SWFL High School Sports Report: Baseball, Softball, Tennis, and Lacrosse results from March 20-25
Southwest Florida’s best talent came together for the SFABC All-Star Game on Friday night, with 24 of the regions’ top players facing off in a high scoring, fast-paced game that saw both teams combine for over 200 points.
Team North took home the win in the showcase, defeating Team South 115-93. Charlotte’s John Gamble led the way for Team North, putting on a clinic above the rim. Gamble connected with First Baptist’s Latrell Davis multiple times, including an alley-oop off the glass the Gamble finished for a textbook poster.
Davis had some gravity-defying jams as well, but most impressive was his passing. In a game that only sped up as it went on, Davis’ skillset as a facilitator was on full display as he set Team North up for countless dunks and open three-pointers.
“It wasn’t like no one had chemistry,” Davis said. “Everyone shared the ball and played together. So it was nice playing with some guys I had already played in the season and some people that I didn’t play against. It was just nice coming together. It was a friendly game but we still had to get the win.”
Gateway Charter’s Jahmari Johnson, who had a season for the ages, reminded everyone in attendance why he is considered one of the best basketball players in the area. Johnson’s length and shiftiness gave him plenty of open looks from nearly any spot he wanted.
Johnson, the lone Griffin to get an all-star nod, knows what it means to be selected for this game.
“It’s a great honor because I know we all earned it,” Johnson said. “We all worked our butts off this season, so it’s good to have fun.”
For Team South, Barron Collier sent three Cougars to this year’s all-star game. As the last southwest Florida team standing in this year’s postseason, Barron Collier’s depth as a whole set them apart from the rest of the region. Often overlooked is their individual talent, which was on full display with the trio of Noah French, Bryce Clayton, and Brayden Touchette.
The group represented Barron Collier well despite the loss. All three displayed their prowess from deep at a high level, and set one another up often when sharing the court together.
“I feel like one of the best teams in [Collier] county should have the best representation,” French said. “Obviously we have a lot of superstars too.”
“We’ve got players up and down the roster that could definitely be here right now,” said Clayton. “It’s a blessing that we come out here and put on for Barron Collier and for the team.”
Seacrest’s Nick Cassano also had a notable performance in the shootout. In a guard-heavy game, Cassano ran the floor well and worked himself free for several buckets. Cassano says the experience is a special one, and that he enjoys the opportunity to compete with the best.
“I’m glad that I was able to play with a group of guys this good,” Cassano said. “It only gets everybody better and I’m just grateful for it all, honestly. For me, I’m all about ‘hard work pays off’, and just being here exemplifies that.”
Team North Roster: Iago Stanback (Palmetto Ridge), Alijah Pierre (Immokalee), Syncere Green (Immokalee), Kevin Meralus (Immokalee), Latrell Davis (First Baptist), Quintin Wimbush (North Fort Myers), Lee Cortes (Lehigh), Jeremy Pagan (East Lee County), Yadniel Sanabria (East Lee County), Jahmari Johnson (Gateway Charter), Alex Tatham (Estero), John Gamble (Charlotte).
Team South Roster: Joshua Similien (Naples), Marques Leon (Naples), Jeffery Simpson (Golden Gate), Gerkoby Christopher (Golden Gate), Mark Belizaire (Lely), Dave Louidor (Lely), Brayden Touchette (Barron Collier), Noah French (Barron Collier), Byrce Clayton (Barron Collier), Nick Cassano (Seacrest Country Day), Jackson McAdams (Community School of Naples), Eric Morgan (St. John Neumann).
Naples 2, Lely 0: Issac Palacios lasted three innings for the Golden Eagles, and tallied nine strikeouts in the winning effort, while Reilly Witmer and Zach Pearl completed the no-hitter. Oliver Lee and Witmer added two hits each in the win.
First Baptist 16, Moore Haven 6 (5 inn.): The Lions were walked 16 times in the win over the Terriers, while scoring 16 runs on six hits. Preston Shemansky led the Lions' bats after going 2-for-3 with three runs, and one RBI. Hudson Dixon lasted all five innings on the mound for First Baptist, fiving up three runs on six hits while walking three and striking out four.
