LAND O' LAKES — It was shaping up to be a Pasco County All-Star Game all about the small schools. Especially when Mykh'ael Chavis, from Zephyrhills Christian, churned in for a 9-yard touchdown run with 1:12 remaining to give the East a 21-13 lead.
But that was enough time for the host school's quarterback, and a couple of familiar friends, to change the script. Sunlake's Justin Hall orchestrated a four-play drive that covered 74 yards, then added the tying two-point conversion pass to Gulf's Issaiah Groen, and the West went on to an exciting 27-21 overtime victory.
Overall MVP Cyler Doran (Hudson), one of three West quarterbacks, was inserted for his running ability and it paid off when he scooted through the defense for the 8-yard winning score on third down.
But it was Hall's 4-for-4 performance on the tying drive that keyed the comeback. The first two passes went to fellow Seahawk Tyler Peretti for 20 and 38 yards, and after a swing pass to Braxton Johnson (Anclote) for 6, Hall (11-of-15 for 161 yards) found another Sunlake player Cris Galdos for a 10-yard TD over the middle. …Full Story
Here is the roster for the Pinellas County Senior All Star Volleyball Game, which will be played on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Calvary Christian.
OH Julia Angelo, Palm Harbor University
S/DS Alyssa Valdez, Osceola
S Jessica Stroemich, St. Petersburg
MB Rachel Pohl, Clearwater
RS Rachel Smith, Clearwater Central Catholic
OH Nicole Levine, Shorecrest
OH Hailey Dolan, St. Petersburg
MB Laura Pemble, Shorecrest
L Holly Morris, Shorecrest
MB Lylea Shores, Largo
L Tatiana Falk, East Lake
OH Jenna Smith, St. Petersburg
Alternate: Taylor Baum, Northeast
Alternate: Alyssa Bounthisavath, Pinellas Park
OH Danielle Ballou, East Lake
S Ashten Fulk, Clearwater Central Catholic
S Bailey Morey, East Lake
OH Caslin Layer, Calvary Christian
RS Jordan Duffy, East Lake
L Emma Strong, Palm Harbor University
OH Anna Vollmer, Clearwater Central Catholic
MB Lindsey Bauer, Palm Harbor University
L Reagan Evans, Calvary Christian
RS Marina Kennedy, Palm Harbor University
L Channing Chambers, Clearwater Central Catholic
MB Krystal White, Boca Ciega
Alternate: Emily Gregson, Keswick Christian
Alternate: Kelly Roberts, Palm Harbor UniversityFull Story
CLEARWATER – Tramar Reece’s goal this season was to lead Clearwater to the Class 6A state championship game.
That did not happen.
The Tornadoes lost to Punta Gorda Charlotte in the region semifinals.
Though Reece's season ended on a low note, his prep career finished on a high one.
Reece, playing in the Pinellas County All-Star Football Classic, recovered two fumbles and picked off a pass to help the North all-stars maintain their dominance with a 28-13 win over the South.
For his performance, Reece was named the overall MVP.
“I felt like the whole team was going to have a big game,” Reece said. “I just happened to be led the right spot at the right time to make some plays.”
After recording 4.5 sacks and three fumble recoveries last season, Reece knew he could do more. He bulked up in the weight room, going from 177 pounds to 215 while maintaining his quickness.
Colleges noticed. Reece was approaching 20 offers before committing to Indiana this summer. He ended up with a stellar senior season that included nine sacks.
Reece dedicates every game to his mother, Tracey, who died of a heart attack in October of 2015. …Full Story
Scott Purks | Special to the Times
Sickles vs. Wharton
TAMPA — After an admittedly slow start to the season, the Sickles boys basketball team suddenly appears to be running along just fine.
A prime example was Wednesday night’s Class 8A, District 8 clash with Wharton, a team that came into the Sickles’ gym with a 5-0 record.
A little more than an hour later, Wharton walked out with a 58-38 defeat and a heap of respect for the Gryphons.
“All the credit has to go to Sickles, but there also is no discredit to us,” Wharton coach Tommy Tonelli said. “I thought we played hard and did a lot of things really well, but Sickles has a lot of nice pieces that can make it tough for any team to play.”
On Wednesday, those “nice pieces” included guard Bryce Beamer (team-high 21 points), center Bryce Workman (16 points), guard Marcus Cohen (eight points) and guard Tahj Lalanne (six points).
