Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Practice Makes Nearly Perfect for Cougars

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Practice Makes Nearly Perfect for Cougars

Article excerpt


BOYS BASKETBALL: They show no ill effects of long layoff in win over Mantas

Sean Huber wants what Cardinal Mooney has had: practice time.

Playing for the first time since opening the season Nov. 19, the Cougars showed no ill effects from the layoff, jumping out to an early lead and fighting back pesky Lemon Bay, 69-59, Wednesday night in a non-district game at Tom Catanzarite Gymnasium.

"We just worked hard to be ready for games like this, because we knew it would be tough," Cardinal Mooney's Antonio Blakeney said.

Using their pressure defense and transition game, the Cougars went on a 14-2 run at the end of the first quarter and the outset of the second to erase a two-point deficit and take a 26-18 lead. A 3- pointer by Blair Perry, one of his three treys, gave Cardinal Mooney (2-0) the lead for good early in the second.

"We were able to pressure them and create some easy ones that way," Cougars coach Stefan Gates said.

Coming off a 42-point performance in the opener against Bayshore, Blakeney had 11 points in the second quarter, 16 in the first half and finished with 27.

"I've been working on my shot in the gym, shooting a lot of shots," said Blakeney, a 6-foot-5 sophomore. "I tried to make everything easy and try to get my teammates involved and rebound as much as I can."

"He's doing a good job," Gates said of Blakeney. "As a group we're emphasizing sharing the basketball and getting the open shot and getting the best shot."

Jamie Glasser helped Cardinal Mooney get off to a strong start with 7 of his 20 points in the first quarter.

Even after taking a 16-point lead late in the third quarter, the Cougars had trouble putting the Manta Rays (1-4) away.

Lemon Bay got within eight on a three-point play by Nick Ricchetti, who finished with a team high 20. But the Manta Rays could get no closer than nine in the fourth quarter. …

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