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Prep Sports Report

Bob Putnam, Rodney Page, Kelly Parsons

HomeTeam 25: Boys basketball rankings

Berkeley Prep coach Bobby Reinhart is just two wins from No. 400.

Times file

Berkeley Prep coach Bobby Reinhart is just two wins from No. 400.



1. Tampa Catholic (5-1)

This week: Friday vs. Punta Gorda Charlotte (City of Palms Classic)

Scoop: Another week, another string of 30-point performances from forward Kevin Knox. The five-star recruit’s latest outing came in a rout of Sarasota Military Academy that was attended by Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. Knox picked up an offer from the Blue Devils the following day. Teammate Thomas Dziagwa also has provided points and is averaging 22 points per game. The Crusaders have won five straight.

2. Gibbs (11-0)

This week: Saturday at Auburndale (T-MAC Shootout)

Scoop: The Gladiators won three straight last week to remain undefeated. The biggest win came against Bradenton Southeast in a Class 5A, District 11 game that kept Gibbs at the top of the standings. This strong start can be attributed to the Gladiators’ ability to win close games. Gibbs has won five games by five points or fewer. Marquez Walls (19 points per game), David Pierce (15.2) and DJ Johnson (10) are each averaging double figures in scoring.

3. Wharton (9-1)

This week: Today vs. Wiregrass Ranch; Wednesday vs. Plant; Friday at Freedom

Scoop: The Wildcats have won six straight, four coming against teams in Class 7A, District 8. Wharton currently is the only undefeated team in district play. The win streak is due in large part to a defense that has allowed 44 points or less in eight of the nine wins.

4. St. Petersburg (7-1)

This week: No games this week.

Scoop: The Green Devils have played seven of their eight games on the road and will not return to the Devil’s Den until January. That has not been too much of a hardship considering St. Petersburg has won five straight, including three last week. The Green Devils are undefeated against Class 7A, District 10 foes.

5. Jesuit (9-0)

This week: Friday-Saturday at Gulfshore Invitational

Scoop: In their only game last week, the Tigers beat Middleton 49-32. Friday's game against Strawberry Crest in the Gulfshore Invitational starts a busy period for Jesuit, which also plays in the Father George National Jesuit Classic to close out the month. Stevie Darst and Tyson Dunn have combined to hit 39 3-pointers so far this season.

6. Seffner Christian (5-1)

This week: No games this week

Scoop: The Crusaders showed no ill effects from a 15-day layoff with one of their best weeks ever. Seffner Christian beat longtime nemesis Tampa Prep for the first time, then knocked off perennial power Lakeland Kathleen. Derek Webster (13.8 points per game), Reid Walker (12) and Christian Noskey (12.6) are the top three scorers for the Crusaders.

7. Sickles (8-1)

This week: Today vs. Steinbrenner; Wednesday vs. Freedom; Friday at Leto

Scoop: The Gryphons bounced back from a loss to Wharton with wins against Plant, Gaither and Wiregrass Ranch. The veteran – and balanced – lineup is starting to pile on the points. Sickles has scored at least 75 points in five of the past six games.

8. Berkeley Prep (7-0)

This week: Friday vs. Sarasota Military Academy; Saturday at Brooks DeBartolo

Scoop: Coach Bobby Reinhart is two wins away from reaching 400 in his career. The Buccaneers have a chance to hit that mark this week with games against Sarasota Military and Brooks DeBartolo to end a 13-day layoff. Kaleeyl Findlay is averaging 15 points and 7.7 rebounds.

9. Tampa Prep (6-1)

This week: No games this week

Scoop: Longtime coach Joe Fenlon is one win from reaching 700 in his career. The milestone could have come last week but the Terrapins lost to Class 3A, District 7 rival Seffner Christian for the first time. Tampa Prep will get a boost with the return of Trey Sibert (14.8 points per game) from a concussion.

10. Clearwater (7-1)

This week: Friday vs. Chamberlain (Tornado Winter Storm Shootout); Saturday vs. Admiral Farragut (Tornado Winter Storm Shootout)

Scoop: Blowout wins against Osceola and Dixie Hollins extended the Tornadoes’ current win streak to four games. It also kept Clearwater tied at the top of the Class 6A, District 9 standings. Ryan Ierna is averaging 11.6 and 8.4 rebounds per game.

11. Largo (7-1)

This week: Friday at Countryside

Scoop: Since losing to rival Clearwater two weeks ago, the Packers have won three straight. The closest call came against Tarpon Springs in which Largo won 70-64 in overtime despite not having Dakarai Allen and Brandon Drayton, who were playing in the Pinellas County Senior All-Star Football Game.

