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)

Hudson rattles Springstead early but Eagles move to 19-0

HUDSON — As Hudson's long-range bombs and short-range bank shots kept falling early in Thursday's Class 4A, District 8 contest against Springstead, the Eagles got discombobulated, frustrated, even a little mouthy.

But never alarmed. Then again, 18-0 teams don't panic easily.

Collecting themselves defensively, the Eagles (now 19-0) began forcing myriad backcourt turnovers and ended the first half with 19 unanswered points to virtually seal a 71-54 triumph, locking up the top seed in the district tournament.

Springstead seeks victory No. 20 tonight at home against Zephyrhills.

"I think the key to the game was our defense," Eagles coach Pat Kelly said. "Hudson came out strong, spirited, played very well at the beginning … and we then started taking things away from them and playing the kind of defense we can play, and that was the key."

Initially, the Eagles allowed Cobras junior Chris Russo to get open for a pair of first-quarter 3-pointers, and failed to neutralize senior guard Jarrod Branco, who scored eight of his 23 points in the first eight minutes.

Branco's final field goal of the period, a deliberate bank shot, gave Hudson (12-7) a 20-12 lead. By that point, Russo had 10 points and the Eagles already had collected one of their three technical fouls.

Russo would score five the rest of the game. Tightening up on the perimeter, the Eagles began creating baskets off Hudson cough-ups with superior speed and athleticism. Senior Isaiah Mason's putback in transition, after classmate Dante Valentine stole the ball from Branco near midcourt, gave Springstead a 26-24 lead it wouldn't relinquish.

Mason had eight points during the 19-0 spurt — capped by a putback dunk — that gave the Eagles a 37-24 halftime advantage. He finished with a game-high 29.

"It's always the same thing when you lose to them — turnovers," said Cobras coach Jason Vetter, whose club entered on a six-game win streak. "We try to tell the guys, 'Don't let one mistake become five,' and that stretch in the second quarter we did."

Springstead71
Hudson54

Hudson rattles Springstead early but Eagles move to 19-0 01/22/09 [Last modified: Thursday, January 22, 2009 10:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Lightning takes defenseman Cal Foote with top pick in draft

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Former Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote said his son Cal lived in the locker room.

    Cal Foote, second from left, is welcomed to the Lightning by GM Steve Yzerman, far left.
  2. It's Rays' turn to pound Orioles pitching (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG - Ah, the fantastic four.

    The Rays smashed the reeling Orioles 15-5 on Friday, scoring a season-high in runs, to climb four games above .500 for the first time since July 1, 2015.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria scores on a triple by Logan Morrison during the first inning against the Orioles.
  3. Lightning journal: Plans set for 25th anniversary season

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — The Lightning revealed some of its plans for its 25th anniversary season Friday, including a ceremony to honor the 2004 Stanley Cup team.

    John Tortorella, in Tampa in 2014 for the 10-year Stanley Cup win party, will return next season for the team’s anniversary event.
  4. Rays designate catcher Derek Norris for assignment

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — C Derek Norris tied a career-high with three hits in Friday's 15-5 win against the Orioles then was designated for assignment after the game to make room on the 25-man roster for C Wilson Ramos.

    Matt Duffy is expected to resume his baseball activities once the stitches heal.
  5. Lightning picks defenseman Cal Foote

    Blogs

    Cal Foote is the son of former Avs defenseman Adam Foote.