Naples 4, Barron Collier 3: Singles: 1. Noah Kohn (N) def. William Freshwater (BC) 6-3, 6-0; 2. Jonas Bauer (BC) def. Rey Pozsonyi (N) 6-0, 6-1; 3. Nico Fallon (BC) def. Jack Tucker (N) 6-2, 6-4; 4. Carlos Correa (N) def. Reid Swartz(BC) 6-3, 6-4; 5. Spencer Carley (N) def. Juan Velez (BC) 6-2, 6-2. Doubles: 1. William Freshwarter/Jonas Bauer (BC) def. Noah Kohn / Rey Pozsonyi (N) 8-4; 2. Spencer Carley/ MICHAEL Richey -Kline (N) def. Nico Fallon/ Reid Swartz (BC) 8-3.
Gulf Coast 6, Immokalee 1: Aaron Viera, Jack Macvay, Bharath Ram, Aiden Stein, and Ashvik Vijai all added Shark wins in Singles play. Jehovens Volcy and Isaac Mendoza won in No. 1 Doubles for the Indians. Gavin Krohman and Ram won in No. 2 Doubles for Gulf Coast.
Barron Collier 5, Naples 2: Singles: 1S- Katie Ruci (BC) def Ella Perry (N) 6-1, 6-2; 2S- Madison Knoth (BC) def Leonor Richey-Klein (N) 6-1, 6-1; 3S- Mackenzie Hilton (BC) def Farrell Carran (N) 6-3, 6-3; 4S- Jasmin Blitzer (BC) def Skye Moore Meister (N) 7-6, 6-3; 5S- Isabella Auditori (N) def Ella Sterling (BC) 7-5, 4-6, 1-0. Doubles: 1D- Ruci/Giulia Nelson (BC) def Perry/Moore Meister (N) 8-2; 2D- Richey-Klein/Farran (N) def Hilton/Blitzer 8-3
Cardinal Mooney 11, Bishop Verot 9
Bishop Verot 9, North Fort Myers 2: Having pitched for years, there aren't many scenarios Aidan Knaak hasn't been in yet.
Up 5-0 in the fourth inning, the right-hander was tagged with a leadoff single by North's Garry Kamphouse, followed by a double in the right-center gap by Blake Busbee. North was primed to score with no outs and the heart of their order due up.
Knaak's response? Strikeout, strikeout, strikeout.
The Vikings got another solid performance out of the Clemson commit, who went six innings, allowing five hits and two earned runs with a walk and 10 strikeouts. Verot notched its sixth straight win, moving to 9-5 with a comfortable 9-2 victory over North Fort Myers. Verot had 19 batters reach base safely in the contest, taking advantage of Red Knight miscues, missed spots, and walks.
"When you put the work in like he does, and are as confident in three pitches, the baserunners in those situations don't phase him," Verot coach Casey Scott said. "That was a direct result of the work he puts in with his side sessions and bullpens. He's got himself in the right state of mind to get that stuff done.
"... His teammates feel comfortable out there. They're not on their toes when they play behind him. They know he's going to work quick and know he's going to pound the strike zone. It's fun to be a part of."
Knaak (3-1, 1.13 ERA) topped out at 93 MPH on his fastball, and was consistently above 90 MPH while displaying a strong changeup that kept many North hitters off balance. In his last two starts, Knaak's pitched 13 innings, allowing 6 hits, two earned runs, and two walks with 25 strikeouts, upping his total to an area-leading 51 Ks.
"I've been doing this a long time at the college and high school level," Scott said. "There's not many kids that are as prepared for an outing. His preparation will start (Wednesday night) as soon as he's home. He's that type of guy."
Fidel Alviar set the tone in the first inning, taking a first pitch curveball from Logan Divet (2-1. 3.47 ERA) deep to left field for a three-run home run. Two innings later, USF commit Jason Bello would take one to the opposite field off Divet, stretching the lead to 4-0.
"He had a lot of loud outs early on that I think made him frustrated," Scott said of Alviar. "Balls were coming off the bat really well. He just stuck with his approach and puts the work in on and off the field. He's a good personality for us. He's our glue guy that keeps everybody moving together."
North would get to Knaak in the fifth inning, as a leadoff walk to pinch-hitter Princeton Marino was followed by an RBI triple. No. 9 hitter Rontrez Johnson stung a ball to deep center field, and would later score thanks to a bloop single to short right field from leadoff hitter Thomas Eisminger.
The Vikings (9-5) will now have a week to prepare for the National High School Invitational, a tournament showcasing 16 of the top prep baseball programs across the country. Verot will play at USA Baseball headquarters in Cary, North Carolina next week. Knaak is expected to start the first game against Aquinas (Calif.) on March 29. Verot will either play Blessed Trinity Catholic (Ga.) or Bishop Gorman (Nev.) in their second game.
North falls to 7-5 and will aim for a rebound against Bonita Springs, Cypress Lake, and Fort Myers before entering the month of April.
— Alex Martin
Canterbury 13, Ida Baker 4: The Cougars stayed undefeated thanks to another dominant performance at the plate by the Canterbury hitters, which went 15 for 32 (.468) with four walks and just three strikeouts. Joseph De La Nuez, Austin Schrowe, and AJ Finco all doubled in the win. Cody Catania went 2 for 4 with two runs batted in for Ida Baker.
Immokalee 13, Westminster Academy 12: Jesus Martinez and Ivan Jimenez led the Indians with three goals each in the win. Juan Vasquez and Marvin Museau added two goals each, while Alexis Salazar and Mario Morales rounded out the winning effort with one goal apiece.
Naples 10, Cypress Lake 0: Nolin Bittner earned the win after allowing no runs and four hits while striking out six. Michael Graziano added a home run and a double, while Tucker Hansen went 3-for-3 with a triple.
Clewiston 6, Neumann 2: Sophia Escobar allowed three runs while striking out 11 and walking two. Hannah Ramundo, Brielle Prusha, and Escobar all registered a hit in the win.
Barron Collier 7, Palmetto Ridge 5: The Bears comeback effort was stopped short after falling behind 7-0 in the fourth inning. Reese Gill lasted five innings in the circle for the Cougars, and gave up three runs and four hits while striking out seven. Jordyn Kinn led the Cougar bats after going 3-for-4 in the winning effort. Skyler Howell went 2-for-3 in the loss for the Bears.
Gulf Coast 5, Riverview 2: Hudson Fry, Alex Mazza, Mark Taviloglu, and Pable Viera all won in Singles play for the Sharks. Akhil Nimmagadda and Mazza added a win in No. 2 Doubles for Gulf Coast, marking their ninth win in ten games.
Naples 6, Bishop Verot 1: Singles: 1. Noah Kohn (N) def. Ron Domieir (BV) 6-1, 6-2;2. Rey Pozsonyi (N) def. Kevin Johns (BV) 6-2, 6-4; 3. Jack Tucker (N) def. Jacob Mast (BV) 3-6, 6-0, 10-3; 4. Spencer Carley (N) def. Andrew Pino (BV) 6-0, 6-0; 5. Michael Richey -Kline (N) def. Colin Hill (BV) 6-0, 6-1; Doubles: 1. Ron Domieir / Kevin Johns (BV) def. Spencer Carley/ Michael Richey- Kline (N) 8-1; 2. Javier Reyes/ Finn Wasmer (N) def. Jacob Mast/ Andrew Pino (BV) 8-6
Community School of Naples 6, Barron Collier 1: 1S- Lily Dounchis (CSN) def Katie Ruci (BC) 6-1, 6-0; 2S - Sophia Min (CSN) def Lexi Pouliaevski (BC) 6-0, 6-0; 3S - Nadia Sondrini (CSN) def Madison Knoth (BC) 6-2, 6-3; 4S- Katie Whitener (CSN) def MacKenzie Hilton (BC) 6-2, 6-0; 5S- Bonita Perez (CSN) def Jasmin Blitzer (BC) 6-2, 6-1
1D- Dounchis/Min (CSN) def Ruci/Knoth (BC) 8-1; 2D- Pouliaevski/Giulia Nelson (BC) def Sondrini/Perez (CSN) 9-8
Southwest Florida Christian Academy 13, St. Stephen's Episcopal 3 (6 inn.): Eli Moore continued his strong play in the victory, leading the King's to their eighth win in ten games. Moore lasted three innings on the mound, allowing no hits, runs, or walks while striking out five. He added a double and two RBI after going 3-for-4 at the plate. Will Higby went 2-for-4 with three runs and two RBI, while Aiden Matyas went 2-for-3 with one run and two RBI.
Mariner 3, Palmetto Ridge 1: Landon Johnston went 3-for-3 with one run, while Xavier Munetes went 3-for-4 with one RBI. Jayce Blasetti allowed three hits and just one run wihile striking out two in six innings pitched.
Canterbury 4, The Village School of Naples 3: Lorelei Disanto and Gemma Plumb picked wins for the Canterbury in No. 1 Singles and No. 3 Singles, respectively. Caroline Hayes added a win for The Village School of Naples in No. 2 single. Cara Hartfield amd Caroline Hayes won in No. 1 Doubles for the Knights, while Cally Seabod and Katherine Gardner won in No. 2 Doubles.
This article originally appeared on Fort Myers News-Press: High School Sports Report: Baseball, Softball, and Lacrosse scores