LADY FINS EDGE KEY WEST & LADY ‘CANES STRETCH WIN COLUMN AS PREP BASKETBALL ENTERS FINAL STRETCH

Coral Shores Hurricanes basketball players Ayden Lane, from left, Isaac Holmes and AJ Putetti look for the rebound against Palmer Trinity at home Wednesday, January 17, 2024. The Hurricanes went on to lose 49-43. Photo by Doug Finger

A rough week for prep basketball in the Keys wasn’t without a few highlights as the postseason approaches.

The Lady Fins added one win last week, beating Key West in overtime in a 69-67 nailbiter. Elena Eubank put up 21 points while Daysi Williams and Marti Kilbourne added 17 each in the Jan. 16 victory. After their short trip to Key West, Marathon had two at home, against Pace on Jan. 19 and St. Brendan the following night. Kilbourne scored 9 against Pace, with Williams adding 8 and Eubank with 6 points in the 66-27 loss. The same trio had the high scores again against St. Brendan. Eubank scored 12 with Williams and Kilbourne each contributing 11 in the 62-38 loss against the Sabres. The Lady Fins’ final home game will be against Coral Shores on Friday, Jan. 26.

Marathon’s boys split the week, winning against Horeb on Jan. 16, 70-53. Yaniel Garcia scored 19 for the Fins while Carlos Lezcano added 11 and eighth grader Jack Chapman put in 10. On Jan. 19, they lost to Monsignor Pace 67-42, hanging tough until a fourth-quarter onslaught by the Spartans. Xavier Grant had the hot hand in that game, scoring 12. Daeshawn Holmes had 11 points and Lezcano and Josh Koler added 6 each in the loss. Marathon plays its final home game Jan. 26 against Coral Shores.

The Lady ’Canes fell to Ransom Everglades Jan. 16 in a 37-18 road loss, ending a six-game winning streak. They started over on Jan. 18, picking up a win against Riviera Prep via forfeit, giving them their 10th win of the season. The Hurricanes will not play another regular-season game at home this year but could pick up a home matchup in district action due to their solid record and standing in FHSAA 3A District 16.

Coral Shores’ boys lost a pair of games last week, including a close one at home against Palmer Trinity on Jan. 17. Isaac Holmes scored 16, Isaac Rivera put in 13 and Donovan Thiery added 6 in the 49-43 loss, which would be their final regular-season home game. On Jan. 19, they lost on the road against Westwood Christian, 58-76. Ayden Lane had the high score for the ’Canes in that game, sinking 23 points. Holmes added 17 and Thiery picked up another 7 for Coral Shores. Though you won’t be able to catch the ’Canes at home again prior to districts, they play close to home against Marathon on Friday, Jan. 26 at 7 p.m.

The Conchs were scheduled to play three games last week, but issues with their opponents’ scheduling shaved that down to just one. On Jan. 17 they traveled to Somerset Silver Palms, losing to the Stallions by only 3 points. James Osborne scored 14, with 6 rebounds. Tramane Scott and Kameron Roberts added 12 apiece for the Conchs in the 58-55 loss. Key West hits the road this week and will not return to Bobby Menendez Gymnasium until their regular-season closer on Friday, Feb. 2 against Boyd Anderson. 

The Lady Conchs fought hard against neighboring rival Marathon, taking the Fins into overtime but ultimately losing at home. They then traveled to Naples to take on Barron Collier on Jan. 19. The Cougars defeated the Conchs 56-32 in that matchup. On Jan. 20, it was back to Naples, this time to play against Palmetto Ridge High School. The 6A Bears beat 4A Key West 64-41. The Lady Conchs play their final home game on Tuesday, Jan. 30 against Mater Lakes Academy.

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.