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)

Boys basketball district tournament preview

NEW PORT RICHEY — Ridgewood senior point guard Alvin Satram still can picture the most painful sequence of his basketball life unfolding last February. Might as well have been last Friday.

The image remains that vivid, the pain that acute. He still sees the inbounds pass intended for him in the last 10 seconds, the steal in midstride by rangy Brandon forward Marcus Morrison and Morrison's two-handed dunk that sealed the Eagles' 61-57 playoff triumph.

He remembers the taste of his tears, the cracks in coach Gary Anders' consoling voice afterward. He also remembers staying in the locker room for at least an hour then staying home all the next day.

"I didn't come to school the next day. I was just down," Satram recalled. "I couldn't. I went home, took a shower and just laid there."

Twelve months later, that memory has forged a mantra. For Satram and his teammates, especially fellow seniors Bryan Jones and Lukas Poderis, the 2009 postseason is about completing unfinished business, vanquishing past shortcomings.

"We're all hungry for it," Jones said.

As for Anders, he says he barely has spoken of that Class 5A region semifinal defeat and isn't sure if he will. But he knows it's there, stoking the Rams' collective psyche as they embark on another February.

"Unfortunately, that can happen in sports," Anders said. "And I hope they do remember that feeling."

But he also hopes they don't become consumed by it, at least not to the point where they're oblivious to what they've accomplished so far.

The Sunshine Athletic Conference champion and top seed for this week's Class 5A, District 7 tournament, Ridgewood (23-2) has been mostly unchallenged locally all season. One of Anders' most balanced groups, the Rams entered Friday's season finale against Gulf averaging 69 points and nearly 21 assists and allowing just more than 46 points.

Poderis, a 6-foot-8 East Tennessee State signee, was averaging a double double (20.7 points, 10.7 rebounds), and Satram almost was (12.9 points, 8.8 assists). Three others, including Jones, were averaging at least 7.3 points.

"That's kind of a coach's dream when you can come at people from different angles (offensively)," Anders said. "But the other thing I like about them is that, for the most part, they've been very unselfish."

Can this be the group to reach the region final after consecutive region semifinal losses? Yes, Anders says. Is the state semifinals conceivable? Sure. Would he love to make it to his first state tournament? Goes without saying.

But at 56, Anders also knows full well the pitfalls of measuring success by how one fares in a one-and-done postseason, where a tough shooting night or tough call can send a team home.

"Personally, I think postseason play is really overrated," Anders said. "I really believe that because I think that's something that's been created by the college scene, March Madness.

"It's not apples and apples to high school. Those conference championships mean as much to me personally as any district championship because that's success over a long period of time. It tells me you showed up ready to play every game. You get in a tournament and something doesn't go right, does that taint a whole season?"

Such is the rhetorical question Anders asks as another season hits another final stretch. He hopes the Rams keep it in the back of their minds.

Right next to the Brandon memory.

"I know us three seniors always talk about it," Satram said. "Everybody on our team always talks about it.

"We always want to make it farther because the past two years we've made it to the Sweet 16 both times and lost both times."

Class 6A, District 7

at Mitchell

Wednesday: No. 3 Countryside vs. No. 6 Alonso, 6 p.m.; No. 4 Mitchell vs. No. 5 Gaither, 8 p.m. Friday: No. 2 St. Petersburg vs. Countryside/Alonso winner, 6 p.m.; No. 1 Sickles vs. Mitchell/Gaither winner, 8 p.m. Saturday: Championship, 7 p.m.

Class 4A, District 8

at Sunlake

Today: No. 8 Hernando vs. No. 9 Pasco, 7 p.m. Tuesday: No. 4 Nature Coast vs. No. 5 Sunlake, 6 p.m.; No. 1 Springstead vs. Hernando/Pasco winner, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday: No. 3 Zephyrhills vs. No. 6 Wiregrass Ranch, 6 p.m.; No. 2 Hudson vs. No. 7 Gulf, 7:30 p.m. Friday: Hudson/Gulf winner vs. Zephyrhills/Wiregrass Ranch winner, 6 p.m.; Springstead/Hernando/Pasco winner vs. Nature Coast/Sunlake winner, 7:30 p.m. Saturday: Championship, 7 p.m.

Class 5A, District 7

at Land O'Lakes

Tuesday: No. 4 Wesley Chapel vs. No. 5 River Ridge, 7 p.m. Friday: No. 1 Ridgewood vs. Wesley Chapel/River Ridge winner, 6 p.m.; No. 2 Land O'Lakes vs. No. 3 Central, 7:45 p.m. Saturday: Championship, 7 p.m.

Class 2A, District 9

at Bishop McLaughlin

Friday: No. 2 Indian Rocks Christian vs. No. 3 Bishop McLaughlin, 6 p.m.; No. 1 Tampa Prep vs. No. 4 Calvary Christian, 7:30 p.m. Saturday: Championship, 7 p.m.

Class A,

District 11

at Lakeside Christian

A schedule was not provided. The teams in the district are: Academy at the Lakes, Canterbury, Carollwood, Citrus Park Christian and Lakeside Christian.

Boys basketball district tournament preview 02/08/09 [Last modified: Sunday, February 8, 2009 6:14pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs journal: Kicker Nick Folk has up and downs against Jaguars


    JACKSONVILLE — If the Bucs had hoped for a drama-free night in their kicking game, they'll have to wait another week.

    Bucs kicker Nick Folk celebrates one of his two made field goals against the Jaguars, but he also misses a field goal and has an extra point blocked.
  2. Bucs top Jaguars behind strong first half



    There is a reason why the air in Tampa Bay is filled with playoff talk. If Thursday night's 12-8 Bucs preseason win over the Jaguars is any indication, it's also going to be filled with footballs thrown by quarterback Jameis Winston.

    Doug Martin gets the Bucs’ only touchdown  on a 2-yard run, squeaking past linebacker Telvin Smith in the first quarter. He has five carries for 30 yards.
  3. Rays journal: Archer has strong outing, with two mistakes

    The Heater

    TORONTO — Two pitches RHP Chris Archer didn't execute are the ones that stood out Thursday as Josh Donaldson hit them out of the park. But the two solo home runs aside, Archer turned in a sterling outing that went atop the pile of good pitching the Rays keep wasting.

    Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) works during the first inning. [Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP]
  4. Tim Tebow continues wowing fans as he wraps up bay area games


    CLEARWATER — Tracey Fritzinger has seen Tim Tebow play baseball a few times this year. The 40-year-old St. Petersburg resident went to two of his games against the Tampa Yankees, along with Joy, her little sister from Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

    St. Lucie Mets outfielder Tim Tebow, middle, hangs out in the dugout during Thursday night’s game against the Clearwater Threshers at Spectrum Field, the last of St. Lucie’s eight-day trip to the Tampa Bay area.
  5. Rays vs. Mariners, 7:10 Friday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Mariners

    7:10, Tropicana Field

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

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Austin Pruitt (50) in the dugout during the ninth inning of the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays on Opening Day at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, April 2, 2017. The Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees 7-3.