Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

4A-8 boys basketball: Nature Coast KOs Wiregrass; Lecanto gets by Zephyrhills in overtime

ZEPHYRHILLS — One locker room rumbled with enthusiasm.

Voices echoed with pride. Just a few steps away, another locker room was silent.

While Nature Coast doused its head coach with cups of water, Wiregrass Ranch listened to its coach give one final speech.

The Class 4A, District 8 semifinal proved rewarding and cruel after Nature Coast's 57-52 win over Wiregrass Ranch. The third-seeded Sharks advance to tonight's final, facing top seed Lecanto, a 69-67 overtime winners against fourth-seeded Zephyrhills.

The Bulls (21-6), which entered with a 12-game win streak and had not lost since December, were knocked out.

"We thought we were the best team in the district, it didn't matter who we played," Bulls coach Jeremy Calzone said. "…I feel like I'm in the Twilight Zone right now. I just didn't think this was going to happen."

The critical run for Nature Coast (24-3) began in the final two minutes of the first quarter. It was sparked by a two-handed dunk from Sharks sophomore Tyler Bergantino to pull the team within one.

When it was over, Nature Coast had outscored the Bulls 16-3 to take a 25-15 lead midway through the second quarter.

"We just made a few adjustments," Nature Coast coach Dave Pisarcik said. "…We did a great job."

The Sharks led by as many as 11 and never let the lead slip below three. They were led by Bergantino and Adam Smith, each with 16 points.

Bulls senior Eric Williams led all scorers with 20 in his final high school game.

"Talk about what that kid means to this program and what he's done for Wiregrass Ranch," Calzone said. "It's not me, it's not coaching, it's Eric Williams."

In the other semifinal, Zephyrhills (14-11) fought back from a nine-point halftime deficit to go up by as many as seven in the fourth quarter. Kyle Farrell, who led the Bulldogs with 30 points, hit two free throws for a 60-53 lead with 49 seconds left. Lecanto (20-4) scored six points in a 16-second span to tie the score at 64 with 3.3 seconds remaining to force overtime.

Panthers senior Cortney Sawyer hit a buzzer beater in the lane for a 69-67 victory.

"I couldn't ask any more of our kids," Bulldogs coach Alan Reed said. "We just had a couple in-bound plays that weren't thrown to the right place. That was the difference in the game."

Izzy Gould can be reached at igould@tampabay.com or (813) 421-3886.

4A-8 boys basketball: Nature Coast KOs Wiregrass; Lecanto gets by Zephyrhills in overtime 02/12/10 [Last modified: Friday, February 12, 2010 10:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays beat Orioles, but tough stretch looms that could change their plans (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tuesday was a step back in the right direction for the Rays, who halted a season-high five-game losing streak by hanging on — and we mean that pretty much literally — for a 5-4 win over the Orioles.

    The Rays’ Tim Beckham celebrates with Mallex Smith after hitting a three-run homer in the second inning for a 5-0 lead.
  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    Rookie RHP Jake Faria had his lucky rubber duck — OG, the original one he has had since high school — with him, and the Rays had nothing to worry about as he put his rocky Wednesday outing well behind him, working into the eighth while scattering seven hits.

  3. Rays journal: Rookie Jacob Faria continues to show veteran poise

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Orioles threatened in the first inning and the second. They loaded the bases with one out in the fifth inning with the top of the order up and seemed poised for a big inning. But those opportunities produced only one run because Rays rookie RHP Jacob Faria kept his composure and got the …

    Jacob Faria goes a career-high 71/3 innings, staying composed when the Orioles threaten.
  4. Rays vs. Orioles, 12:10 p.m. Wednesday, Tropicana Field

    Sports

    Today: vs. Orioles

    12:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM

    Tickets: $15-$275; available at Tropicana Field box office, raysbaseball.com, surcharge of up to $5 within 5 hours of game time.

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  5. Bruce Arena blends intense demands with humor to lead U.S. soccer

    Soccer

    SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Bruce Arena bites his fingernails religiously, a habit he has had since age 10.

    Among some other unmentionables.

    Bruce Arena