- October 31, 2016
Seabreeze is not quite ready to challenge Mainland for Volusia County dominance in boys basketball. No one else is either. But first-year coach Ray Gaines feels his Sandcrabs are on the right track.
One day after Mainland rolled to a 72-40 victory over University in the Five Star Conference championship game, the Bucs defeated Seabreeze 63-30 on Saturday, Jan. 28, at the Mainland gym.
"One thing we're working on is teaching the young guys how to compete. Last year, they won one game. This year, we have eight wins already, so we're improving."
— RAY GAINES, Seabreeze coach
"One thing we're working on is teaching the young guys how to compete," Gaines said. "Last year, they won one game. This year, we have eight wins already, so we're improving."
The Bucs improved to 18-5 with five lopsided wins in eight days, ending with a 67-30 rout of Atlantic on Jan. 30.
"Our schedule was pretty tough early, playing against Oak Ridge, Olympia, Lakeland and Winter Haven," Mainland coach Joe Giddens said. "To play against local teams is good for our guys. Any time we play local, even if we have some games in a row, my guys get up for it. They're friends, they see them everyday, so they get up for those games."
Seven-footer DeAndre Newland led the Bucs with 14 points against the Sandcrabs, while 6-4 guard Angelo Mack scored 13.
Mikey Steward led Seabreeze (8-12) with eight points. John Dunlop, Jordan Calder and John Hudson all added six points. Both teams hit five 3-pointers in the game.
"One of the things I told my guys tonight is that more than anything we were going to have to compete," Gaines said. "Mainland has exceptional athletes all over the floor, big guys that play hard, and if we're not able to match their intensity we're not going to be able to stay in the game. The first quarter and maybe a half we were there. But then their athleticism and their aggression pretty much got the best of us."
The Bucs jumped out to a 36-17 halftime lead and moved out to a 30-point advantage (52-22) going into the fourth quarter.
While the Bucs ran away with the varsity game, Mainland's tight overtime victory in the JV game suggested the rivalry might be heating up in the near future.
"Coach Ray is doing a great job over there," Giddens said. "They're on the rise. The JV game was a thriller.
"Mainland-Seabreeze is a good rivalry. It goes back to 1920s. I have people who graduated from Mainland in the '90s when I was there, in the '80s, texting me 'Make sure you get this W tonight.'"
— JOE GIDDENS, Mainland coach
"Mainland-Seabreeze is a good rivalry," Giddens added. "It goes back to 1920s. I have people who graduated from Mainland in the '90s when I was there, in the '80s, texting me 'Make sure you get this W tonight.'"
The Bucs end their regular season with a home game against DeLand at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 2. They host the District 4-5A tournament Feb. 7-10.
Seabreeze, which played at Calvary Christian on Jan. 31, ends its regular season at Father Lopez at 7 p.m. Feb. 2. The 'Crabs will join Mainland in the District 4-5A tournament.
The Bucs, who are ranked fourth in the state among Class 5A teams, believe they can make a deep playoff run.
"Even though I got 14 guys, eight or nine are coming back next year. My point guard, Nate Kirk, is a freshman," Giddens said. "Some of our young guys had to grow up early. That's why I put them in the fire early in the season. It will help us in the long run. Districts will be here, and if we take care of business, we'll have some home games here in the playoffs too."