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)

Sickles crumbles in fourth at Tampa Hoops Classic

TAMPA — Like any coach, Sickles' Renaldo Garcia hates to lose. But after watching his team fall to Winter Springs 78-73 on Friday night in the first round of the Tampa Hoops Classic, Garcia wasn't in a foul mood.

Quite the opposite, in fact.

That's because he thinks the defeat will serve as a learning experience.

"This is the time of year you want this medicine," Garcia said.

The Gryphons (9-3) certainly got a spoonful.

Ahead by eight midway through the fourth quarter, Sickles appeared to be well on its way to victory. But Winter Springs (8-2) simply wouldn't go away. Instead, the Bears turned their intensity up a notch, particularly on defense, and literally stole one.

"We tried to wear them down throughout the game, then press them in the fourth quarter," Winter Springs coach Travis Jones said.

The plan worked. To perfection.

The Bears' press caused Sickles to rush, and that led to several turnovers, which Winter Springs more often than not converted into points. Once, it was 59-51 in favor of Sickles. Before long, it was tied. Soon Winter Springs led.

And finally, after a 20-4 run, the Bears found themselves in command entering the final minute of play.

"That was a team that has been there before," Sickles forward John Henson said. "Our team has not been there."

Henson certainly did his part.

The heralded North Carolina recruit produced 28 points, 15 rebounds and six blocks — all game highs. But he failed to score in the final 3:25 and missed four foul shots down the stretch, which proved costly.

"It's a tough loss," Henson said. "We had them for three out of four quarters."

Point guard Jordan Davis added 15 points for Sickles. Winter Springs got 27 from forward Luis Jacobo and 21 from sharp-shooting guard Austin Keel, who made five of the team's 10 3-pointers.

Sickles outshot Winter Springs (54.4 to 42.3 percent) and outrebounded the Bears (36-24). But 14 Gryphon turnovers, many of which occurred in the final quarter, may have been the difference.

"We thought we could handle their press a little better," Garcia said.

Only one area team advanced into the winner's bracket Friday: Clearwater. The Tornadoes used a strong surge at the end to down Leonardtown (Md.) St. Mary's Ryken 74-65.

Clearwater (9-0) next plays Orlando Olympia, which defeated Berkeley Prep 69-64, at 7:15 tonight at Plant. The Tornadoes have not won this season by fewer than eight points.

Keith Niebuhr can be reached at kniebuhr@sptimes.com or at (813) 226-3458.

Today's games

At Plant

Dwyer vs. King, 2 p.m.

Gainesville vs. Thomas Jefferson, 3:45

Bartow vs. North Lawndale, 5:30

Olympia vs. Clearwater, 7:15

St. Thomas Aquinas vs. Winter Springs, 9

At Jefferson

Oak Ridge vs. North Port, 12:30

Berkeley Prep vs. St. Mary's Ryken, 2:15

Sickles vs. Cincinnati Princeton, 4

Sickles crumbles in fourth at Tampa Hoops Classic 12/26/08 [Last modified: Monday, December 29, 2008 11:43am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays have their chances, but end up with another loss (w/video)

    The Heater

    TORONTO — The litany of games the Rays have given away this season is long enough, arguably too lengthy. So the only way to get to the postseason is make up for some of those losses by grabbing some wins when the opportunity is presented, especially at this time of year when the margin is diminished and the stakes …

    Associated Press
  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Blue Jays game

    The Heater

    You wonder if the scouting reports and/or workload are catching up to rookie RHP Jake Faria. The bottom line wasn't bad again, three runs in 51/3 innings, but he's having to work harder to get there.

  3. Rays journal: Chris Archer eager for eventful final stretch

    The Heater

    TORONTO — RHP Chris Archer takes the mound today for the Rays as they head into the final 40 games of the season with little margin for error as they battle for an American League playoff spot.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) takes a moment on the mound in the second inning of the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, August 6, 2017.
  4. Tim Tebow's slump continues, as does fan support

    Sports

    CLEARWATER — On July 29, playing against the Charlotte Stone Crabs, Tim Tebow smacked a mammoth three-run homer, helping the St. Lucie Mets cruise to a 10-3 victory at Charlotte Sports Park.

    St. Lucie’s Tim Tebow, shown Monday at Spectrum Field, struggled at the plate Wednesday against the Threshers.
  5. Rays at Blue Jays, 4:07 p.m. Thursday

    The Heater

    Today: at Blue Jays

    4:07, Rogers Centre, Toronto

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun, 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Rays info: Toll-free 1-888-326-7297

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: RH Chris Archer (8-7, 3.84)

    JAYS: RH Chris Rowley (1-0, 1.69)