Girls basketball: Gulf's 98-point victory against Anclote a hot topic

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Thu. December 17, 2009 | Izzy Gould | Email

Gulf defeated first-year Anclote last week 100-2 in girls basketball.

The 98-point loss was worse than the 78-14 defeat the Sharks were handed by Ridgewood and the 52-8 drubbing from Mitchell. 

The Gulf-Anclote game was a hot topic this week in Pasco County. It came up in a principals' meeting and was discussed at length by administrators.

The outcome is fodder for endless debate.

Anclote coach Bonnie Norman defended Gulf and Buccaneers coach Mike Quarto

"In all reality they were very hospitable and sportsmanlike," Norman said. "He wasn't in attack mode by any means. Emotionally, the girls knew it would be a learning curve.

"We weren't really upset walking out of there."

Anclote has six players, but only dressed five that night. The only discussion of a forfeit was if one of Anclote's players fouled out, Norman said.

So Gulf and Anclote played.

The Bucs played halfcourt defense and never pressed, Norman said. Gulf's leading scorer was junior Nicole Adams with 31 points. Anclote's only scorer was Kasey Haggerty, her two points coming in the second quarter.

Gulf led 32-0 after the first quarter, and had a 53-2 halftime lead.

Quarto told Gulf principal Steve Knobl he played four reserves and one starter the entire second half. Gulf passed several times and did not take the first available shot. Quarto said he tried to stop fastbreak opportunities by yelling "no" to the girls.

"I'm not necessarily a fan of (beating a team so badly),"  said Knobl, who once coached Mitchell's girls basketball team. "At Mitchell, we took some beatings that first year by 40 or 50 points. ...When you're building a program and building a school and enthusiasm and school spirit it makes the most sense to say, 'We're playing like Hoosiers. Down the road, we'll be better as a program.' "

Knobl said he discussed various alternatives he tried at Mitchell, such as having girls dribble near center court until the defense engaged, or to work on passing without taking shots.

In the end, Anclote enjoyed a breakthrough, defeating Pasco on Tuesday 37-33 for the program's first victory.

"They need the experience," Norman said. "...They have to go through the bumps and bruises and they are emotionally strong enough to handle it. They're not quitters. It's what they want to do."

igould@tampabay.com

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