BASKETBALL: Charlotte, Port Charlotte boys begin preseason

By Bryan Levine, SunCoast Sports

Charlotte's Mackengie Simon attempts a basket during the game held in Punta Gorda on Tuesday (Sun photo by Jennifer Bruno)

Charlotte’s Mackengie Simon attempts a basket during the game held in Punta Gorda on Tuesday (Sun photo by Jennifer Bruno)

PUNTA GORDA — The Charlotte High School boys basketball team had a different shooter in each of the four quarters hit double figures in a preseason win over Impact Academy on Tuesday.

Five separate players scored double-digits on the way to an 80-42 win over the Spartans.

“That’s great balance,” Charlotte coach Tom Massolio said. “We wanted to really share the ball, and we did a lot of that night. But it really started with our defense tonight. I’m really happy where we are at this point in the year.”

Mackengie Simon was the only player in the game to score at least one point in all four quarters, as he had a team-high 19 points. Even though he led the team in points, he wasn’t the leading scorer in a single quarter.

Simon tied Will Batts for the team lead with 10 rebounds. Batts picked up most of his double-double in the second quarter, where he scored 12 points and grabbed seven boards.

Batts even hit two 3-pointers in that quarter, and ended the night with 16 points. His first three gave Charlotte a 36-18 lead at the time before bringing a 42-25 advantage into the break.

Jake Haas opened the game with 15 points in the first period, courtesy of a team-high five 3-pointers. As a team, the Tarpons had 12 three’s on the night. Haas finished the game with 16 points.

“Balance is good for the team morale, also. Instead of just relying on one guy,” Massolio said. “We have a group of guys that can do that each and every night, and that’s going to be exciting to watch.”

Makai Reaves made a chunk of those shots from distance in the fourth quarter, scoring all of his 12 points off the three-point shot. Brian Hundt scored 11 of his 13 points in the third quarter.

Prior to the game, Massolio said he wanted to see how his team played defensively, in their first time within a new scheme. He was pleased with their performance afterward.

“I thought it was a good night defensively,” Massolio said. “There’s still a long way to go, but I thought for the first time, changing up and doing something a little different, I was happy with what we did.”

The Tarpons out-rebounded the Spartans 36-12, and only gave up three offensive boards, while Charlotte had eight.

With just a 10-man roster, the Tarpons were left with only eight players by the end of the night. Haas fouled out late in the third quarter, and Trevor Bokon was a ejected a few minutes prior. Bokon had a team-high five assists before his departure.

Qaiyoom Olanlege had a game-high 20 points for Impact Academy.

Charlotte will face Mariner Wednesday in one more preseason game.

Impact     13 12 10 7 — 42
Charlotte 24 18 20 18 — 80

Impact (42): Qaiyoom Olanlege 20, Mohmed 7, Sundh 3, Williams 3, Omorayewa 2, Peralta 2. Totals: 13(3) 13-22 42

Charlotte (80): Mackenqie Simon 19, Will Batts 16, Jake Haas 16, Brian Hundt 13, Makai Reaves 12, Ingle 3, Johnson 2, Rousseau 1. Totals: 30(12) 8-17 80


PUNTA GORDA — Mariner High School used a 10-point run to begin the second quarter on the way to a preseason win over Port Charlotte on Tuesday.

The Tritons won 76-52 against the Pirates, as they were aided by hitting 12 3-pointers in the game.

“I thought we started the game pretty well,” Port Charlotte coach Bill Specht said. “We want to give up 10-13 points a quarter. We just have to work a lot more defensively. A mixture of kids we have this year, there’s not a lot of experience.”

Port Charlotte quickly erased a 14-13 lead it held after the first period, with Mariner making it 23-14 within the first two minutes. The Tritons eventually built themselves a 10-point lead at halftime.

Sean Price began things for Port Charlotte, at one point scoring the game’s only four points for the first four minutes of the game. He ended the night with 18 points and 10 rebounds.

“It’s going to take him a while to get used to all the new guys on the court,” Specht said. “Last year in our first tip-off game he tried to do everything. He thought it was the championship of the world. I said ‘Sean, it’s a tip-off game. We’re trying to get everybody involved.’ I thought he did a good job tonight of doing that.”

Klayton Morris also found his way into double figures, with 11 points while adding three assists. Shemer Fleurissant had nine points and five rebounds, and Brandon Gainey had seven points and four rebounds.

Christian Carrier led the way for Mariner with 14 points, four rebounds and four assists. Corey Friar scored 13 points, and Brandon Kostyk and Stephen Hawkins each had 11 points.

“We knew they had good shooters,” Specht said. “The second half, I thought we stared OK, but once we got down, we didn’t do a good job at all stopping the easy lay-ups and three’s. It changes your defense (when you face a good shooting team).”

The Pirates will play against Impact Academy Wednesday in one more preseason game.

Mariner          13 23 16 20 — 76
Port Charlotte 14 12 15 11 — 52

Mariner (76): Christian Carrier 14, Corey Friar 13, Brandon Kostyk 11, Stephen Hawkins 11, DeVerteuil 8, Myers 7, Darrett 5, Carpenter 3, Haynes 3, Diaz 1. Totals: 27(12) 10-7 76

Port Charlotte (52): Sean Price 18, Klayton Morris 11, Fleurissant 9, Gainey 7, Cleveland 3, Romero 3, Perry 1. Totals: 19(5) 9-14 52

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