For Sickles coach Renaldo Garcia, it was another satisfying outing after starting the year with a flat preseason loss to Calvary Christian and a regular-season opening loss to Orlando Oak Ridge.
Since then, the Gryphons have won five straight. …Full Story
The Pasco County All-Star Football Game is at Sunlake High on Thursday night at 7. Admission is $10. The game is for seniors and the selections were made by high school coaches.
Bishop McLaughlin – Chris Cigarran, Gilbert Estein, Marc Herrera, Joe Mastrino, Luis Valentin; Land O’Lakes – Spencer Childress, Jared Grunruth, Dylan Hohenthaner, Justin Kren, Brayden Lyman, Erick Marcel; Pasco – Nate Hawkins, Aaron Leslie, Cory Mills, Niko Mirrop; Wesley Chapel – Ellrie Allen, Christian Austin, Kyle Brown, Marcus Gillott, Devin Singletary, Jacob Thomas, Donovan Willingham; Wiregrass Ranch – Aaron Beardsley, Dylan Bryan, Chris Faddoul, Ramon Rodriguez, Ryan Scamardo, Matt Welsh, Jason Winston; Zephyrhills – Jarrett Black; Darius Causey, Kameron Howard, Brett Lemay, Kareem Mehrab, Mike Morrell; Zephyrhills Christiaan – Hunter Barber, Serion Bellamy, Mykh’ael Chavis, John Emmanuel, Domonic Moss, P.J. Seekins, Antwione Sims.
West roster …Full Story
DADE CITY — Five days after playing to a 3-3 standoff at Wesley Chapel, last season’s Class 3A, District 7 finalists squared off at Pasco on Monday night in a battle of unbeatens.
The host Pirates rallied from a 3-0 deficit by scoring five straight goals, including four in an eight-minute span late in the game for a 5-3 win.
The Pirates, who defeated the Wildcats in last year’s district championship game, improved to 10-0-1 overall and 8-0-1 in 3A-7. Wesley Chapel fell to 7-1-2, 6-1-2.
“It’s an adrenaline rush. I am so overwhelmed,” said Pasco coach Jose Hernandez, a former player for that school’s boys team. “We were down, but we never lost hope.”
Trailing 3-1, Pasco got the rally going in the 68th minute on Brooke Blommel’s goal when Wesley Chapel goalkeeper Samantha Gasbarro mishandled the shot.
Four minutes later, county scoring leader Jordyn Kadlub kicked one in off a through ball from Brianna Luna for her 34th goal of the season. A minute after that, Luna headed the ball to her sister Jenny, who scored from inside the small box for the go-ahead goal and a 4-3 lead. …Full Story
The Pinellas All-Star Football Classic is at Clearwater High on Wednesday night at 7. Admission is $10 (parkin $), and tickets can be purchased in advance at Allen Sporting Goods. All proceeds after expenses go toward a scholarship fund. This game is for seniors and nominations came from coaches.
Calvary Christian – Richie Mize; Clearwater – Jatavious Byrd, Jacquez Jones, Shane McDonough, Tramar Reece, Kane Taylor; Clearwater Central Catholic – Dillan Gibbons, Tyler McDonald, Jerquan Newton, Jervon Newton, Rashaad Stewart; Countryside – Jordan Payne, Chris Sampson, Omar Wright; Dunedin – Justin Rodriguez; East Lake – Tupac Blanch, Josh Fletcher, Bryce Miller, Jake Rosiek, Spencer Schmuckie; Indian Rocks Christian – James Thorpe, Sam Veltman; Largo – Bobby Roundtree; Osceola – Tyler Cottle, Oscar Williams; Palm Harbor University – Chawn Bryant, Jamaine Derogene, Samson Jackson, Cameron Mouton, Gavin Wylie; Seminole – Kameron Hernandez, Andrew Schaedler; Tarpon Springs – Michael Ashley, Jerome Fowler, Keivonte Warren
South roster …Full Story
Andy Warrener | Special to the Times
The Robinson Knights took home the first-place team trophy with 178 points.
DUNEDIN — The Peter Barker Invite got a little surprise when it ballooned from the original 18-team slate to 22 teams. A late start forced officials to speed up the meet by setting shorter periods in matches up to the championship final and the final bouts just got in under 10 p.m. On hand Saturday were former Dunedin state champions Clarence Arrington and Kyle Goodnow, both currently serving in the military.
