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.

Sharks stay perfect, win second tourney

Photography Cheryl Clanton

Nature Coast senior Kaine McColley shoots over the outstretched arm of Alonso's senior Robert Gadson lll. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

BROOKSVILLE – Nature Coast’s boys basketball team received some shiny new toys this Christmas, a couple of holiday tournament championship trophies.
After winning last week’s Hernando Holiday Classic, the Sharks kept their undefeated season alive and won their own tournament for the first time in the process on Thursday night, defeating Tampa-Alonso, 52-34.

Shorthanded Hornets struggle at Citrus

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Weeki Wachee competed at Citrus High's Rob Hermann Hurricane Cup Duals on Thursday and Friday. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

INVERNESS – For Weeki Wachee’s wrestling team, Thursday and Friday’s Rob Hermann Hurricane Cup Duals at Citrus High wasn’t about wins and losses.
In that department, it didn’t go very well for the Hornets, as they finished the tournament in last place at 0-9. But there’s considerable context. Thanks to Christmas vacation, Weeki Wachee was missing several wrestlers. The lineup was essentially a mixture of varsity and junior varsity teams, and five weight classes were empty.

The Tangled Path to the Playoffs

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are currently out of the playoffs due to tiebreakers, but the team still has a good chance at earning a spot amongst the six NFC teams to have a chance to win the Super Bowl. It will be a challenging two weeks, but there is still a possibility that the Bucs can clinch a spot. Here is the breakdown of all the possible outcomes.

Option one: The Bucs miss the playoffs

The first way is obvious: Lose both of their next two games and the Buccaneers finish 8-8 and out of the playoffs.

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.

Sharks rally for tourney title

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Nature Coast's Kaine McColley defends against Chamberlain in Wednesday's Hernando Holiday Classic final, as teammate Jordan Baxter looks on. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

BROOKSVILLE – Over the years, Nature Coast boys basketball head coach Dave Pisarcik has entered his team into holiday tournaments with an eye toward the future.
Winning is nice, but preparing for postseason play is paramount for the Sharks. Yet those two things aren’t mutually exclusive, and they certainly weren’t on Wednesday night at Hernando High.
In a Hernando Holiday Classic final pitting two undefeated teams, Nature Coast rallied from a double-digit deficit early in the second half to pull out a 59-56 victory over Tampa-Chamberlain.

Sports notebook: Sharks, Lady Lions stay unbeaten

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

HCA's Cayla Phillips battles for possession of the ball with a Citrus Park Christian player. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

For the Nature Coast boys basketball team, and the Hernando Christian Academy girls, it has been a happy holiday season indeed. Both are sporting perfect slates as they near the halfway point of their seasons.
The Sharks (7-0) dusted two Class 6A, District 7 opponents this past week, knocking off Lecanto on Tuesday, 76-28, and Hernando on Friday, 72-33. That moved their record to 6-0 within the district.
As for HCA’s girls (12-0 overall, 5-0 2A-4), they cruised to wins over Ocala-Meadowbrook on Monday, 46-10, and Tampa-Citrus Park Christian on Tuesday, 59-17.

Field to be named in honor of Coach Ernie Chatman

photography by Alice Mary Herden

Coach Ernie Chatman

Ernie Chatman, the remarkable and beloved coach, left an impact on so many lives. The City of Brooksville wanted to commemorate his 40-year legacy in a way that would be meaningful. Council member Frankie Burnett had the perfect suggestion: name a field at Tom Varn park after Chatman.

Worden leaves Sharks for alma mater

Photography by Cheryl Clanton

Nature Coast head coach Justin Worden is leaving the Sharks after three seasons. Photo by Cheryl Clanton

Justin Worden made a name for himself the past three seasons at Nature Coast, guiding the Sharks to the best two-year football run in county history.
But Hernando County isn’t truly home, and the chance to return to his alma mater proved an opportunity he couldn’t pass up. So on Thursday, Worden stepped down as Sharks’ head coach to take the same position at Titusville-Astronaut.