Girls Basketball

Lady Eagles, Hornets go down in semis

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Springstead guard Reagan Huden dribbles down the court during Tuesday's regional semifinal against Sunlake. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

WESLEY CHAPEL – Springstead’s girls basketball team found itself in uncharted territory Tuesday night, making its first-ever appearance in the Sweet 16.
But the opponent was far from unfamiliar, even if the game was in an unusual location. The Lady Eagles faced Sunlake for the fourth time this season, a team they had split with in the regular season before losing to the Lady Seahawks in the district final, 62-54.

Sports notebook: Lady Sharks repeat as state runners-up

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Nature Coast's girls weightlifting team celebrates with its district championship trophy and medals last month. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

On Friday, the Nature Coast girls weightlifting team traveled to Belleview for the Class 1A FHSAA Finals, and they didn’t return home empty-handed.
For the second year in a row, the Lady Sharks were the state runners-up, scoring 17 points to edge Lake Weir, the team that had defeated Nature Coast at regionals two weeks earlier, by one point. River Ridge was again state champion, scoring 29.

Lady Lions revel in district repeat

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

HCA's girls basketball team celebrates after receiving the district championship trophy Friday night on its home court. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

BROOKSVILLE – This one felt different. A year ago, it was all new, collecting the first district championship in team history.
But on Friday night, Hernando Christian Academy’s girls basketball team still had plenty to celebrate. The Lady Lions took control in the second half and rolled to a repeat, downing Ocala-St. John Lutheran in the Class 2A, District 4 final on their own court, 41-32.

Sports notebook: Nature Coast hires new football coach

Photo provided

Cory Johns

A football team that has gone a combined 22-2 the past two seasons figured to draw plenty of interest for its head coaching vacancy.
No surprise then that Nature Coast received over 80 resumes for its opening this past month, which the school filled this week with the hiring of Kissimmee-Liberty headman Cory Johns.
“It was one of those opportunities I couldn’t pass up,” Johns said. “I’m not into bouncing around. I’m looking for a place to be for a very long time, or at least as long as they’ll keep me. This place looked like it.

Sports notebook: Lady Sharks take second in region

Photo provided

Nature Coast's Samantha Traudt, front, along with (standing from left) Kaitlyn Pierce, Coach Nikki Pierce and Jouie Miller celebrate the trio of lifters' first-place showings and the team's second-place finish at Saturday's regional meet. Photo provided

Nature Coast’s girl weightlifting team continued its march toward the state meet on Saturday, at the Class 1A, Region 5 Meet hosted by Belleview.
The Lady Sharks, hoping to compete for a state crown after finishing as the runners-up a year ago, took second in this meet to Ocala-Lake Weir, 38-42.

Sports notebook: Springstead basketball going strong

Boys basketball photo submitted, Girls basketball photography by Cheryl Clanton

Springstead's boys basketball celebrates after winning the Springstead New Year's Shootout on Tuesday. Photo submitted

It has been a solid season for the Springstead boys and girls basketball teams, and they both got off to a strong start in 2017.
In the middle of the week, the boys held the second annual Springstead New Year’s Shootout, and the Eagles came away with a championship trophy.
“It’s a huge accomplishment, especially because we’re such a young team. We have five juniors and two sophomores playing bigtime minutes,” Springstead head coach Matthew McGarry said. “Any time you go into a tournament and win it, it’s good for the future.”

Lady Lions rolling as second half approaches

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Senior guard Cayla Phillips leads HCA at 14.8 points, 4.8 steals and 18 3-pointers. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

Last season, Hernando Christian Academy’s girls basketball team put together its finest campaign, reaching the Elite Eight for the first time in team history.
Could the Lady Lions possibly piece together an encore performance? So far, they certainly have. HCA is enjoying a three-week holiday break, sitting at a perfect 12-0.

Lady Leopards finally win home tourney

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Hernando's Ali Bronson handles the ball during Wednesday's Hernando Holiday Classic final against Weeki Wachee. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

BROOKSVILLE – For seven years Hernando girls basketball coach Kevin Bittinger has run the Hernando Holiday Classic. But Wednesday, as the three-day tournament came to an end, brought something new.
For the first time, the host Lady Leopards found themselves hoisting the championship trophy, as they knocked off county-rival Weeki Wachee in overtime of the championship game, 45-38.

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