Sports

Central rallies late, heads to Sweet 16 vs. Sharks

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Central's Caleb Johnson dribbles down the court in Thursday night's game against Ridgewood. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

BROOKSVILLE – Central High had waited 20 years to see its boys basketball team host a regional playoff game.
Appropriate, then, that at times Thursday night it felt as though the home fans were producing two decades worth of noise.
In front of a large and often deafening crowd, the Bears mounted a furious rally in the final 3:30 of the fourth quarter in their Class 6A, Region 2 quarterfinal, erasing a seven-point deficit and knocking off visiting Ridgewood, 78-74.

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: Gray tabbed as new headman for Hornets

Photo provided

Jacob Gray

For the first time in its history, the Weeki Wachee football program will have a new man at the helm and this week the school officially announced the hiring of Jacob Gray as head coach.
The 25-year-old Gray was plucked off the coaching staff of Jacksonville-Bolles, where he served as special teams coordinator for the Class 4A state runner-up Bulldogs.

Central stuns Sharks for district crown

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Central celebrates with the district championship trophy on Friday night at Citrus High. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

INVERNESS – When Central won its boys basketball district semifinal over Citrus on Wednesday night, head coach Matt Zandecki guaranteed one thing for Friday night’s final: his Bears would not be intimidated.
At that moment, it may have sounded like blind optimism. But by the end of the Class 6A, District 7 championship game at Citrus High, those words proved prophetic.

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.

Season ends for Sharks at Sunlake

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Nature Coast's Vinny Stulec (5) scored twice for the Sharks in Saturday's regional semifinal at Sunlake. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

LAND O’ LAKES – Over the past two weeks, Nature Coast’s boys soccer team has cleared several hurdles. But on Saturday night, the Sharks finally stumbled, and a successful season came to a close.
Traveling to Sunlake for a Class 3A, Region 2 semifinal, Nature Coast pushed the host Seahawks almost literally until the final whistle before succumbing in a 3-2 defeat.

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