Roundup: South Fort Myers beats Fort Myers for first time in 10 years; Guttery wins No. 300

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A roundup of high school games played on Friday, Jan. 7:

Boys Basketball

ECS 68, Lehigh 60

Intended to be a special night, the visitors on the scoreboard nearly spoiled what would be a postgame party for those close to Scott Guttery.

Guttery, who started his coaching career manning the the Bishop Verot girls basketball team in 2004, got his 300th career win Friday against Lehigh and Greg Coleman, who coached alongside Guttery as assistants under Matt Herting at Verot in the early 2000s.

ECS players douse coach Scott Guttery after notching his 300th career win on Jan. 7, 2022

Postgame, Guttery was met by his players in the locker room, who proceeded to douse him with water. The team made a congratulatory poster for Guttery, which included pictures across his tenure, spanning nearly two decades.

“It’s pretty cool,” Guttery said. “The guys put together that poster, which had pictures from a lot of different teams I’ve coached. I’ve been coaching for 18 years, and there’s a lot of great memories with all those teams.

“This one, I’ll never forget.”

ECS coach Scott Guttery reflects after players made a poster congratulating him on win No. 300. The pictures of Guttery dated back nearly a decade.

The Sentinels would dominate in the first half, leading 40-20 at halftime after Lehigh shot just 4-of-17 (23.5%) from the free throw line. Those misses doomed the Lightning in the end, when they got within six of ECS with 61 seconds remaining in the game, at 63-57.

“I have so much respect for coach (Greg) Coleman, and I have so much respect for the Lehigh program,” Guttery added. “Those guys fight their tails off every game. We had an amazing first half, up 20. We knew they were going to fight in the second half, and they did. We bent a little bit and didn’t break, and our guys stepped up and made the plays we needed in the end to win.

“This is a special group of young men. They’re a young team, we played nine games without our best player (Jordon Rivera) to start the season. They got better during that time, and now we’re a really good team with him, so I’m excited about the future.”

Lehigh’s press frustrated ECS in the second half, playing guys extra minutes after Rivera and others were in foul trouble early on and during the final 16 minutes of play.

Gavin Williams helped set the tone for the Sentinels (10-6), scoring 12 first quarter points to build the lead to 25-10 after eight minutes. He had a career-high 20 points, followed by Rivera, who had 18 points.

“Gavin’s going to be a heck of a player, already is. I think he’s one of the top freshmen in the area. Austin (Leslie) is too. We’ve got two really good ones, and Austin’s been our leading scorer seven times this season, so it was nice seeing Gavin get his turn. He’s a hard worker – he’s what I call a dog – he plays his tail off and plays through some stuff. He was banged up tonight but kept playing. I love the way he plays.

ECS coach Scott Guttery hugs Noah Gergley after winning game No. 300 against Lehigh on Jan. 7, 2022.

“That’s where playing those nine games without him really helped us. We’ve learned how to play without Jordon, and guys aren’t afraid of that moment. They stepped in and did a good job. We had to play a lot without him in the first half, and we played one of our best halves of the season.”

Lehigh guard Cam’Ron Humphrey led all scorers with 22 points, coming alive in the second half to help the Lightning (7-8) claw their way back into the game. Off the bench, freshman Kio Walters had 11 points.

Friday night's win was even more special for Guttery, as his two sons, Reece and Trae, were on the team.

"It was special to have both of my boys on our varsity team for win No. 300," Guttery said. "I'll never forget this moment with them."

ECS will look to continue riding a five-game win streak on Tuesday against Lemon Bay. Lehigh will aim to get back to .500 against Dunbar Saturday night at FSW.

— Alex Martin

FBA 70, Naples 41: Olsen Henry led the Lions with 15 points, as they took down the Golden Eagles at the Don Stewart Shootout. Henry was one of three FBA players in double figures, including Bennett Mather (11) and Latrell Davis (10). For Naples, Marques Leon led all scorers with 16 points.

“Defensively we have to get better,” Naples coach Garrett Hull said. “A lot of missed assignments turned into easy buckets for FBA. Tomorrow is another chance to get better.”

Barron Collier 66, CSN 43: Charlie Costa scored 12 points, while Max Koeppl added 10 in the Seahawks' loss. 

“All credit to Barron for the win,” CSN coach Greg Donahue said. “The better team won.”

Golden Gate 53, Gateway Charter 49: Trey Fogle led the Griffins with 13 points, while Gabriel Timmons had 10 in the defeat. 

