Morning Meanderings: Good morning, Jonathan Jean

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Thu. November 29, 2012 | John C. Cotey | Email

Some random thoughst and observations about the  goings on in the preps world by Times' columnist John C. Cotey, while sipping too much coffee and perusing the previous night's newspaper and boxscores. Oh, and if you want to get your name in here, then shoot me an email at johncotey@gmail.com, or better yet, follow me on Twitter RIGHT HERE. Don't stare too long into my avatar, though, or you will go blind.

First of all, read this if you haven't already: Academy at the Lakes 55, Tampa Catholic 27. AATL coach Karim Nohra returned to his old haunts to post a decisive victory. AATL went to the state semifinals last season, and they look like a good bet to return in 2013.

PLAYER OF THE NIGHT

East Bay doesn't get a ton of basketball pub, but that could change with Jonathan Jean running the point. The 2015 Indian standout led East Bay to a 20-5 record and its first district title in 41 years last year, and will take on a bigger role in 2012-13.

Last year, Jean averaged 9.9 points and four assists, but in Wednesday's 71-56 win over Middleton he scored a career-high 27 as the Indians came roaring back. Trailing by two entering the fourth quarter, East Bay outscored Middleton 29-12 to pick up its second win.

Jean has 12 of his 27 in the fourth quarter -- and also finished with five steals -- as the Indians turned up the intensity on defense.

For Jean, a 5-10 point guard, it was his first game of his prep career scoring 20+ points. His previous high was 19 in a game against Hillsborough last year.

Here's his highlight video from last year, if you wanna take a look:

TEAM OF THE NIGHT

Each year, someone on the northern side of Pinellas County's girls hoops scene emerges to challenge Clearwater for local supremacy. It's been Largo, then PHU, even Countryside and East Lake have had their moments.

This year, it could be Tarpon Springs' turn. Bolstered by the addition of Gulf transfer Kadejah Saunders, who had 19 points to go with 18 from senior Yasmine Morris, the Spongers beat East Lake 65-47 Wednesday night.

Ranked No. 4 in our Pinellas County preseason poll, Tarpon is now 4-0, and will travel to Clearwater for a big early-season showdown Friday night. The Tornadoes should be 6-0.

TWEET OF THE NIGHT
 
Give Hudson coach Jason Vetter credit: he shies away from no one when it comes to putting his schedule together.
 
So Wednesday night, that meant defending Class 2A state champion Tampa Prep, and the Cobras were dealt a 79-34 loss.
 
Vetter was impressed by the Terrapins, as he tweeted: 79-34 loss to Tampa Prep. Did some good things. Terps friggin' good! Best defense [we] played in a long time - and we played Lake Wales 2 yrs ago.
 
YOUNG STUDS
 
Arguably the two best freshmen in Tampa Bay - though really, is there an argument? - had big nights Wednesday.
 
Tampa Prep's 6-foot-9 Juwan Durham scored 14 in Tampa Prep's victory, and Niaya White led Boca Ciega with 17 as the Pirtaes knocked off Osceola.
 
Pay attention. These two could go down as a couple of the area's best ever by 2016.
 
SHINING STARS
 
* Anton Crutcher came up big for East Bay as well Wednesday night, scoring 14 points, grabbing eight rebounds, eight steals and blocking seven shots.
 
*Tatiana Manuel scored 18 and Andrea Mauger added 16 in AATL's 55-27 victory.
 
*Destiny Brown chipped in 13 points for Boca Ciega, and Katie Horan had 15 for Osceola.

*Wiregrass Ranch's dynamic duo of Rico Kerney and Chris Parra (combined 42 ppg last year) each had 17 in an easy Bulls win.

*Brandon Jones netted 16 to lead Pinellas Park's boys to a mild upset over Gibbs 50-49. 

* Robinson's Richie Yau led the boys team over Gaither 54-42, scoring 16 on 9-of-10 free throw shooting and also dishing out five assists.

*Adonis Rwabigwi led Tampa Prep over Hudson with 17 points.

*Jordan Berenbaum led the St. Pete girls with 16 and got help from Angel Brown (15) and Michael Everhart (11) in a Green Devil win over Northeast, 64-31.

*Jameela Shaw 's 14 was enough to nudge East Bay's ladies by Middleton 47-43.

Remember coaches, players and parents, get those boxscores called in so we can follow you this season at Meanderings and give you the precious Internet ink you deserve at 727-893-8123.

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