Make us your home page

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 girls basketball: Nature Coast knocks off top-seeded Wiregrass Ranch

Nature Coast’s Shareka Maner takes it to the hoop. Maner finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds.

DAVE CASEY | Special to the Times

Nature Coast’s Shareka Maner takes it to the hoop. Maner finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds.

BROOKSVILLE — The bad blood was stirred up during the pregame in the Class 4A, District 8 final, and ultimately, the contest on the court was just as heated.

Host Nature Coast, the third seed, rose above the fray to emerge victorious over Wiregrass Ranch 55-44.

During the pregame entrances, the players from both programs crossed paths, as is customary. The exchange went haywire when a ball rack was moved and four Wiregrass Ranch players fell on top of each other, setting off Bulls coach Greg Finkel.

Wiregrass Ranch (22-5) was the top seed, but the Bulls encountered some difficulty in the form of the streaking Sharks. Nature Coast (21-6) employed a stifling, physical defense that caused turnover after turnover. Bull guards Regan Knapik (11 points) and Kelly McCaffrey (15 points) reached double figures, but defense reigned supreme throughout.

"We've been here before," Nature Coast coach Travis Lamle said. "We were the more composed team down the stretch when they seemed to get flustered."

The Sharks were led by a duo that couldn't have been more on top of its game.

Senior center Shareka Maner, a veteran of four district championship games, concluded the best tournament of her career with 21 points and 11 rebounds.

"I think the whole team took this tournament personally," Maner said. "Everyone was talking about Gulf and Wiregrass, and we wanted to show that we were the best team out here."

Guard Jen Marshall was just as instrumental to Nature Coast's third consecutive district title and fifth overall. Marshall went 11 for 17 from the line on her way to 17 points and 12 rebounds.

The heated nature of the game was evident as two technical fouls were issued in the opening quarter to Lamle and Wiregrass guard Julie Gould.

Later in the game, Finkel was issued another technical foul before Gould was issued her second, resulting in her ejection.

Nature Coast55
Wiregrass Ranch44

4A-8 girls basketball: Nature Coast knocks off top-seeded Wiregrass Ranch 02/07/09 [Last modified: Saturday, February 7, 2009 11:10pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Cubs down Dodgers 3-2; force NLCS Game 5 Thursday


    CHICAGO — Javier Baez snapped an 0-for-20 skid with two home runs, former Ray Wade Davis hung on for a six-out save and the Cubs avoided a sweep, holding off the Dodgers 3-2 Wednesday night in Game 4 of the NL Championship Series.

  2. Bucs' Vernon Hargreaves: 'I'm not making any plays'


    TAMPA — Eli Manning gathered his receivers together on the sideline during the Giants' Week 4 game against the Bucs and told them he planned to target the weakest link of the secondary all afternoon.

    Patriots receiver Chris Hogan gets position in front of Bucs cornerback Vernon Hargreaves for a 5-yard touchdown pass in New England’s win on Oct. 5.
  3. Lightning's J.T. Brown to stop anthem protest, focus on community involvement

    Lightning Strikes

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Lightning wing J.T. Brown will no longer raise his first as a protest during the national anthem before games.

    J.T. Brown says he will work more with the Tampa police and groups that serve at-risk young people.
  4. Signs point to Jameis Winston dressing vs. Bills


    TAMPA — The Bucs didn't sign another quarterback Wednesday, which would suggest they are confident that Jameis Winston can be active as a backup to Ryan Fitzpatrick on Sunday at Buffalo if he doesn't start.

  5. FSU doesn't feel need for ongoing reminder of last year's beatdown at Louisville


    Of course Florida State remembers what happened against Louisville last year. The 63-20 loss was one of the worst defeats in Seminoles history.

    Louisville's Lamar Jackson looks back at the action from the sidelines during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Murray State, Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)