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)

5A-7 district basketball: Springstead, Central fall in semis

OCALA — Ocala programs scored a clean sweep Thursday night at Forest in the Class 5A, District 7 semifinals.

Springstead, which had made the state playoffs the past two seasons, ended its run with a 67-42 loss to West Port in the first game of the evening.

The Eagles (12-13) got off to a solid start, tied 12-12 with the Wolf Pack after the first quarter. Leading scorer Will Hall (21 points) had nine points in the period, including a 3-pointer, but it all unraveled from there as Springstead succumbed to the pressure of West Port's backcourt.

"We just didn't play well tonight," Springstead coach Oliver Simmons said. "They didn't press us in either of the two times we played them earlier this season so we weren't expecting it, but that's no excuse. We should have been more prepared than we were."

The Wolf Pack (17-7) led 27-16 at the half and cruised behind the play of point guard A.J. Taylor (four points, 10 assists). The senior opened up easy baskets for Alec Jewell (19 points, seven rebounds, six steals) and Mike Kirkland (17 points, six rebounds).

Despite the outcome, Simmons deemed the campaign a success.

"In my eyes it's a great season," he said. "We doubled our win total (six) from last season, and our seniors are laying a foundation for everything we want to do from here on."

In contrast, Central played much better in defeat. The Bears fell 46-31 to top seed Forest, the defending district champion.

Central (2-20) tightened up its defense and was able to keep the game within reach the first half. The score was tied at 6 at the end of the first quarter, and the Wildcats (19-6) led by five at halftime.

"The kids really believe in each other, but as a first-year coach, the team hasn't had the luxury of an offseason program," Central coach Matt Zandecki said. "We couldn't limit them to one or two shots, and it started to cost us."

In the third quarter, Forest went on a run, mostly behind the play of forward Kimball Hubbard (14 points, 14 rebounds). Central's Willie Frazier was the lone Bear in double figures with 10.

5A-7 district basketball: Springstead, Central fall in semis 02/09/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 9, 2011 10:06pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays morning after: Wilson Ramos showing glimpses of what's possible in 2018


    The real payoff for the Rays signing C Wilson Ramos last off-season will come in 2018, when he can play a full season fully recovered from right knee surgery.

    Catcher Wilson Ramos connects for a two-run single in the fifth inning against the Cubs on Sept. 20, 2017.
  2. Buccaneers-Vikings Scouting Report: Watching Kyle Rudolph, Adam Thielen and Everson Griffen


    No matter how much film we study, no matter how much data we parse, we just don't know how an NFL season will unfold.

    Four of tight end Kyle Rudolph's seven catches this season have come on third down, including this 15-yard touchdown in the Vikings' opener against the Saints. [Getty Images]
  3. Ryan Callahan encouraged by his return


    Captain Steven Stamkos wasn't the only key Lightning player to make a triumphant return Friday night against Nashville.

  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Friday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb hates to hear how he "battled through" or "grinded out" a start rather than just dominated, but that's kind of what he did Friday, allowing nine hits and a walk and being charged with two wild pitches but only three runs in earning his 12th win.

  5. Lightning's Steven Stamkos looks close to top form in first game since November

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — The wait felt like forever for Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, having gone 10 months without playing in a game.

    A scramble in front of the Lightning goal has Matthew Peca, far left, and Erik Cernak, middle, helping out goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy during the third period of a 3-1 win against the Predators. Vasilevskiy, who made 29 saves, was “exceptional,” coach Jon Cooper says.