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Guerrero's header gives Triton boys win over Seahawks
February 12, 2018

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By PETE SISK

sports@breezenewspapers.com

It was a dream come true for Mariner freshman Santi Guerrero.

Guerrero's header with about two minutes gone in overtime lifted the Tritons past Cape Coral 2-1 Saturday and into Wednesday's Region 3A-4 final.

Plantation American Heritage will come to Mariner on Wednesday after a 3-2 win against Miami Jackson in the other 3A-4 regional semifinal match.

"I feel great," Guerero said. "Beating this team (Cape Coral) feels especially good. We played as a team. We played like family.

"Once I saw it go in, I looked at everybody and all I saw was jumping and smiling. I just knew we had won and moved on.

"Excited, amazed. I can't hold any excitement and happiness for my team in. It's a dream."

All three goals Saturday night were scored on headers.

Cape Coral's Wildro Pierre gave his team a 1-0 lead with just under five minutes gone in the second half. Pierre's goal came off a throw-in by Jacob Baker.

Mariner got the equalizer with 21:52 to play. John Franco headed in a corner kick to tie the score.

"We knew it was going to be tough," Mariner coach Martin Cardenas said. "They're a great team. They've been playing really well. I mean, they surprised me by going to Immokalee and putting a whipping on them. Their kids, they're tough. They're tough kids."

There was a strange episode between those two goals. Seahawks goalkeeper Antonio Garcia made a diving save and stayed down. Amid Cape Coral protests that Garcia had been kicked in the head while making the save, he was given a yellow card by the officials and briefly had to leave the game.

Cape coach Daniel Gross didn't appear to be buying the officials' logic when asked about it after the match.?"I don't know," Gross said. "They said he didn't get kicked in the head. They said he was faking. I don't know."

It turned out to be Mariner's year in the spirited rivalry, although it didn't appear that way when the Seahawks won both regular-season matches. The Tritons took the District 3A-13 title by beating Cape in the final, then again in Saturday night's regional semifinal.?Cape Coral had taken the district title the two previous seasons. In those two years there would be no playoff rematch.?Despite the bitter defeat, Gross was encouraging Mariner players after the match to, "Bring it home to Cape Coral. Bring it home to Cape Coral."

Cardenas's response: "I hope so. That would be nice. But we've still got a long ways to go."

Boys basketball?Fort Myers 57, Bishop Verot 42: The Vikings (11-14) closed out the regular season with a home loss to the Green Wave. Josh Schwartz scored 15 points and Trace Darby added 11 for Bishop Verot. The Vikings open play in the District 5A-10 tournament at home Tuesday against Gateway Charter.

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