HomeTeam Hot Shots
A spotlight on the Times’ bay area players of the week.
Female Hot Shot: Kayla Kivinski, Gulf
Skinny: Kivinski already won this award in November after scoring 37 points in a season-opening win over Mitchell, but her performance Friday was too good to ignore. The junior wing exploded for a career-high 49 points while adding more than 20 rebounds and 10 blocks in a 68-58 overtime win over Wiregrass Ranch. Her 49 points are believed to be the most in Pasco County since Sthefany Thomas dropped that many for Wesley Chapel during a 2006 overtime victory over Tampa Catholic. Kivinski, the Times’ 2012 North Suncoast player of the year, has the Buccaneers as the No. 2 seed in this week’s Class 5A, District 8 tournament.
Male Hot Shot: Nick Schroder, River Ridge
Skinny: Schroder was mentally preparing himself for penalty kicks with three minutes left in the second overtime of Friday’s Class 3A, District 8 title game against rival Mitchell. But when a deflection sent the ball his way, the junior capitalized. A night after he helped his team upset Gulf to secure a playoff berth, Schroder’s goal from the top of the box broke a 1-1 tie and gave the Royal Knights the win. “Schroder was cool, calm, collected, and he slid it home,” River Ridge coach Mike McHugh said after the game. “He easily could have pounded it. …He just kept his head.” The 2-1 victory capped off River Ridge’s first district title in at least a decade.