Girls Basketball

South Fort Myers 61, Fort Myers 56

In front of a boisterous home crowd, the Wolfpack secured a win more than a decade in the making.

South Fort Myers’ last victory against Fort Myers on the court came in 2009.

In a high-quality thriller, the Wolfpack played with the tenacity of a team with something to prove, particularly down the stretch to pull away from a scrappy Green Wave squad.

“It’s so big,” South head coach Bernard Edwards said. “These girls have worked so hard for this – just so proud of them, proud of their effort, proud of their commitment.”

After the final buzzer, team celebrated raucously and drenched Edwards in a Gatorade bath. 

“We’ve been looking forward to this game,” senior guard Addison Potts said. “We had this date written down. We’ve been talking about it since the beginning of the year. We’ve been preparing and working hard and practicing, so this means a lot to us.”

After losing some close games earlier in this season, and with most of their wins being blowouts, the Wolfpack were determined to make a statement against a familiar opponent.

“For us to battle down the stretch and finish – we’ve been focusing on finishing,” Edwards said. “For them to do that, I think was big.”

South Fort MyersÕ  Addison Potts, right,  drives to the basket during a game against Fort Myers at South Fort Myers on Friday, Jan. 7, 2022. She is defended by Fort MyersÕ Trinity OÕConnell.

Potts, a Purdue commit, posted a double-double with a team-leading 17 points and 15 rebounds, and Jayda Green and Haley Lang put up 14 and 11 points, respectively.

Jaylin Rivera and Dae Dae Johnson also made critical plays down the stretch to help shake free from the Green Wave.

The Wolfplack played a comfortable, yet competitive first half, leading 30-23 with the help of six made three-pointers.

But those shots stopped falling so easily in the second half, and the Green Wave wouldn’t be deterred.

Fort Myers’ Jadah Toombs, a dynamic sophomore guard, was often the one sparking the Green Wave, leading all players with 25 points, while the 6-foot-2 Tyra Brown came on strong out of halftime to help erase the team's deficit.

“They got some good players, they play well together, they move the ball, they play good defense,” Potts said. “They’re just a solid team all around.”

Key defensive stops and success at the free throw line allowed the Wolfpack to stretch a lead the Green Wave couldn’t overcome.

South Fort MyersÕ Haley Lang drives to the basket during a game against Fort Myers at South Fort Myers on Friday, Jan. 7, 2022. South Fort Myers won in a thriller.

The Den was packed with passionate fans for both teams, causing the gym to rock with every play or whistle, particularly as the teams traded blows back and forth in the game’s final 10 minutes.

“(Assistant) Coach Tarshea (Gaither)’s been here since 2005 and she said she’s never seen the gym like that ever for a girls basketball game,” Edwards said. “For us to do that, that’s big time.”

With Fort Myers’s longtime dominance against their southern rival coming to an end, the victory represented a shift in the perspective of girls basketball in the area, according to Edwards.

“We’re starting to change the narrative, so I’m just super proud of my girls,” he said

— Dustin Levy

CSN 61, Seacrest Country Day 51

The Seahawks picked up a huge road win in front of a rowdy Stingrays crowd on senior night, thanks to an exceptional performance from their backcourt duo of Gracyn Crosby and Kiara Cabrera.

The Community School of Naples guards combined for 42 of the teams 61 points, as they took down Seacrest Country Day 61-51.

“Great environment,” CSN coach Rich Crosby said. “That's a great Friday night high school girls’ basketball game. I was very proud of us for finishing the second half. (We) lost composure I thought a little bit in the third quarter, and I thought us getting that back for the fourth quarter and the finish is what helped us.”

With less than four minutes remaining in the game, the Stingrays cut the Seahawk lead down to one at 44-43, but CSN’s ability to hit from the free-throw line proved to be the difference in the end. Between Cabrera and Crosby, the Seahawks sunk 13 free throws in the fourth quarter, anchored by Crosby and Cabrera, who finished with 22 and 20 points, respectively.

“Kiara is our rock and everyone kind of looks to her,” coach Crosby said. “Gracyn just keeps working and working for us. It's really big that she's starting now to get more comfortable, so Kiara can play off the ball. That helps us offensively and makes us more versatile.”

Community School of Naples' Kiara Cabrera (1) shoots against Seacrest Country Day's Ty'Nazia Smith (4) during the first half of the high school varsity girls basketball game between Community School of Naples and Seacrest Country Day, Friday, Jan. 7, 2022, at Seacrest Country Day School in Naples, Fla.

