Monday, June 25, 2018
Sports

Boys basketball: Largo slowly finding its way

CLEARWATER — Largo coach Phil Price understood the first few weeks of the season were going to be a work in progress. After all, the Packers had players transitioning from football and had to make adjustments for others who had transferred.

So Price has paid no attention to the missed free throws, the errant shots, the turnovers and the fouls.

All he cares about is the result.

On Monday, the Packers were able to overcome all of that, using their athleticism to overwhelm Clearwater in an 81-53 victory.

"All I ask for is hustle," Price said. "Nobody misses shots on purpose. This is usually the way we start. Eventually, we'll get things going a little more."

Largo (2-0) returned the core of its lineup from last season's team that advanced to the Class 6A region final. The two biggest components, guards Donavan Hale and Jonathan Crawford, are two-sport stars who had to wait until the Packers' football season ended three weeks ago before joining the team. The lineup also was bolstered by the addition of Brandon Jones, who transferred from Pinellas Park in the offseason.

But to become a cohesive unit, Largo stills needs time playing together. Against the Tornadoes, the Packers had trouble breaking away early. Missed free throws were a major factor. Largo started off just 3-of-10 from the line and finished 10-of-22 in the first half.

The Packers, who led 37-26 at the half, started hitting more free throws and converted more second-chance attempts in the second half. By the fourth quarter, Largo led by more than 20 and was able to use its reserves.

"We missed 17 free throws," Price said. "That can be tough. But we were still playing hard. The hustle was there, even when the execution wasn't."

Hale scored a team-high 15, including 7-of-10 on free throws, to lead the Packers.

"We started off strong but then we kind of lost it," Hale said. "It took a while, but we were able to get it back. It's a little bit of struggle right now because a lot of us are still trying to get back into basketball shape. I'm 0-for-8 on 3-pointers so far this season. It's just going to take a few games to get into a rhythm."

The Tornadoes made their season debut under Tom Shaneyfelt, the longtime girls coach at the school who took over the boys in June. Rasim Avmet led Clearwater with 15 points.

"There were a few things we did well that gives us something to build on," Shaneyfelt said.

Comments
USF considering former Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long

USF considering former Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long

While Tom Jurich remains the preferred choice among several prominent USF boosters (and some coaches) for the Bulls' athletic director gig, our intel has revealed another former Power Five AD also is getting a serious look.Jeff Long, who spent nearly...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Ex-Bucs DE Keith McCants arrested, facing cocaine charge

Ex-Bucs DE Keith McCants arrested, facing cocaine charge

Former Alabama star and Bucs defensive end Keith McCants was arrested in St. Petersburg early Monday morning and is facing a felony charge of possession of crack cocaine, according to arrest records.McCants, 50, was arrested by the Pinellas County Sh...
Updated: 3 hours ago
No Tropicana Field return for Evan Longoria in 2019

No Tropicana Field return for Evan Longoria in 2019

The Rays take their once-every-three- years turn playing NL West teams in 2019. But, based on an early draft of the schedule, won't get to welcome back traded franchise cornerstone 3B Evan Longoria.The Rays will face Longoria's new team, the Giants, ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Tampaís Aric Almirola is already close to passing Danica Patrick

Tampaís Aric Almirola is already close to passing Danica Patrick

When Tampa's Aric Almirola took over Danica Patrick's ride at Stewart-Haas Racing, he knew one of two things would happen."I'm either going to go out and be successful," Almirola said before the start of the NASCAR season, "or I'm not."So far, he has...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Witness says Jameis Winston was unruly and alone in Uber

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Witness says Jameis Winston was unruly and alone in Uber

Tom Jones joins the podcast to talk about Jameis Winston's reported three-game suspension, as information from another witness has come out saying Winston was unruly and in the Uber by himself during the evening in question.Plus, the Rays sweep the b...
Updated: 4 hours ago
What name would a new Rays stadium carry? Itís a multi-million dollar question

What name would a new Rays stadium carry? Itís a multi-million dollar question

TAMPA ó Yankee Stadium, Fenway and Wrigley are ballparks whose names are woven into the lore of Americaís national pastime.Petco Park and Guaranteed Rate Field? Not so much.The trade-off for that clunky corporate handle is typically an annual payout ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
The pros and cons of Tom Jurich as potential USF AD candidate

The pros and cons of Tom Jurich as potential USF AD candidate

Former Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich has emerged as a legitimate candidate to take over USF, as our Joey Knight reported late last week.Despite the chatter around USF and in the industry, I'm skeptical; I wouldn't be surprised if the Bulls'...
Updated: 9 hours ago
A local hockey draftee? Mitchell grad Nathan Smith is just that

A local hockey draftee? Mitchell grad Nathan Smith is just that

TAMPA — Every year during draft season, players from the Tampa Bay area are selected in the NFL, MLB and even NBA drafts.But NHL?Sure enough, in the third round of Saturday's NHL draft, the Jets selected Nathan Smith, a forward who was born in ...
Published: 06/24/18

Sports on TV/radio for Monday, June 25

TODAYBaseballAngels at Royals4 p.m.MLBNationals at Rays7 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMDiamondbacks at Marlins7 p.m.FSFYankees at Phillies7 p.m.MLBCubs at Dodgers10 p.m.ESPNCollege baseball, World SeriesBest-of-3 championship, Game 1: Oregon St. vs. Mississippi...
Published: 06/24/18
Rays season turning into good one

Rays season turning into good one

ST. PETERSBURG — The Tampa Bay Rays are not the best team in baseball. They are not going to win the World Series this year. Heck, they probably won't even make the playoffs.But I tell you what. This team is a heck of a lot of fun to watch.And ...
Published: 06/24/18