The Santa Fe High School boys basketball team will play in a regional semifinal matchup against Cocoa Tuesday at home. The class 4A game tips off at 7 p.m. Santa Fe head coach Glen Banks joined Sport Scene with Steve Russell to discuss Tuesday’s game.
Banks expressed frustration over Santa Fe’s 61-58 quarterfinal win over Palm Bay. Banks said they did not play well defensively, giving up too many open shots and open lanes to the hoop. He knows they’ll have to perform better against Cocoa to come out with a win.
Despite the defensive struggles, Banks was pleased with the way his team was able to fight from behind on the road.
“We were down on the road in a hostile environment and we fought back to win that game,” he said.
Cocoa defeated Lake Highland Prep 59-55 in the quarterfinals, earning themselves a spot in the semifinals.
Banks discussed what Santa Fe will need to do in order to beat Cocoa and advance to the regional finals. He highlighted Cocoa’s rebounding ability and described them as a “long, athletic team.” Cocoa is statistically the superior team when it comes to rebounding. They average 29 rebounds per game, nearly double the amount of Santa Fe’s rebounds per game (15.2).
Banks said a key to winning against Cocoa is controlling the pace. Santa Fe likes to play at a quicker pace than the Tigers, who like to slow the pace down due to their size. This difference in pace is reflected in the teams points per game averages. The Saints averaged 59.0 points per game while Cocoa averaged 57.2. Santa Fe will need to play quickly in transition to avoid Cocoa setting up its favored zone defense. The Tigers’ defense has been stout this season, averaging nine steals and three blocks per game.