NEW PORT RICHEY — There was a great back-and-forth recently between Mike Quarto and Karim Nohra.
The coaches of Gulf and Wesley Chapel, respectively, yelled at each other during the course of play in what turned out to be a 47-42 win for the Wildcats.
Mainly, they dissected each other's strategies in a friendly manner. Anyone within earshot — basically both benches and the scorer's table — had a great seat for the show.
Nohra ended it with an offer: "I'll give you anyone for (Nicole) Adams. You can take you pick!"
Gulf and Wesley Chapel meet for the fourth time this season at 7 tonight in a Class 4A region semifinal, and there's very little the two North Suncoast powers don't know about each other.
Nohra was joking about Adams, but it's easy to see why he would make the comment.
Adams, unquestionably Gulf's leader, needs 15 points to reach 1,500 for her career. That would make the 2,000-point plateau a possibility by the end of her senior season.
Bank on the Wildcats whipping up some sort of strategy to stifle her game.
"At that point, everyone knows what everyone else is doing," Adams said. "You can basically recite the plays. … We're not going to look ahead of any game. Anything can happen."
The series was split during the regular season with both teams winning at home. The third meeting came in the Class 4A, District 7 final, a 57-46 victory for Gulf (23-5).
Quarto expects to see a Wesley Chapel (21-3) team with sound fundamentals. In Nohra's two seasons, his Wildcats are 47-6 with three playoff victories, including a region final berth in 2009.
"They're an extremely well-coached team and extremely disciplined," Quarto said after Gulf's 67-27 win over Wiregrass Ranch to reach the semis. "When you play someone four times there are no secrets, there's no mystery plays. It's just about the kids and who wants it more on that particular night. … It should be a great game."
Izzy Gould can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 421-3886.