Community School of Naples defeated Seacrest Country Day 61-51.

After the first quarter, the Stingrays held a 10-7 lead, but the Seahawks adjusted in the second quarter by switching between zone defenses, which gave Seacrest and coach Nikita Carty some struggles.

“If you stay in a defense too long against coach Kita, they’re going to find shots,” Crosby added. “You got to try to give them different looks, and we did that.”

For the Stingrays, Madison D'Elia led all scorers with 25 points in the loss.

“Maddie is a really good shooter and a good basketball player,” Carty said. “Defensively she showed up and offensively she knocked down shots.”

“Tough game, they fought and I’m proud of them. Hopefully we'll see them again in the future at Private 8.”

— Izubee Charles

Boys Soccer

Bishop Verot 4, Barron Collier 3: The Vikings bounced back from their Tuesday night loss with a huge win over the Cougars. Cooper Banks netted two goals to lead the Verot attack, followed by Ryan Gadson and Gabriel Godoy, who scored one apiece.

“Very pleased with our performance,” Vikings coach Daniel Vazquez said. “The game was tighter than we would have liked, but the boys maintained their composure and saw it out.”

Lehigh 5, ECS 1: Logan Blair scored the lone goal for the Sentinels in the loss.

Girls Soccer

Fort Myers 8, South Fort Myers 0: In the win for the Greenies, Annabelle Marsh and Kailani Casazzo had two goals each, while Morgan McCarty, Sammy Degen, Mackenzie Root, and Bobbi Leonard all had one goal. McCarty had three assists as well for Fort Myers.

Boys Wrestling

Class 1A-District 12 Duals

The first wrestling meet that First Baptist hosted was a special night on Thursday.

The Lions, in the nine-team Class 1A-District 12, won the dual meet to advance to regionals.

“It was a great night for wrestling in Southwest Florida,” FBA wrestling coach Mike DiGrigoli said. “The district grew in just one year to nine teams. Each team represented themselves respectfully. Truly blessed in the way our wrestlers performed from First Baptist, especially in front of our home crowd in our first ever hosted event. Excited to see how the season turns out.”

Scenes from the Class 1A-12 District Duals Wrestling meet, on the campus of First Baptist on Jan. 6, 2022.

In the semifinals, the Lions defeated Bonita Springs 44-30 to go to the championship, where it defeated Oasis 48-34. The Sharks would rebound and take home the second-place trophy after edging out the Bull Sharks, 37-36.

First Baptist will now take on Port Charlotte in the first round of the regional meet on Jan. 13, where the Lions will take on Port Charlotte. Oasis will take on the 1A-11 champion, Lemon Bay. Both matches will start at 6 p.m. at the Thomas M. Catanzarite gymnasium on the campus of Lemon Bay.

Seacrest pitcher inks with High Point; Class, Rives also honored

Seacrest Country Day pitcher Johannes Lopez joined some of his teammates Friday afternoon in committing to play collegiate baseball.

Lopez signed with High Point University, marking the next chapter in his baseball career. In 39 innings pitched, primarily as a reliever, Lopez went 7-0 and had a 3.05 ERA. He also logged 34 strikeouts.

“It was as a huge milestone and checkpoint in my life,” Lopez said. “I am also beyond excited to get the stress of searching for colleges out of the way and to have found my home so I can focus, with my team, on winning a state championship and also bettering myself on and off the field for the road ahead.”

The family of Johannes Lopez gathers around for a picture after Johannes signed with High Point on Jan. 7, 2022.

Stingrays volleyball coach Jan Class was also honored with a plaque from the Florida Dairy Farmers, recognizing him as the Class 2A Coach of the Year after winning a state title, the second in program history.

Seacrest outside hitter Breanah Rives also won the Florida Dairy Farmers Class 2A Player of the Year Award after posting 490 kills, including 27 in the state championship against Lake Worth Christian.

Rives had 10 games this season eclipsing 20 or more kills, including a 40 kill game in a 3-1 win over Riverdale.

Seacrest Country Day volleyball coach Jan Class poses for a portrait after receiving the Florida Dairy Farmers Class 2A Coach of the Year award.

Follow Southwest Florida Sports Writer Alex Martin on Twitter: @NP_AlexMartin. For the best sports coverage in Southwest Florida, follow @newspresssports and @ndnprepzone on Instagram.