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)

Packers boys pounce on sluggish Spongers for opening win

TARPON SPRINGS — This summer Tarpon Springs did some impressive things, winning more than 30 games, including victories over established programs such as King, Largo, St. Petersburg and Springstead.

But Spongers coach James Margarella wants the same intensity in practice that was displayed in offseason league games. So Margarella kept his hand on the lever, tweaking his lineup by sitting some starters who were not getting the message.

Largo took advantage early on in Tuesday's game, carving up the Spongers with penetration and passing en route to an 11-0 lead.

The Packers kept it going to win their season opener 84-69.

"It was ugly," Largo coach Phil Price said. "But as a first game outing, I'm not upset. I was pleased effort-wise, just not execution-wise. We strive to only have 15 turnovers a game and we matched that in the first half."

Once the starters were reinserted, Tarpon Springs came to life, going on a 9-0 run to cut the deficit to 11-9. The Spongers continued to keep it close as CJ Bargman hit a halfcourt 3-pointer as time expired in the first quarter to trail 19-15.

But Tarpon Springs couldn't get any closer, and the Packers' experience started to take over. In the second quarter, Largo outscored the Spongers 24-18.

Ahead 43-33 at halftime, Largo widened the gap with a 19-10 third-quarter advantage.

"We started off real strong," Price said. "But then we let them right back in it. Still, we did enough to win."

Patrick Kearney, who shot well from the perimeter, scored a team-high 30 for the Packers, including five 3-pointers. Other Largo players who reached double figures were Darron McNeil (14 points), Justin Feliciano (13) and Breon Bostick (12).

Brandon Hynes led Tarpon with 23 points.

"We have a lot of young guys contributing," Margarella said. "We just need to match our intensity in practice and finish near the basket in games."

Tarpon Springs69

Packers boys pounce on sluggish Spongers for opening win 12/01/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 1, 2009 11:55pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs' Doug Martin relying on strength from drug rehab to power his return


    TAMPA — He would not talk about the drug he abused. He would not identify the rehab facility he entered in January or how long he was there.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin participates in an "open OTA practice" at One Buc Place, the team's training facility, in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.
  2. NCAA: Former USF basketball assistant gave improper benefits


    TAMPA — Former USF men's basketball assistant coach Oliver Antigua provided impermissible benefits, including lodging at his home, for two prospective student-athletes while they received on-campus tutoring, according to findings reported to the school by the NCAA.

  3. Back to .500, Rays feel ready to roll (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Who wants to be mediocre? Middling? Average? Run-of-the-mill?

    Rays catcher Jesus Sucre tags out the Angels’ Mike Trout trying to score from second base after a perfect peg from rightfielder Steven Souza Jr. in the first inning.
  4. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. preserves shutout with perfect throw

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The closest the Angels came to scoring off RHP Matt Andriese in Thursday's 4-0 Rays victory occurred in the first inning, when DH Mike Trout tried to score from second on a single to right. But the throw from RF Steven Souza Jr. was on the money, and Trout was out.

    "That …

    Colby Rasmus collects high fives and shoulder rubs after driving in all four of the Rays’ runs in their victory Thursday. Rasmus had two run-scoring hits a day after hitting a home run.
  5. Rays at Twins, 8:10 p.m. Friday, Minneapolis

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Twins

    8:10, Target Field, Minnesota

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: RH Chris Archer (3-3, 3.76)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Chris Archer #22 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)