Prep boys basketball: Condomina makes big free throws to give Golden Gate its 5A regional quarterfinal win

CAPE CORAL — Sophomore point guard Jorquel Condomina's free throws did more than seal Golden Gate's 68-64 regional quarterfinal win over Mariner in a Class 5A regional quarterfinal Thursday. They showed his quality.

"We've been waiting for Jorquel to have a breakout game like this," Golden Gate coach Joe Consolino said.

Condomina made six free throws in the fourth quarter, but his last one was the most important. It gave the Titans a five-point lead with 9.9 seconds left, ultimately preventing a Mariner comeback and granting Golden Gate its first regional win in six years.

"It sealed the deal," Consolino said.

The Titans (17-10) get to have another go at Lely, as the Trojans beat Cape Coral. The rematch of the district championship game will take place with a regional semifinal contest at Lely on Tuesday night at 7.

Down 44-37 midway through the third quarter, Consolino called a time out. With an adjustment to a three-quarter pressure defense, the Titans went on a 16-5 run the rest of the quarter, retaking the lead with a Keovis Brice layup. Condomina gave the quarter an exclamation point when he fired a two-handed shot at the buzzer that banked off the backboard and went in.

"That was a lucky shot," Consolino said.

The offensive continued into the fourth quarter, with the Titans taking a nine-point lead three times. But back-to-back Mariner three-point shots suddenly turned it into a three-point game. With the Tritons fouling out of desperation and Condomina taking inbounds as the point guard, his free-throw shooting became the deciding factor. He did not make all of them, but he made them when it mattered most.

"My dad always told me to face pressure," Condomina said. "I don't see pressure. I kind of like it."

Junior Garrett Maze, who hit four three-pointers, led the Titans with 23 points. Brice had 19 and Condomina had 12.

Golden Gate's 3-2 zone defense was effective early in the first quarter. Defenders collapsed to double and triple-teams, frustrating the dribble-drive, and expanded to cover the perimeter. This made the Tritons tentative on offense, kicking the ball out on aborted drives and passing the ball around the arc.

After the Titans took a 9-2 lead, Mariner coach James Harris called time out. The Tritons returned to the court with more gusto in the driving lanes, turning their fortunes around.

"That's true of any zone," Consolino said. "Once you play it for a while, people start finding the holes in there. That's when you've got to change it up."

Though the Titans took an early lead, it was hardly a show of dominance. Turnovers, including offensive fouls, kept the Tritons close enough that the seven-point deficit did not last. More confident penetrations and the outside shooting of senior forward Rick Moore's 13 first-half points put Mariner up 36-30 at halftime.

"When we came back to the locker room, everyone got focused," Maze said. "We knew what we had to do. We've never been this far before, and we wanted to move on in the playoffs, keep going in this tournament."

* * *

GOLDEN GATE 68, MARINER 64

GOLDEN GATE (68)

Brice 8 3-5 19, Bazile 3 2-2 8, Gean 1 0-0 2, Maze 7 5-5 23, Thomas 2 0-0 4, Condomina 3 6-8 12. Totals 24 16-20 68.

MARINER (64)

Mitchell 0 2-2 2, Inkster 1 0-0 3, Moore 7 0-0 18, Nash 2 0-0 6, Hunter 9 9-9 28, Deems 3 2-2 8. Totals 22 13-13 64.

GG 14 16 23 15 — 68

MHS 11 25 13 15 — 64

3-pointers: GG — Maze 4; MHS — Inkster, Moore 4, Nash 2, Hunter. Team fouls: GG 14, MHS 17. Fouled out: Thomas. Technicals: None

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