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)

Basketball notebook: Green Devils head to Orlando, crank up intensity

St. Petersburg boys coach Chris Blackwell is looking forward to gaining experience from out of area competition.


St. Petersburg boys coach Chris Blackwell is looking forward to gaining experience from out of area competition.

When the Florida High School Athletic Association rescinded a decision to trim contest schedules in all sanctioned sports this summer, St. Petersburg boys basketball coach Chris Blackwell started looking for tournaments to fill the maximum 25 games allowed.

Scanning the Web, Blackwell saw on the FHSAA's message board an opportunity to play a game at Amway Arena, home of the NBA's Orlando Magic.

He immediately nominated his team, pointing out that he had four returning starters from a team that was district runnerup last season. It didn't take long to get an invite.

On Saturday, St. Petersburg will play on the big stage when it goes up against Jacksonville Bishop Kenny at 2:30 p.m.

"The kids and the fans are real excited about this game," Blackwell said. "We wanted to give the kids some exposure, and what better way to do it than in an NBA arena."

Tickets are $20, and that includes admission to Saturday night's Magic game against the Portland Trail Blazers. Blackwell said the school has sold about 200 tickets.

The Magic is hosting three high school games this season. The first was during the week of Thanksgiving; the other will be in January.

Saturday's game will be one of the toughest tests for the Green Devils (7-0). Bishop Kenny has been to the playoffs three of the past four seasons and has one of the state's best guards in Keith McDougald.

"Our goal was to get out of the area and play good competition," Blackwell said. "This should be a good matchup, especially for our guards."

Hoops for the holidays: December is a busy month for Largo. Besides their regular-season schedule, the Packers are playing in three tournaments. The first starts tonight when Largo hosts a four-team tournament. The opening game is Hernando vs. Boca Ciega at 6:15, followed by Northeast vs. the Packers at 8. The consolation and finals are Friday.

After that, Largo plays in a tournament in Fort Myers and another in Naples. In all, the Packers will have played 15 games this month.

Short shots: Seminole, considered a team on the rise, has lost four straight and is 2-4. … Clearwater, after starting 1-3, has won three straight by an average score of 75-32.

Basketball notebook: Green Devils head to Orlando, crank up intensity 12/16/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 16, 2009 11:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. James Wilder Jr. back at running Canada


    Remember when former Plant High star and Florida State running back James Wilder Jr. announced he was switching to linebacker?

    That was short-lived, apparently.

  2. Cup-winning Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk makes Hockey Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman said Dave Andreychuk's name has surfaced often the past eight years with the selection committee.

    30 Oct 2001:  Left wing Dave Andreychuk #25 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates towards the blue line during the NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada.  The Maple Leafs defeated the Lightning 3-2.  Mandatory Credit:  Dave Sanford /Allsport
  3. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.
  4. Rays at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Pirates

    7:05, PNC Park

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: Alex Cobb (6-5, 4.05)

    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. Lightning journal: Forward Yanni Gourde agrees to two-year deal

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fighting to stay in pro hockey.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde celebrates after scoring against the Florida Panthers during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA108