It's good to be back. Really. Thank you. No, thank you. You can sit down now. Seriously, stop, you're making me blush. And my eyes are watering ...let's go:
TEAM OF THE NIGHT
So, the Pasco football team plays Friday night in "The Big One", but the Pasco futbol team (that's soccer for you American types out there) laid the wood down last night on defending state champion Mitchell in "The Big One If You Like Soccer".
Now the Mustangs lost everyone from that state title squad. I'm pretty sure even the water coolers sneaked out of Trinity after bringing home state gold. So Pasco winning is no big surprise.
But 8-1?! That is impressive. For years the Pirates ruled the county roost in soccer, but now they look like the team to beat. I thought the post-match ceremony where the Mustangs players took the targets off their jerseys and stuck them to the backs of the Pirates players was a nice touch.
Runnerup: Jefferson girls basketball, which beat Tampa Bay Tech. There is no new sheriff in town, apparently.
COACH OF THE NIGHT
Girls basketball Karim Nohra got a raw deal at Wesley Chapel. But how do you think he feels today?
His new team, little old Academy at the Lakes, beat Pasco 65-35, which is truly astounding considering AATL didn't win a game last year, scored more than 20 points just once, and has about 100 students, or 1,000 fewer than the Pirates.
(Oh, and his old team -- you know, the one he took to the region final like every year -- lost by 30 to a Land O'Lakes team that had a losing record last season.)
Runnerup: Shari Schau, one of our favorites, has the Gulf soccer team off and running to a 5-0 start after beating Hudson.
1. Who needs Amber Henson? (Kidding ...no, really, hurry back!) But without their star center/Duke signee, Sickles leaned on point guard Bre Crum (keep an eye on her, she may be a breakout player on 2010-11) and her 28 points to open with a victory. Crum was 11-for-11 from the line.
(As an aside, before everyone transferred out of Wharton, and before Henson had her knee scoped, this looked like one of the best matchups of the season seven months ago).
2. Keswick's Cassie Foster had 24 points and five assists in a win over Shorecrest, which is even better than the 21 points she put up the night before.
3. Lexi Panico and Aly Grossman both scored 19 points, both shot 7-for-12 from the floor, both made 3-points and both were on the winning team as Countryside beat Tarpon Springs.
4. RyAnn Gavin led Clearwater Central Catholic to its first win by dropping 20 points on Cardinal Mooney. It was her second straight 20-point game.
5. How's this for a debut -- Alicia Artley, a freshman, scored 16 and FIvay, a first-year program, beat Sunlake in girls hoops.
6. Jessica Logemann may have had the best all-around game of anyone Tuesday night -- 16 points, 8-for-8 from the free throw line, two 3-pointers, seven assists and five rebounds as Indian Rocks Christian won again.
SURPRISE! (and bravo).
1. East Lake (10-15 last year) beat Palm Harbor University in its season opener.
2. Countryside won both preseason girls basketball games and is now 1-0 in the regular season. A nice start for a program looking to make a move.
3. Have I mentioned that Pasco scored eight goals against Mitchell?
Plant beat Plant City in girls basketball 66-11. What are the chances that when football teams from the schools meet Friday the score is similar? Hey, don't laugh. Last year, the Panthers beat Plant City 59-14 in the playoff opener. They year before, they beat Lakewood 67-7.
And how's this for eerie -- the average score of those two games is 63-10 ...which is awfully close to 66-11. Just throwing that out there.
Morning Meanderings is just one man, three cups of coffee and the morning paper. You can be a part of it by filling us in on the previous night's happenings, because boxscores only tell us so much. Or, you can just sit there reading this as your players, your children and your friends toil in anonymity. (How's that for a guilt trip!). You have until 10 a.m., or when the coffee starts wearing off. I'm right here: firstname.lastname@example.org, or 813-406-0530. Write, call, text.