12. Bloomingdale (8-0)

This week: Today vs. Spoto; Wednesday vs. Tampa Bay Tech; Friday at East Bay

Scoop: It was another dominant week for the Bulls, who beat Riverview and Lennard each by at least 15 points. Bloomingdale has four players averaging double figures in scoring, led by Drew Bethoney at 17.2 points per game. If the Bulls can beat Tampa Bay Tech and East Bay this week, they will all but clinch the top seed in Class 7A, District 9.

13. Alonso (7-2)

This week: Today at Newsome; Wednesday vs. King; Friday-Saturday (Tornado Winter Shootout).

Scoop: A puzzling loss to Hillsborough was followed by a big 57-55 win over Sarasota Riverview that kept the Ravens in a tie for first place in Class 8A, District 6. It was a big turnaround for Alonso, which lost by 23 to Sarasota Riverview earlier this season.

14. Newsome (6-2)

This week: Today vs. Alonso; Thursday at Robinson; Saturday vs. Lakeland George Jenkins (at Kathleen)

Scoop: After starting 3-2, the Wolves have won three straight, all by 21 points or more. Tonight, Newsome can exact revenge against Alonso and climb back into a tie for second place in Class 8A, District 6.

15. Shorecrest (6-3)

This week: No games this week.

Scoop: A tough early-season schedule resulted in a 1-3 start. Since then, the Chargers have been one of the best teams in the area with five straight wins, including one against rival Calvary Christian in a key Class 3A, District 8 game.

16. Mitchell (5-1)

This week: Today vs. Land O’Lakes; Wednesday at Gulf; Friday vs. Fivay

Scoop: Since a 20-point loss to Bloomingdale in the season opener, the Mustangs have won five straight. JJ Lewis, a star receiver on the football team, is averaging 14.2 points. Alec Sherman, a sophomore, is averaging 13.8 points and 7.2 rebounds.

17. East Lake (6-2)

This week: No games this week.

Scoop: A six-game win streak ended with a loss to state semifinalist St. Petersburg. The Eagles, who were battling injuries, played well and trailed only by a point entering the fourth quarter. Breon Hillmon leads the team with an average of 16.4 points.

18. Countryside (6-2)

This week: Friday vs. Largo

Scoop: The Cougars, one of the surprise teams this year, stumbled last week with a loss to East Lake that ended a three-game win streak. Countryside is now the third seed in Class 7A, District 10. Braxton Hampton leads the team in points (14.3) and rebounds (9.6).

19. Freedom (5-3)

This week: Wednesday at Sickles; Friday vs. Wharton

Scoop: The Patriots have rebounded from a 1-2 start by winning four of their past five games, including three straight. Sheldon Odunna is averaging 22 points per game.

20. Zephyrhills (8-0)

This week: Today vs. Fivay; Friday at River Ridge

Scoop: One of the best starts in school history continued last week with two wins by 20 points or more. After games against Fivay and River Ridge, the Bulldogs will get tested at the Nature Coast Tournament in two weeks. Jeremy Oppenheimer is averaging 20.5 points, 8.1 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 4.9 steals per game.

21. Lakewood (6-4)

This week: No games this week.

Scoop: It took some time, but the Spartans are showing that they are a playoff contender. Wins last week against Tarpon Springs and Dunedin helped Lakewood climb above .500 for the first time this season. Jalen Bowman averaged 24 points in those two victories.

22. Brooks DeBartolo (6-3)

This week: Today vs. IMG Academy; Saturday vs. Berkeley Prep

Scoop: The Phoenix’ 6-3 start will get tested with games against IMG Academy and undefeated Berkeley Prep. Brooks DeBartolo has an experienced lineup led by seniors Aikeem Sims, Johnny Lampkin and Josh Humphries.

23. Calvary Christian (6-2)

This week: Today vs. Oldsmar Christian

Scoop: A five-game win streak was snapped in a loss to Shorecrest that dropped the Warriors out of first place in Class 3A, District 8. Paxton Wilson is the only player for Calvary Christian who is averaging double figures in scoring with an average of 22.8 points.

24. Nature Coast (7-1)

This week: Today at Weeki Wachee; Friday vs. Springstead

Scoop: A 44-40 loss to Ridgewood ended the Sharks’ six-game win streak to start the season. Nature Coast came back to beat rival Hernando 50-47. On Friday, the Sharks face another rival in Springstead.

25. Central (8-1)

This week: Today at Citrus; Wednesday vs. Wildwood; Friday vs. Crystal River

Scoop: Today’s game against Citrus ends a week-long layoff. The toughest game, though, will come the following week against Orlando First Academy, which handed Tampa Catholic its only loss this season. Axel Wisniewski-Mendoza is averaging 13.4 points and 7.4 rebounds.

On the bubble: Land O’Lakes (4-0), East Bay (6-1), Northeast (5-5).

[Last modified: Tuesday, December 15, 2015 2:06pm]


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