By Jordan Kroeger, SunCoast Sports
ARCADIA — Tyler Caron and Hayden Wolff did their work inside.
And Jake Comer lit it up from the outside.
Comer scored 17 points — including five 3-pointers — and Wolff (12 points, 12 rebounds) and Caron (11 points, 10 rebounds) each recorded double-doubles to lead Lemon Bay High School to a 70-53 win over DeSoto County on the road Wednesday night. Luke Morrill also scored 12 points off the bench for the Manta Rays, who led by as many as 31 and won their fifth straight.
“A lot of people from a scouting report standpoint are really starting to push out on our shooters because we’ve made so many three’s and it’s given the post players a lot cleaner looks” said Lemon Bay coach Sean Huber of Wolff’s and Caron’s performances.
“Over the last week or so we’ve really been emphasizing getting the ball in the post and letting those guys play one-on-one — making quick moves and being strong with the ball.”
Caron and Comer both scored nine points in the first quarter as the Manta Rays (5-3) jumped out to an 11-1 lead. Comer nailed three 3-pointers in the opening stanza while Caron did his damage in the paint and from the free throw line, helping Lemon Bay build a 25-5 at the end of the quarter.
Lemon Bay’s defense was also suffocating and held the Bulldogs (0-8) without a field goal for the game’s first six minutes and 50 seconds until Jimmy Litlow finally made a layup. With a comfortable 20-point lead, Huber sat his starters the entire second quarter and Lemon Bay went into halftime with a 34-15 lead.
“Our starters played great the whole time. This is our sixth game in 12 days so I was really looking to play a lot of guys today. A lot of guys got to play. I got to rest the starters for a majority of the second and fourth quarters,” Huber said.
Tyler Vest scored a game-high 18 points for DeSoto County, with all of them coming in the fourth quarter. He drained five 3-pointers and helped trim Lemon Bay’s lead down to 16 late in the game.
The Bulldogs scored 31 points in the fourth quarter after only scoring 22 in the first three quarters combined. Most of those points came against Lemon Bay’s bench and forced Huber to put some of his starters back in at various points in the quarter.
“Some of the guys off the bench have to do a better job of handling the ball, just handling the pressure and not throwing it away,” Huber said. “I think their coach had his guys playing hard and in the second half I thought his kids played harder than ours. But ultimately the job is to get a win.”
Licklow was DeSoto County’s second leading scorer with eight points and he made a 3-pointer at the third quarter buzzer to cut Lemon Bay’s lead to 50-22. It came right after Morrill made a couple of free throws to give the Manta Rays their biggest lead of the game.
LEMON BAY 70, DESOTO COUNTY 53
Lemon Bay 25 9 16 23 — 70
DeSoto County 5 10 7 31 — 53
Lemon Bay (70): Jake Comer 17, Luke Morrill 12, Hayden Wolff 12, Tyler Caron 11, Wyman 5, Huber 4, Sweeney 3, Gomez 2, Reid 2, Brady 1, Rottenfield 1. Totals: 22(6) 20-28 70.
DeSoto County (53): Tyler Vest 18, Licklow 8, Arthur 5, Hinson 4, Wesley 4, Washington 3, Elrod 2, Hillard 2, Mele 2, Reed 2, Wilson2, Lawson 1. Totals: 17(8) 11-23 53.