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  • Region boys basketball: East Bay 61, Freedom 55

    TAMPA — East Bay is headed to its first region final since 1968 after a thrilling, comeback victory over host Freedom 61-55. The Indians (23-6) led 2-0 at the start of the game and then not again until the start of the fourth quarter as Freedom made spectacular plays of ...
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    Tue. Feb. 17, 2015 at 10:07 p.m. | Andy Warrener

  • Region girls basketball: Haines City 65, Freedom 56

    TAMPA — Taylor Emery, Hillsborough County’s all-time leading scorer, got hers Saturday. And that was just fine with Haines City coach Masha Paul. Because Emery didn’t get the victory. Despite 39 points from its best player, Freedom never recovered from early foul trouble, a myriad of zone defenses and an ...
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    Sat. Feb. 14, 2015 at 10:07 p.m. | John C. Cotey

  • Region boys basketball: Freedom 78, Strawberry Crest 54

    TAMPA — Strawberry Crest couldn’t stop Freedom’s Jamal Byrne in the first quarter, couldn’t slow down Sheldon Odunna in the second, and was torched by Chase Creasy in the third. By the time the fourth quarter rolled around, Freedom was able to empty its bench as it cruised to a ...
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    Fri. Feb. 13, 2015 at 12:12 a.m. | John C. Cotey

  • Region girls basketball: Freedom 62, Wiregrass Ranch 43

    TAMPA — Taylor Emery grabbed her spot on the court and waited for the ball. She floated to the middle, sometimes seemingly out of nowhere, to snatch a pass and race in for an uncontested layup. She did this over and over Tuesday night. Problem for Wiregrass Ranch was, those ...
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    Tue. Feb. 10, 2015 at 10:28 p.m. | John C. Cotey

  • District boys basketball: Freedom 71, Sickles 66 (2OT)

    LUTZ — Before 2011, Freedom couldn’t find the missing puzzle piece to why it wasn’t winning district titles, let alone finishing seasons with a record above .500. That was until coach Cedric Smith came along. He has now led the Patriots to their second straight 7A-8 title, defeating Sickles both ...
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    Fri. Feb. 06, 2015 at 11:34 p.m. | Evan Abramson

  • Region girls basketball: Freedom 78, Plant City 35

    TAMPA — It started with a pretty little inside move and basket by Megan Clark. Then a short jumper by Taylor Emery. And another. And another. Swish, swish, swish. Emery was pure on a 3-pointer, and so was Nari Garner just a few moments later. Swish, swish. Then Bianca Igwe, ...
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    Thu. Feb. 05, 2015 at 10:28 p.m. | John C. Cotey

  • District boys basketball: Sickles, Freedom move on

    TAMPA — Sickles is headed to the state playoffs for the 11th straight season, and Freedom will join the Gryphons as both posted victories Wednesday night at Steinbrenner in the Class 7A, District 8 semifinals. The Gryphons held off Wiregrass Ranch with its free-throw line markmanship, beating the Bulls 54-48. ...
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    Wed. Feb. 04, 2015 at 10:14 p.m. | John C. Cotey

  • Freedom’s Taylor Emery breaks county scoring record (with video)

    Freedom’s Taylor Emery breaks county scoring record (with video) TAMPA — Three minutes and 50 seconds into Freedom’s Class 7A-8 championship game against Wiregrass Ranch, Taylor Emery received a pass from Bianca Igwe, rounded the corner and went up for an easy basket to give the Patriots a four-point lead.  The senior guard treated that particular basket — her ...
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    Fri. Jan. 30, 2015 at 10:16 p.m. | Kelly Parsons

  • District girls basketball: Wiregrass Ranch thrives on defense

    District girls basketball: Wiregrass Ranch thrives on defense TAMPA — Wiregrass Ranch junior guard Trakyra Kidd picked up two fouls in the first three minutes of Wednesday’s Class 7A-8 district semifinal against Steinbrenner. It didn’t matter. Kidd stayed right there in the hip pocket of whichever Warrior player had the ball. Face to face. Feet moving. Arms flashing ...
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    Wed. Jan. 28, 2015 at 9:28 p.m. | John C. Cotey

  • District boys soccer: Wiregrass Ranch 3, Freedom 1

    District boys soccer: Wiregrass Ranch 3, Freedom 1 TAMPA — Seventh-seeded Freedom had nothing to lose during Friday’s Class 4A, District 8 final at Sickles. Though they were down two players before the match began, the Patriots played a spirited first half before falling 3-1 to top-seeded Wiregrass Ranch. “They gave us a tough time, especially in the ...
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    Fri. Jan. 23, 2015 at 10:21 p.m. | Andy Warrener

  • District boys soccer: Wiregrass Ranch, Freedom move on

    TAMPA — The 4A-8 trend of low seeds dropping high seeds switched in the first semifinal Wednesday.  After sixth-seeded Chamberlain downed third seed and host Sickles, and No. 7 Freedom dropped No. 2 Mitchell in the quarterfinals Tuesday, top-seeded Wiregrass Ranch sent No. 4 Gaither home with a 2-0 victory. The ...
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    Wed. Jan. 21, 2015 at 10:19 p.m. | Andy Warrener

  • Eight Tampa Bay players named McDonald's All-American nominees

    Five boys and three girls from the Tampa Bay area  — Gibbs' Barry Brown, Lakewood's Anthony Lawrence Jr., Largo's Donavan Hale, Oldsmar Christian's Justin James and Paul Turner, Freedom's Taylor Emery, Alonso's Angel Golden, and Admiral Farragut's Charlisa Jenkins — were named nominees for the McDonald's All-American Games, which will ...
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    Wed. Jan. 14, 2015 at 4:22 p.m. | Kelly Parsons

  • Freedom’s Taylor Emery just a ball player — a pretty great one

    Freedom’s Taylor Emery just a ball player — a pretty great one TAMPA — As they do before every home game, the starters for the Freedom High School girls basketball team took their seats on the bench as tipoff of a district game against Wiregrass Ranch approached.  One by one, as the announcer called their names, the Patriots (16-2) ran through a ...
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    Thu. Jan. 08, 2015 at 2:14 p.m. | Kelly Parsons

  • Girls basketball: Freedom 62, Wiregrass Ranch 52

    TAMPA — The Freedom girls basketball team had won five straight district games since being ousted from last year's playoffs by Wiregrass Ranch. But in the Patriots' home game against their district rival Wednesday, it appeared as if the Bulls might deliver yet another blow to the team eyeing a ...
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    Wed. Jan. 07, 2015 at 10:23 p.m. | Kelly Parsons

  • Girls basketball: Freedom 65, Alonso 11

    TAMPA — For Freedom, Tuesday’s win was  more than Taylor-made. Taylor Emery, a Tulane commit and the nation’s second-leading scorer, poured in 42 points. But the Patriots’ defense was equally impressive in a 65-11 non-district victory against Alonso. Patriot (15-2) held Alonso (13-7) to 11 percent shooting, and the Patriots ...
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    Tue. Jan. 06, 2015 at 10:47 p.m. | Don Jensen

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