In the early going, Wiregrass Ranch was in the lead but Robinson put two wrestlers in the finals with 113-pounder Isaac Guillermo scoring a third-period pin over Calvary Christian’s Michael Sarron to win the title. A host of other Knights battled through wrestlebacks to stack the winning margin 178-164 over Northeast. Wiregrass Ranch was third with 145 and host Dunedin took fourth with 142.
“We’ve got a core of hard-working, young guys with experience,” Robinson coach Tommy Montero said. “The first few rounds and then the last round really did it for us, guys battling back through wrestlebacks and getting bonus points.” …Full Story
Each week, our HomeTeam staffers nominate male and female Hot Shot athletes from each of the counties we cover. Then we turn the voting over to readers. These nominations span Saturday, Nov. 26 through Friday, Dec. 2. Read up on all of our nominees then vote until noon Monday.
Mickey Carney, basketball, Academy of the Holy Names: The junior scored 17 points and added 13 rebounds in a 44-40 win over district foe Brooks DeBartolo. She is averaging 12 points and 10 rebounds through eight games.
Amaka Eziakonwa, basketball, King: The senior guard did a little bit of everything in a win over Hillsborough, with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 11 steals.
Julia Ingram, basketball, Palm Harbor University: The senior had 33 points and nine steals as the Hurricanes beat Class 8A, District 10 foe Countryside 69-50.
Lyndsey McWhorter, basketball, Anclote: The junior scored a total of 63 points in three wins against Fivay, Wesley Chapel and Ridgewood. She scored 29 points against Wesley Chapel. …Full Story
The Hillsborough East-West All-Star game will be held Saturday at Raymond James Stadium. Kickoff is 6 p.m. Here are the rosters for both teams. The game is for seniors and selections came from their high school coaching staffs.
Alonso – Phillip Jackson, Cole Watts; Berkeley Prep – Dylan Brown, Sandro Maxwell; Blake – Bryant Mcloney, Jaiden Morris, Roshawn Mungin, Demetrius Powell, Gordon Sandorf; Chamberlain – Donovan Baker, Roman Franco, Eli Saunders; Gaither – Decalan Brooks, Estefano Feliciano; Hillsborough –Russell Booth, Armand Chalik, Nate Dantley, Leon Gatlin, CJ Williams; Jefferson – Alvin Baker, J’bril Glaze, Jesus Gonzalez, Terrell Jackson, Jean Marcellus; King – Alex Alhomsi, Adrian Flanning, Dwight Hopkins; Leto – Austin Harmon, Chase Kessler, Vashawn Jackson; Middleton – Daryl Anderson, Christopha Bell, Lonnie Tingle; Robinson – Anfernee Alston, Najee Fitzgerald, Eli Morris; Sickles – Dez Bessent, Josh Powell, Anthony Quintana, Jeff Ysma; Steinbrenner – Brett Bittler, Dante Coleman, Noah Ruggles.
East …Full Story
EAST LAKE – In the final minute of the first half, Darius Banks caught an alley-oop pass from Serrel Smith and completed a two-handed dunk.
The highlight-worthy play also was a historic one.
Bank’s jam broke the previous school record of 1,823 points set by Carlton Bryant, a former standout for the Green Devils in the early 1990s. The points continued to pile up in the second half for Banks, who finished with 24 in a 69-59 win over East Lake.
“I wasn’t really feeling it until after the game,” Banks said of setting the career points record at the school. “It was just a regular two points for me. It meant something but just not in the moment.”
What mattered more was the win. The game was a rematch of last year’s Class 7A, District 10 final. Both teams moved up in classification to 8A but are still in the same district.
“This win was very big,” Banks said. “We’re 2-0 in the district and this one was on the road. Those are way better than wins at home.”
The game also marked the return of Smith, who missed the first two games of the season with a bruised knee. Smith helped take the scoring burden off of Banks. In fact, Smith led all scorers with 30 points. …Full Story
PALM HARBOR — Both of Palm Harbor University's soccer teams maintained their perfect records Tuesday, although the boys had to work substantially harder to get it done.
While the girls got the last eight minutes off, thanks to a surprisingly lopsided 9-1 mercy-rule result over Wiregrass Ranch, the boys team had to defend like crazy for about the last 15 to hold off Wiregrass 1-0.
