Each week, our HomeTeam staffers will nominate male and female Hot Shot athletes from each of the counties we cover. These nominations span Saturday, Dec. 8 through Friday, Dec. 14. The winners get a free T-shirt and bragging rights over every other school in the area. Read up on what made our nominees stand out, then look for our writers’ picks for overall winners in Tuesday’s Times. Feel free to make a pitch for your favorite athlete in the comments section below.
Note: These will be our last nominees of 2012. We’ll crown new Hot Shots after the winter break.
Tianah Alvarado, Lakewood basketball: After missing most of last season due to a knee injury, the senior forward proved she is back to full strength after a 23-point, 12-rebound performance against rival Boca Ciega on Wednesday night in a 51-39 win.
Emma Betters, Springstead soccer: She tallied six saves in a 7-1 win over Ocala Vanguard. Against rival Nature Coast, Betters had seven saves — including one at close range — to preserve a 0-0 draw.
Aliyah Gregory, Strawberry Crest basketball: The junior guard surpassed the 1,000-point mark in a win over Leto on Monday, then followed that up with a quadruple double against Middleton on Wednesday — 26 points, 11 rebounds, 11 steals and 10 assists.
Jayne Hagan, Plant soccer: The senior midfielder scored in the 31st minute of a 1-0 victory over Wharton on Thursday, clinching coach Pam Smith’s 200th career win.
Kameryn Kailimai, Land O’Lakes soccer: The Gators’ leading scorer had one goal in a 2-0 win over rival Sunlake and tacked on her ninth of the season against Zephyrhills to help Land O’Lakes improve to 11-4-2.
Savannah Plentovich, Calvary Christian basketball: The freshman scored a team-high 20 points, including three 3-pointers, in a win over Class 8A East Lake. Then she managed to do some damage against area power Seffner Christian, dropping 21 points, four of which were 3s, for the 8-1 Warriors.
Rohan Blackwood, Nature Coast boys basketball: Two-sport standout tallied double-doubles against Springstead (23 points, 17 rebounds) and Dunnellon (21 points, 12 rebounds) in two big wins for the 8-1 Sharks.
Matt Cassity, Seminole basketball: The go-to guy on a team with postseason aspirations, the senior scored 33 points, including eight 3-pointers, in a district win over Pinellas Park this week.
Malachi Christopher, Alonso basketball: The senior totaled 79 points in three games this week (all victories). In a In 70-66 overtime win Thursday at Plant, he had 29 including driving layup with 17 seconds left to force OT, then another driving layup with 40 seconds left in OT to give the Ravens a four-point lead.
Reggie Hart, Chamberlain basketball: The senior totaled 105 points in three games (two of them wins) — that’s 35 ppg. He had 28 in an 80-63 loss to Wharton, 38 in an 87-81 double-OT win vs. Steinbrenner, and 39 in an 81-72 win vs. King.
Jared Prince, So., Palm Harbor University wrestling: After winning MVP honors at the Jerry Mita Invitational, the 120-pounder came back this week and pinned his opponent in dual meet with state-ranked Kissimmee Osceola.
Erik Thomas, Wesley Chapel boys basketball: The senior had one of the best games in his standout career against Gulf. He exploded for a career-high 45 points and 26 rebounds in the 74-59 victory. He added 34 points and 21 rebounds in a win Friday over Anclote.