Fast start keys Land O'Lakes win
LAND O'LAKES — Land O'Lakes guard Sean Cooper knows next week's game at Ridgewood is going to be a barn burner.
He knows the Gators are going to have to bring their best game if they look to keep up with the North Suncoast's best team that resides in New Port Richey. But first the Gators took care of business Friday night and displayed all facets of their game, as they cruised past a struggling Wesley Chapel team 78-60.
"We finally passed the ball well tonight and executed good, so this is a good confidence builder for us," Cooper said.
Cooper led the passing game with six assists to go along with 13 points and two rebounds.
Land O'Lakes set the tempo early, leading 24-7 after the first quarter. The Gators went on an 18-3 run in the final 5:29 of the quarter.
The Wildcats (6-10) could do little to stop the Gators' furious offensive output. Nor did the Wildcats help themselves on the offensive end, as they turned the ball over 15 times. The Wildcats' bright spot was Jordan Mitchell, who finished with a game-high 26 points.
The Gators (11-7) were balanced, with four scoring in double digits. Forward Kevin Burnell led Land O'Lakes in scoring with 18 and also snagged six rebounds.
The rematch with the Rams is next Friday at Ridgewood. Rams won the last game 91-60 in Land O'Lakes.
"A game like this really gets us ready for Ridgewood," Cooper said. "I feel like we are going to do well next Friday."
Andy Villamarzo, Times correspondent