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: Wiregrass Ranch 55, Mitchell 52

WESLEY CHAPEL — Wiregrass Ranch coach Jeremy Calzone looked up and down his bench, his frustration growing with each missed jumper, his temper souring with every turnover.

"What team is this?" Calzone asked his assistants.

Their silence spoke volumes.

For two quarters, Calzone's Bulls looked like a shell of the team that battled talented Tampa Catholic toe-to-toe for four-plus quarters before losing in overtime.

So at halftime, Calzone stressed the basics. He told his team to hustle on every possession, move the ball on offense and, most important, tighten up its defense.

The Bulls heard his pleas and responded, overcoming a nine-point deficit to defeat Mitchell 55-52.

"I finally thought against Tampa Catholic this program had turned the page, meaning we're going to play hard all the time," Calzone said. "We were fighting that whole game. We came out … and I don't know what was in their head because it was almost like night and day. One of the hardest things about coaching high school is trying to figure out what's going through these kids' heads."

The Bulls (1-1) left Calzone exasperated by halftime, but they finally gave him something to smile about in the second half. Wiregrass Ranch scored the first two baskets to pull to within five then drew even with the Mustangs (0-2) at 36 entering the final quarter on Tanner Carey's free throw.

Wiregrass Ranch took a 46-42 lead with 5:19 remaining. But Mitchell wouldn't go away and pulled ahead 52-51 after a basket and free throw by Jake Driscoll (game-high 21 points) with 1:20 to go.

Carey was fouled on the Bulls' next possession and made both free throws to give his team a one-point lead. After an empty trip for Mitchell, the Bulls' Michael Chase was fouled and made two free throws with 18 seconds left.

Then Driscoll's 3-pointer as time expired hit the front of the rim before bouncing off.

"We played a diamond and one. I told them to guard the 3-point line and told (Kingsley Boateng) to chase (Driscoll)," Calzone said about the game's final play.

"I thought we did a good job. We talked about fouling in the huddle, but we just came to a consensus to play solid defense and get the game over with."

Carey led the Bulls with 14 points. Boateng added 10 and Rico Kerney nine.

Troy Blyden had 17 points for Mitchell.

Boys basketball: Wiregrass Ranch 55, Mitchell 52 12/01/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 1, 2010 10:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa lands Super Bowl in 2021


    Tampa's Super again. Or at least it will be soon.

    Mike Tomlin celebrates with LaMarr Woodley and Troy Polamalu after the Steelers beat the Cardinals in 

Super Bowl XLIII  on February 1, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. [Times files (2009)
  2. Why Ryan Fitzpatrick may solve the puzzle for Bucs at backup quarterback


    Ryan Fitzpatrick will have to leave One Buc Place following Thursday’s off-season workout and fly home to New Jersey in time to teach a class of 10 second and third grade students how to solve the Rubiks Cube.

    The Bucs are hoping Ryan Fitzpatrick can provide the solution to their puzzle at backup quarterback behind starter Jameis Winston.
  3. For starters: Rays vs. Angels, with Cobb leading the way


    Rays veteran RHP Alex Cobb had a lot to say Monday about the team needing to focus on getting past .500 and building a winning record.

    And after the disappointing 3-2 loss that …

    Alex Cobb will start tonight when the Rays play the Angels.
  4. Family a driving force for University of Tampa pitcher David Lebron


    TAMPA — For University of Tampa junior pitcher David Lebron, baseball reminds him of family. He uses it to help honor the memory of his father, who taught him the game. One day, he hopes his career can help support his mother and allow her to rest.

    University of Tampa junior pitcher David Lebron (Courtesy of University of Tampa)
  5. L.A. delay could re-open Super Bowl chance for Tampa in 2021


    Construction delays on the NFL's new stadium in Los Angeles mean the Rams and Chargers won't be playing there until 2020, a year later than expected, and the ripple effect could give Tampa another …

    Tampa and Raymond James Stadium last hosted a Super Bowl in 2009, when the Pittsburgh Steelers edged the Arizona Cardinals.