High School Sports

Prep Sports Week in Review: Exciting finish lifts Lakewood Ranch football to 3-0

It was another action-packed week for high school sports in Manatee County, so let’s get to it.

As always, be sure to send scores and statistics for your teams to sports@bradenton.com to be included in the weekly recap.


Lakewood Ranch: The Mustangs played a thrilling, back-and-forth game against visiting North Port on Friday night.

The Bobcats returned an interception for a touchdown in the second quarter to take a 15-6 lead. But the Mustangs then scored 22 unanswered points and held a 28-15 lead entering the fourth quarter.

North Port fought back, scoring three fourth-quarter TDs, the last another pick-six to take a 35-28 lead. That would be the Bobcats’ last points of the game.

Michael Cucci scored the fourth of his five touchdowns in the game on an 81-yard reception with 1:05 left in the fourth quarter, and Lakewood Ranch then scored on the first play of overtime on their way to an edge-of-your-seat 42-35 win.

After being outscored 422-42 in an 0-10 season in 2018, the Mustangs are 3-0!

IMG Academy National: The Ascenders put up an impressive showing in a nationally televised game on ESPN2, defeating another national powerhouse, St. Joseph’s Prep, 31-25 in Philadelphia.

IMG trailed 12-10 at the half but scored three touchdowns in the third quarter to take control.

Friday’s other scores: Braden River 37, Punta Gorda Charlotte 20 ... Cape Coral Oasis 30, IMG Academy Varsity 20 ... Cardinal Mooney 37, Fort Myers Riverdale 15 ... Out-of-Door Academy 42, Bradenton Christian 22 ... Palmetto 47, Port Charlotte 7 ... Saint Stephen’s 20, Englewood Lemon Bay 10 ... Tampa Chamberlain 35, Bayshore 7.


Lakewood Ranch: The Mustangs (166 team total) won a quad match Tuesday on the Royal Lakes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf & Country Club East. They defeated Palmetto (170), Sarasota Booker (184) and North Port (197).

Freshman Preston Severs fired an even-par 36 to lead Lakewood Ranch (15-23), followed by Johnny May (41), Eli Martin (44) and Elijah Ellingson (45).

Qualifying scores for Palmetto (4-3) included Jonathan Hamm (40), Seth Durrance (42), Tyler McLeod (44) and Landing Sellars (44). Jonah Winter of Booker had the day’s best score, a 1-under 35.

Manatee: Gabe Arendt shot a 47 to lead the Hurricanes to a victory against Bayshore at Manatee County Golf Course.

Others scores for Manatee included Sean O’Reilly (52), Jake Kotter (54) and Charlie Faul (61). The Bruins had only one qualifying scorer, Brian Mundo (72).

Photo provided


Braden River: The Pirates had another strong performance Saturday, taking third place at the Seffner Christian Invitational.

Five runners placed in the top 50, including sophomore Grace Marston (10th, 20:58), junior Kenzie Johnson (12th, 21:01), junior Allison Wightman (33rd, 22:42), sophomore Hailey Marston (39th, 22:54) and junior Isabella Busi (41st, 22:59).


Southeast: The Seminoles split two matches this week, knocking off visiting Wauchula Hardee 21-25, 25-20, 25-22, 25-17 on Tuesday and losing to St. Petersburg Northeast 25-20, 23-25, 25-18, 25-20 on Thursday.

In Tuesday’s win, senior captain Danielle Marler switched to setter after a teammate was injured and made only one error in the victory. Top players included Marler (32 assists, five aces, 22 digs), senior Reegan Cole (10 kills) and junior Tori Freeman (nine kills).

Braden River: The Pirates defeated Punta Gorda Charlotte 25-18, 25-16, 18-25, 25-20 on Thursday. Standout players were senior Brianna Sweitzer (14 kills, 24 digs) and junior Sara Hall (19 digs, 13 kills, seven aces).

Braden River improves to 5-1 this season, including 3-0 in district games and will travel to Sarasota on Tuesday night.

Bradenton Christian: The Panthers (13-5) erased a seven-point deficit in the opening set on their way to a 25-20, 25-15, 25-14 victory against rival Saint Stephen’s (3-3) on Monday.


