Marco Island Academy Rays wear out Everglades City Gators in high-flying win

Scott H. Shook

The Marco Island Academy raced to a 14-2 lead against Everglades City and never took their foot off the gas, sending the Gators back to the Everglades as 74-47 losers.

Rays head coach Roger Raymond was looking at his team's second game with the Gators as one of the most important of the season. Three weeks ago, his team eked out a 50-46 win. Raymond felt Friday's lopsided final score did not reflect the fight the Gators brought.

"It really wasn't as easy as it looked," Raymond said. "They got tired. When you lose your legs, the game gets difficult. We don't; they seem too. Our guys are in pretty good shape. We don't really get tired."

Raymond singled out two of his players who opponents find difficult to contain.

"Cole Stretton and Peter Servente, they're a handful," he said. "Let's face it, they can shoot, they can score, they can hit free throws and they can play defense."

Servente is the first Rays player to earn Southwest Florida Player of the Week honors. He was recognized after scoring 32 points -- including a school-record seven three-pointers in an earlier game against Seacrest.

"That's a story," Raymond said, "we've never had anyone get that."

Servente was the high-point man for the Rays against Everglades City with 28. He also stole the ball five times.

Point guard Stretton scored 27 and also led the team with nine rebounds and six assists. Brandon Estremera scored 13, with four three-pointers.

The Rays, 9-3, have four away games coming up, highlighted by a rematch with conference foe Seacrest on Friday.