In fact, the visitors outplayed PHU (6-0-0) for the first half, putting on a tremendous display of possession that ended in several big-time tests for 'Canes goalie Jack Gallagher. The toughest was a rocket shot from freshman Malcolm Lewis that Gallagher parried off the crossbar in the 15th minute.
Gallagher had to make five first-half saves while PHU didn't get its first shot on goal until Daniel Wintermeier's long-range free kick in the 30th minute.
But the hosts came out with much more purpose after halftime, controlling the majority of play and getting rewarded with the lone goal in the 58th minute. After a hard foul led to a caution against Bulls standout defender Jackson Trudel, Wintermeier came up from defense and rose up to head home Hampton Lombard's 40-yard free kick. …Full Story
TAMPA – This was supposed to be the right moment for Seffner Christian’s breakthrough against Jesuit.
The stars had aligned for the Crusaders. They had a veteran team with 10 seniors on the roster, many of whom played varsity for years.
The Tigers, meanwhile, were expected to go through some growing pains after graduating three significant contributors from last season’s team that reached the Class 5A state semifinals.
What Jesuit lacked in experience, it made up for in resiliency. The Tigers overcame a five-point deficit in the second half to win 60-51 and remain undefeated.
“We thought this was going to be one of our toughest games of the year,” Jesuit coach Neal Goldman said. “We thought that was one of our best wins last year against Seffner Christian and we didn’t know how we were going to pull it off again. But we have some tough kids.”
The turning point came in the final four minutes. Lucas Uzdavinis hit one of his four 3-pointers to give the Tigers (3-0) a 48-45 lead with 3:37 remaining. Stevie Darst then hit a pair of free throws to make it 50-45 with 2:06 left. …Full Story
Douglas R. Clifford | Times
East Lake is up against an unbeaten Venice team that's capable of putting up loads of points.
Know the foe: Venice (11-0)
Up next: Hosts East Lake (9-1) in a Class 7A region final Friday.
Road to the state semifinals: D. South Fort Myers 56-0; d. Braden River 64-42
Season in a snap: The Indians have four shutouts this season, and held opponents to a touchdown or less in three other games. Venice is averaging 50 points a game. … Senior Matthew Laroche more than earns the nickname “Speedy,” outrunning defenses to the tune of 2,473 yards and 33 touchdowns. He hasn’t been held under 100 yards all season, and in two games against Braden River had 634 yards and eight touchdowns. In the region semifinal, junior dual-threat quarterback Bryce Carpenter ran for 264 yards and a school-record six touchdowns. In addition to his 16 passing scores, Carpenter has 14 TDs via the ground this year. … According to the Bradenton Herald, Venice converted on 12-of-16 third downs last week against Braden River, while converting three fourth downs.
Playoff history: The Indians’ lone state title (Class 5A) came in 2000. Venice reached the region semifinals a year ago before getting dispatched by district rival Braden River. The Indians got revenge in the same round this season. …Full Story
Loren Elliott | Times
Plant's O-line will need to protect Dane Frantzen from a Viera attack that has registered 70-plus sacks as a team.
Know the foe: Viera (9-2)
Up next: Visits Plant (11-0) in a Class 7A region final Friday
Road to the state semifinals: D. Orlando East River 41-0; d. Stuart Martin County 53-45
Season in a snap: The Hawks have some pretty gaudy stats on defense, with a whopping 75 sacks and 22 interceptions. Junior Miguel Rodriguez is responsible for 26 sacks, including four in last week’s region semifinal. Junior Colton Farrington (five) and senior William Champion (four) lead the team in quarterback picks. … Junior quarterback Tim Demorat completes 68 percent of passes, with more than 2,000 yards passing and 22 touchdowns. He threw for 534 yards and five TDs a week ago. Four receivers have more than 350 yards each. … In Viera’s 17-7 loss to Cocoa, the game was actually called because of lightning late in the third quarter. Viera’s other loss came in the second game of the season to Washington D.C.’s Gonzaga, 31-19. Demorat threw three of his eight interceptions on the season in that one.
Playoff history: The Hawks have only two postseason appearances, in 2014 and 2015. Viera was the state runnerup a year ago, losing 45-10 to state powerhouse Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas. …Full Story