagles, 31-23 win over Community Christian of Port Charlotte.
Five Lady Eagles scored, with Garousi tallying 14, gritty April Alvarado, five, and Kalani Siler, McKenna Lampos and Vanessa Torres scored four each. Lampos also grabbed nine rebounds.
The win moved the team record to 5-2.
The sixth grade coach last season, Lampos says his coaching the seventh and eighth grade team “is exciting and I am learning all the time.”
He’s not as concerned about team record as he is the girls playing basketball the right way.
“They are a great group of girls and I know some of them from sixth grade,” he said. “I will be pleased if they are better tomorrow than they were yesterday.”
He gives a nod to assistant coach Wendy Pellant.
“She is very knowledgeable,” he said.
His key rebounders are daughter McKenna, Torres and Siler. Defensively, its Garousi and Alvarado, while Garousi is the conductor for the offense.
In the boys game, the Eagles swarmed all over Community Christian, 52-9. Eight players got into the scoring column as coach Roger Raymond substituted early and often.
Offensively, Matt Estrada, Cole Stretton and Tristan Sonthanan tallied eight points each, while Patrick Michel had five, Trevor Dye had four, Nick Prisco, three and Andy Delgado and Bon Deese had two each.
The Eagles are back in action today, hosting Community School of Naples. The sixth grade boys game is at 4 p.m., seventh and eighth grade girls at 5 and the boys seventh and eighth grade contest is at 6. Community School does not have a sixth grade team.