Times’ all-North Suncoast basketball teams



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Sat. March 22, 2014 | Mary Kenney

Player of the year: PG Brianca Roberts, Sr., Pasco
Why we picked her:
The 5-foot-7 Roberts was the rallying point for a team that made the playoffs and nearly overcame Land O’Lakes — which ended its season in the state final four. The point guard averaged 18.4 points per game and made 49 percent of her 3-pointers (34-of-70). She was among the most flexible players on the North Suncoas. In addition to her scoring dominance, she averaged 3.1 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.3 steals per game. In the district final, she galvanized her team to beat Nature Coast, scoring 22 points in a two-point win, and she had a game-high 19 points in a 39-34 loss to Land O’Lakes in the region quarterfinal.
Most impressive accomplishment: Down at the half against Hernando in the Class 5A-7 district semifinal, Roberts told her teammates she wasn’t going to let the season end without a fight. She led a 16-0 third-quarter run — scoring 10 of her 16 points — that toppled the Leopards 42-34 and secured a playoff berth for the Pirates.
Future plans: Roberts has made several college visits — including to Armstrong Atlantic and North Florida — but hasn’t settled on a program yet. If she doesn’t play at the next level, though, she says it’s not the end of the world. She wants to study education and become a math teacher for middle or high schoolers — and, of course, coach basketball.
Did you know? When she’s not at practice, school or work, Roberts heads to the park to shoot baskets by herself. The senior has a part-time job at Winn Dixie that fills up between five and 20 hours of her week, and she picks up weekend shifts during basketball season.

First team
G Leah Ford, Jr., River Ridge:
In her second year on first team, the junior averaged 16.3 points and 7.9 rebounds.

G Rita Jarque, Jr., Nature Coast: Had a breakout year with a double double in every game but one; averaged 17.7 points and 16.3 rebounds to propel her team to the region semifinals.

G Audra Leipold, 8th, Academy at the Lakes: One of the Wildcats’ top scorers on one of the North Suncoast’s top teams, Leipold averaged 17.3 points and 3.8 assists in her first year of varsity play.

F Amanda Melosky, Jr., Wiregrass Ranch: Was a key piece on one of the area’s most dominant teams, averaging 15.4 points and 10.2 rebounds .

F Kayla Kivinski, Sr., Gulf: The 2012-13 player of the year scored a game-high 18 points against Nature Coast in the region quarterfinals and averaged 16.3 points per game.

Second team
G Hailey Enjeneski, Sr., Springstead
G Brielle Downing, So., Bishop McLaughlin
C Imani Thomas, Fr., Academy at the Lakes
G Ashley Lewis, Sr., Mitchell
F Jhade Hayes, Jr., Land O’Lakes

Honorable mention
Alexia Reynolds; Central: Evelyn Anderson, Desiree McGee; Fivay: Alicia Artley, Megan Tate; Hernando: Arianna Tankersley; Gulf: Jalena Hawkins; Hudson: Marisa Maksymkow; Land O’Lakes: Taylor McDonald, Makala Canada; Nature Coast: Mirandas Jones, Fatima Jones;  Mitchell: Hannah Kriston; Pasco: Ashley Webster, Tranisha Harmon; Ridgewood: Samantha Williams; Sunlake: Jamie Sturgess; Wesley Chapel: Michelle Kolin; Wiregrass Ranch: Stephanie Brower, Logan Seoane; Zephyrhills: Aaliyah McKenzie, Aaliyah Norton

Coach of the year
Phyllis Crain, Land O’Lakes.
Land O’Lakes hadn’t made a playoff appearance since 2011 — under a different coach — but Crain’s keen awareness of how best to use each player’s skill set against different opponents took the Gators to their first state final four and a 24-5 record.

Player of the Year: SG Carlos Clemente, Sr., Nature Coast
Why we picked him:
In just his second year with the Sharks, the 6-foot-2 Clemente improved his all-around game to lead Nature Coast to the region final. The senior averaged 16.6 points and 4.0 rebounds per game, and connected on 42 percent of his 3-pointers (82-of-197). When teammates were injured during the regular season, Clemente stepped into the leadership role that kept the Sharks’ season rolling all the way to the playoffs.
Most impressive accomplishments: Call it a tossup. Clemente scored 19 of the Sharks’ 43 points against Gainesville Eastside in the region final, in which Eastside pulled out a five-point win in one of the tightest games in this year’s bracket. In the Nature Coast Christmas Tournament, Clemente scored a career-high 32 points, including seven 3-pointers, in an 83-77 victory over Orlando Jones.  
Did you know? Clemente moved in from Puerto Rico two years ago, and since then, pizza has become his favorite food and go-to fuel for basketball games.

First team
G Luke Calleja, Sr., Hudson:
Averaged 19.2 points and 4.0 assists per game to boost the Cobras to several key wins.

G Ethan Haslam, Jr., Academy at the Lakes: Was the top scorer for the region finalists, averaging 20.3 points and a team-best 7.1 rebounds.

F James Grubb, Sr., Gulf: His physical dominance (6-foot-5) allowed him to rack up points as well as stop smaller opponents all season.

F Lawrence Watt, Jr., Mitchell: Watt’s 15.6 points and 6.5 rebounds per game made the Mustangs (22-6) a threat all season.

C John Childs, Sr., River Ridge: One of the area’s most consistent scorers (16.0 points, 11.2 rebounds), opponents worked hard to keep him away from the basket.

Second team
G Malik Hall, Sr., Academy at the Lakes
F C.J. Brown, Sr., Pasco
F Sinjin Blaha, Sr., Central
G DJ Ward, Jr., Wiregrass Ranch
C Marcus Hayne, Sr., Wesley Chapel

Honorable mention
Ty Carter; Bishop McLaughlin: Will Potosky; Fivay: Eddie Graham; Gulf: Joey Nickerson; Hernando: Mark Wilson; Hernando Christian: Jake Jackson; Land O’Lakes: Brandon Dorsey, Ethan Weilant; Mitchell: Sean Thompson, Bernie Conley; Nature Coast: Jordan Burkes, Rohan Blackwood, Cody Bergantino; Ridgewood: Clarence Farria; Springstead: Kyle Cotilletta; Sunlake: Justin Pipes, Jake Lambert; Weeki Wachee: De’Andre Haynes; Wesley Chapel: Carson Emery, Brian Rodriguez; Zephyrhills: Jeremy Oppenheimer

Coach of the year
David Pisarcik, Nature Coast:
In his nine years with the team — seven as head coach — Pisarcik has molded the Sharks into one of the area’s top teams. This year marked Nature Coast’s fourth trip to the elite eight in five years, and the Sharks haven’t missed the playoffs since 2009.


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