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)

Boys basketball: Clearwater 75, Wiregrass Ranch 69

CLEARWATER — The Clearwater and Wiregrass Ranch boys basketball teams both entered this season with a similar issue, having lost talented big men.

The Tornadoes' 6-foot-9 forward Okaro White went to Florida State, and the Bulls' 6-foot-9 center Eric Williams went to St. Petersburg College.

So Clearwater and Wiregrass have switched their focus to team chemistry, and Clearwater got off to a 5-1 start, the Bulls 6-1.

The host Tornadoes had four players score in double figures and beat the Bulls, who had three in double figures, 75-69 Saturday in a first-round game at the Bright House Networks Tournament.

"Last year, we had two guys (White and guard Cory Carden) who we could depend on game in and game out," Clearwater coach Allen Carden said. "Now, we have to really work together as a unit on the defensive end because before we could lean on (White). Our guys know we have the ability to run and push the ball, but we have to be efficient defensively."

The Tornadoes made crucial defensive plays with a 71-69 lead, forcing Antwan Prince (17 points) into a contested fall-away miss with a minute left. Then, after a made free throw by Clearwater's John Hogan, the Bulls had to work more than 25 seconds to get off a missed 3-pointer by Rico Kerney (12 points).

Dionta Hubbard (14 points) hit 3-of-4 free throws in the last 20 seconds to seal the game.

"It's going to be important for us to find chemistry and keep it to sustain a successful run throughout the season," said Hogan, who scored 20. "We've had some good tight-knit moments … and there's been times we've had to struggle to find it."

The Tornadoes also got 13 points from Joey Nunguster and 11 from Mantis Striklus.

Wiregrass was led by Tanner Carey's game-high 21 points.

"This is why we come down here to play in these types of tournaments against Pinellas County talent," Wiregrass coach Jeremy Calzone said. "This type of adversity will only make us better."

Boys basketball: Clearwater 75, Wiregrass Ranch 69 12/18/10 [Last modified: Saturday, December 18, 2010 10:19pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Jameis Winston held his pro day at Florida State's indoor practice facility. His pro team will be getting one soon.
  2. Rays series preview: Who are the Pirates?

    Blogs

    After an off day Monday, the Rays head on the road to PNC Park for a three-game interleague series against the Pirates. Here's the information you need to know about Pittsburgh before the action kicks off.

    Record: 35-41, fourth in NL Central

    Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen, left, has rebounded from a rough start, while fellow outfielder Gregory Polanco, right, has fallen off recently.
  3. Countryside alum A.J. Andrews lands in ESPN's annual body issue (w/video)

    Softballpreps

    A.J. Andrews has taken over the spotlight in softball. Last year, the former Countryside High and LSU standout became the first female to win a Rawlings Gold Glove in the award's 59-year existence.

    Former Countryside and LSU softball standout A.J. Andrews will be among 23 athletes to be featured in ESPN The Magazine's body issue. "I have a really ripped back," Andrews says while laughing in the video. [Photo from video]

  4. James Wilder Jr. back at running back...in Canada

    Blogs

    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.

  5. 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