Olivia Gibson

On Jan. 11, the Lady ’Canes picked up a win against Key West via forfeit, giving them just one opportunity to play last week. They made the most of it, defeating Keys Gate on Jan. 12 and giving the Hurricanes a massive district win on senior night. Senior captains Makayla Hahn and Brooke Mandozzi did not disappoint; Mandozzi had the hot hand, scoring 14, and Hahn led the team in steals with 5 in abbreviated minutes of play. 

The starters turned the court over to the underclassmen early in the lopsided victory. Ten ’Canes in total logged points, with several athletes reaching exciting career milestones in the 53-19 win. Junior Gabby Thomas recorded her first double-double with 10 points and rebounds. Alex Burson had a career-high 10 points and freshman Caylee DePauw went 3-3 and scored 6. Abby Vogt had 10 assists. The 9-1 Lady ’Canes have a three-game road streak before returning home Jan. 23 to play LaSalle.

Coral Shores’ boys split the week, starting with a Jan. 8 road loss at Keys Gate. The ’Canes lost 46-42 against the Knights. On Jan. 11 they hosted MAST Academy. Despite getting off to a slow start and trailing 27-23 at the half, the ’Canes put it into overdrive after halftime and rallied for the win. AJ Putetti had the hot hand with 18 points. Donovan Thiery scored 15 with 7 assists and 6 steals. Isaac Rivera added 13 with 4 rebounds. Keegan Fish scored 6, Ayden Lane had 5 and Corey Dickerson added 4 to his stats. The ‘Canes end their regular season with a three-game road series before heading into the postseason.

Key West played the Somerset Academy Panthers in Pembroke Pines on Jan. 10. The 4A Conchs played with heart but the 5A Panthers are ranked sixth in their class for a reason. DeMarcus Deroche earned another double-double, scoring 12 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. James Osborne scored 12, Josue Thanus scored 9 and Kameron Roberts scored 8 in the 88-56 loss. On Jan. 13 the Conchs suffered another loss, this time at home against Westminster Christian. Roberts was the high scorer for Key West with 20 points and Osborne added ten in the 70-46 loss. A third game scheduled to be played against Coral Shores was postponed with details not yet available.

The Lady Conchs are still searching for win number one this season after a series of losses last week. On Jan. 11 Key West was slated to host Coral Shores, but forfeited the game. The following night, Ransom made the trip to Bobby Menendez Gymnasium, defeating the Lady Conchs 42-26. On Jan. 13, the young team fell to Archbishop McCarthy 56-36. Despite a slow start to their season, Key West has several winnable games on its schedule and could finish the season on a high note.

Marathon’s boys suffered a pair of losses last week as well. On Jan. 9, the Fins hosted Palmer Trinity and gave the Falcons a run for their money, narrowly losing 59-56. A trio of seniors led the charge in scoring, with Yaniel Garcia and Xavier Grant scoring 17 each and Adrian Cruz adding 15. The following night, Marathon made the trip to Keys Gate, losing 68-41. Grant scored 9, with 7 points coming from Cruz plus 6 each from Garcia, Andrew Suarez and Daeshawn Holmes in the district matchup.

The Lady Fins made short work of Keys Gate in a 54-9 road win Jan. 10. Elena Eubank scored 17 with 13 points from Marti Kilbourne, 11 from Payton Junker and 9 from Daysi Williams. The score became so lopsided that head coach Andra Garvey sent in his reserves. At a small school like Marathon, that meant playing time for multiple sixth-graders, who may not have scored any points but held their own. On Jan. 13, Ransom came to Marathon and gave the Fins a tougher time. Williams put up 11 points and Eubank scored 9 in the 67-24 loss.

Tracy McDonald fled to the Keys from the frozen mountains of Pennsylvania hours after graduating from college and never looked back. She is a second generation coach and educator, and has taught in the public school system for over 25 years. She and her husband met at a beginning teacher meeting in 1997 and have three children born and raised in Monroe County. In her free time, McDonald loves flea markets, historical fiction and long runs in the heat.