SARASOTA — The Cardinal Mooney Catholic boys basketball team used its depth to take command early and defeat visiting Sarasota Christian, 72-39, Tuesday night at Patterson Pavilion.
The Cougars (2-0) broke a 7-all tie with 12 straight points to end the first quarter.
Four Cardinal Mooney players finished in double digits in scoring: Drew Carter (15), Connor Heald (14), Dylan Higgins (12) and Franklin Liriano (10). The Blazers (1-1) received 14 points from Adam Bassil, 13 from Drew Yoder and 10 from Brian Hershberger.
Sarasota Christian visits Valrico Foundation Academy on Thursday. Cardinal Mooney is on the road Friday at Lemon Bay.
Sarasota Christian takeaways
• The Blazers, who defeated Cardinal Mooney on their court last year, had seven available players and were missing two reserves. “It was not the difference in the game, but we could have used a little depth,” Sarasota Christian coach Kevin Bruinsma said. “We can’t simulate their size, speed and athleticism in our gym in practice. This is good for us. It’s a good measuring stick to see where we need to improve.”
• Bruinsma knew early the pace of play would take its toll on his squad. “Within the first six minutes I knew we were in trouble in terms of stamina,” he said. “They really athletic, really fast and really talented team. We couldn’t figure how to catch up. They ran us out of the gym tonight.”
• Sarasota Christian sacrificed offensive rebounds to keep a couple of players back to prevent Cardinal Mooney from fast-breaking. “We were only sending three to the glass,” Bruinsma said. “And we are not overly big. Our center is 6-2. They have guys who are significantly taller than that. Our best chance to beat them in their building was to slow them down. Sending two back we couldn’t keep up with their pace of play.”
Cardinal Mooney takeaways
• The Cougars scored 72 points, yet three of their starters did not have a point. “We’re pretty deep,” Cardinal Mooney first-year coach Vince Cherry said. “That’s pretty good. We don’t have many bigs, like most teams. We’ve got to utilize our speed and quickness. That’s why you see us picking up full court, trapping the ball. I think it’s fun when you do it that way.”
• Cherry was most impressed with the Cardinal Mooney defense. A goal each game is to keep the opposition to 45 or fewer points. “We challenged them and they answered,” Cherry said. “That was pretty good. They answered the call. To hold a team to 39, that’s pretty impressive.”
• In addition to scoring the final 12 points of the first quarter, Cardinal Mooney had a 10-0 run late in the second and scored 10 consecutive points midway through the third.
Port Charlotte 59, Hardee County 25
AT: Hardee County High, Wauchula
TOP PLAYERS: PC, Bryanna Griffiths (22 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals), Makayla Russo (5 rebounds, 2 steals), Taylor Paille (8 points)
RECORD: Port Charlotte (5-1)
NEXT: Port Charlotte at Charlotte, 7:30 p.m. Friday
Cardinal Mooney 54, Clearwater 51
AT: Clearwater High
TOP PLAYERS: CM, Olivia Davis (29 points), Kennedy McClain (11 points)
NEXT: Booker at Cardinal Mooney, 7 p.m. Wednesday
Riverview 53, Tampa Brooks Debartolo 50 OT
AT: Riverview High
TOP PLAYERS: R, Caroline King (14 points, 3 steals, 6 rebounds, 1 block), Sami Slusarek (10 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals), J. Wilson (8 points, 1 rebound, 3 steals), S.Hazan (7 points, 2 rebounds, 1 steals), K.Montas (1 point, 10 rebounds, 5 steals, 3 blocks), M.Hagan (6 points, 3 rebounds, 3 steals)
RECORDS: Riverview (5-0), Brooks Debartolo (3-1)
NEXT: Riverview at Sarasota on Dec. 7
Sarasota 57, Palmetto 42
AT: Sarasota High School
TOP PLAYERS: P, Lexi Luther (13 points), Katherine Mercer (12 points), M. Hume (8 points), S, Madison Macdonald (16 points, 2 rebounds), Ghita DiNota (12 points, 3 rebounds), Shay Farley (11 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists), Alyssia Bane (9 points, 4 rebounds), Katelyn Barker (7 points, 2 assists)
RECORDS: Sarasota (1-3), Palmetto (0-3)
NEXT: Sarasota at Cardinal Mooney 7:30 p.m. Friday
North Port 68, Lemon Bay 20
OF NOTE: North Port used a 27-4 second quarter to pull away.
RECORD: Lemon Bay (1-2)
NEXT: Lemon Bay at Wauchula Hardee County on Thursday.
Braden River 60, Southeast 20
RECORD: Braden River (4-1)
Riverview 2, North Port 0
TOP PLAYERS: R, Ryan Sims (goal), Jonah Schildkraut (goal)
GOALIE: R, Luca Stefenoni (3 saves)
NEXT: Lakewood Ranch at Riverview, 7 p.m. Thursday
Saint Stephen's 7, St. Petersburg Catholic 1
TOP PLAYERS: SS, Nolan Winterhalter (5 shots, 4 goals, 2 assists), Garrett Laflamme (2 assists), Alex Slowik (4 shots, 1 goal), Jared Gray (1 assist), Jack Holmes (1 assist), Aquiles Gonzalez (5 shots, 2 goals), Caleb Bosek (1 assist)
Imagine School at North Port 8, Lehigh Acres Lehigh Senior 0
TOP PLAYERS: ISNP, Isabella Muniz (3 goals, 1 assist), Morgan Larson (1 goal), Maddie Wiggin (1 goal), Addy Rattai (1 goal), Enaya Cortez (1 goal), Hailey Sauline (1 goal, 1 assist), Madison McCombs (1 assist), Sophie Ramos (1 assist).
RECORD: Imagine School at North Port (4-0).
NEXT: Imagine School at North Port at LaBelle, 6 p.m. Friday.
Port Charlotte 54, North Port 43
AT: Port Charlotte High
TOP PLAYERS: PC, Alex Perry (26 points), Khyrie Ellis (13 points)
RECORD: Port Charlotte (1-0)
NEXT: Port Charlotte at DeSoto County on Friday.
Saint Stephens 78 Bayshore Christian 55
AT: Bayshore Christian
TOP PLAYERS: SS, Braden Mohr (30 points), Devin Mohr (10 points), Ty Perkins (10 points)
RECORDS: Saint Stephens (1-2), Bayshore Christian (0-1)
NEXT: Saint Stephen's at St. Petersburg Canterbury on Friday.
Dennis Maffezzoli is the deputy sports editor for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and chief reporter for Sarasota Herald-Tribune and HTpreps covering Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties. Support local journalism by subscribing.
This article originally appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: PREP ROUNDUP: Cardinal Mooney boys sprint past Sarasota Christian