Braden River: The Pirates defeated Palmetto 186-192 on Wednesday, with Samantha Walters leading the way with a score of 43.

Other qualifying scores for Braden River included Yanelli Munivez (44), Georgia Jones (46) and Emily Wilcox (53).



Girls golf: Braden River at Southeast, 3:30 p.m.

Volleyball: Bayshore at Arcadia DeSoto, 7 p.m.; Bradenton Christian at Sarasota Christian, 7 p.m.; Southeast at Palmetto, 7 p.m.


Cross country: Saint Stephen’s at Sarasota Christian, 5 p.m.

Boys golf: Bayshore, Bradenton Christian, Manatee at Lakewood Ranch, 3 p.m.; Sarasota Booker at Southeast, 4 p.m.

Girls golf: Sarasota at Out-of-Door Academy, 3:30 p.m.; Sarasota Military Academy at Southeast, 3:30 p.m.; Bayshore, Manatee, North Port, Southeast at Manatee County Course, 3:45 p.m.

Volleyball: Community School of Naples, St. Petersburg Northside Christian at Out-of-Door Academy, tri-match, 5 p.m.; Braden River at Sarasota, 7 p.m.; Lakewood Ranch at Punta Gorda Charlotte, 7 p.m.; Southeast at Sarasota Booker, 7 p.m.


Boys golf: Out-of-Door Academy at Punta Gorda Charlotte, 3:30 p.m.; Lakewood Ranch at Sarasota, 4 p.m.

Girls golf: Saint Stephen’s at Sarasota Riverview, 3:30 p.m.; Southeast at North Port, 4 p.m.

Swimming: Braden River, Bradenton Christian, Manatee, Saint Stephen’s at Marble Pool, 5 p.m.; Bayshore, Lakewood Ranch, Palmetto, Southeast at G.T. Bray, 6 p.m.

Volleyball: Saint Stephen’s at St. Petersburg Catholic, 6 p.m.


Boys golf: Inspiration Academy at Bayshore, 3 p.m.; Palmetto at Manatee, 3 p.m.; Braden River, Lemon Bay, North Port at Venice, 4 p.m.; Out-of-Door Academy at Cardinal Mooney, 4 p.m.; Southeast at Bradenton Christian, 4 p.m.

Girls golf: Braden River at Sarasota, 3 p.m.; Manatee at Palmetto, 3 p.m.; Lakewood Ranch, Venice at Sarasota Riverview, 3:30 p.m.; Out-of-Door Academy at Sarasota Military Academy, 3:30 p.m.

Swimming: Out-of-Door Academy at Port Charlotte, 4 p.m.

Volleyball: St. Petersburg Northeast at Palmetto, 6 p.m.; Braden River at Lakewood Ranch, 7 p.m.; Out-of-Door Academy at Manatee, 7 p.m.

JV football: Manatee at Braden River, 6 p.m.; Southeast at Bayshore, 6 p.m.; Sarasota at Lakewood Ranch, 6 p.m.


Football: Bradenton Christian at Tampa Cambridge Christian, 7 p.m.; IMG Academy Varsity at Tampa Berkeley Prep, 7 p.m.; Lakeland Victory Christian Academy at Cardinal Mooney, 7 p.m.; Largo Indian Rocks Christian at Out-of-Door Academy, 7 p.m.; St. Petersburg Northside Christian at Saint Stephen’s, 7 p.m.; Braden River at St. Petersburg Lakewood, 7:30 p.m.; Bradenton Christian at Tampa Cambridge Christian, 7:30 p.m.; Manatee at Lakeland Kathleen, 7:30 p.m.; Palmetto at Largo, 7:30 p.m.; Southeast at Bayshore, 7:30 p.m.

Volleyball: BCS Panther Showcase, TBA; Manatee at Tampa Berkeley Prep Tournament, TBA


Cross country: Bayshore, Braden River, Bradenton Christian, Lakewood Ranch, Manatee, Out-of-Door Academy at North Port Invitational, 7:20 a.m.

Football: IMG Academy National at St. John’s College (Washington, D.C.), 2 p.m.

Volleyball: BCS Panther Showcase, TBA; Manatee at Tampa Berkeley Prep Tournament, TBA