Boys player of the year
C Tyler Bergantino, Jr., Nature Coast
Why we picked him: For the second year in a row, Bergantino was the immovable object in the North Suncoast's post. A skilled offensive player who used his wide, 260-pound frame and 6-foot-9 height to create space for himself in the paint and shoot over defenders, Bergantino averaged 18.3 points a game for 27-4 Nature Coast. On the glass, he was just as tenacious, grabbing 12.8 rebounds a game. The Sharks wisely made Bergantino's skills the focus of their defense, funneling ball handlers toward the basket, where the block machine (4.9 a game) was waiting to swat it away. A two-time recipient of the St. Petersburg Times' North Suncoast player of the year award, Bergantino fueled the Sharks' second straight run to a berth in the region finals.
Most impressive accomplishment: Bergantino shot 63 percent from the field during the regular season and increased his productivity in the postseason by scoring at a 69 percent rate. In 26 of his 31 games, Bergantino recorded a double double.
Future plans: Bergantino has helped Nature Coast advance to the region finals each of the past two seasons and looks to go further in his senior season. With only one starter graduating, the Sharks again figure to be a one of the favorites in the region. As for his plans after high school, Bergantino already holds offers from USF, Ohio University, Virginia Tech, Buffalo and Georgia Southern, and he is sure to receive more during the summer AAU circuit.
Did you know? In games that Bergantino has played in during his three-year Nature Coast career, the Sharks have compiled a 61-13 record. For the second straight season, Nature Coast finished with a 27-4 record. … Bergantino, who continued developing his offensive game during the season and was automatic in the paint by the postseason, had 20 or more points in 11 games this season. Only two teams — Plant and Zephyrhills, both early season games — were able to hold Bergantino to single digits in scoring.
G Tanner Carey, Sr., Wiregrass Ranch: The Bulls' career 3-point leader averaged 12.9 points and 4.5 rebounds to help his team win a district title.
G Jake Driscoll, Jr., Mitchell: Missed eight games with mono but still led the North Suncoast in scoring at 23.2 points a game. Also contributed 7.5 rebounds and 4.2 assists a game.
G Richey Williams, Sr., Hudson: Versatile scoring threat averaged 19.4 points a game and led the Cobras to their first-ever district title.
F, Matt Dennis, Sr., Nature Coast: Broke a school record for most steals in a season and nearly averaged a double double at 9.6 points and 9.3 rebounds a game.
F Scott Kujak, Sr., Ridgewood: Talented, multisport athlete was a scorer (13.3 points a game), rebounder (10.0 a game) and facilitator (4.3 assists a game) for Rams.
G Jamal Branco, Jr., Hudson; G Chris Gregory, So., Gulf; G Brandon McWhorter, Jr., Anclote; G Christian Parra, So., Wesley Chapel; C Michael Chase, Sr., Wiregrass Ranch
Academy at the Lakes: Evan Gordy; Anclote: Sevy Galati; Bishop McLaughlin: Jordan Betancourt; Central: Joey Stokes; Gulf: Rohan Blackwood; Hernando: Terrance Owens; Hudson: Andrew Disanto, Skyler Pryor; Land O'Lakes: Darrell Warren; Mitchell: Troy Blyden; Nature Coast: Donovan Ingram, Blake Lowman, Caleb Martin; Pasco: Hakeeme Ishmar, Donald Simmons; Ridgewood: Marcus Green, Mike Wood; River Ridge: Richard Rodriguez; Springstead: Will Hall, Naquan Inniss; Sunlake: Andrew Banks, Pedro Pabon; Wesley Chapel: Erik Thomas; Wiregrass Ranch: Rico Kerney, Antwan Prince, James Tringali; Zephyrhills: Devin McLeod
Coach of the year
Jason Vetter, Hudson
Despite graduating half of his scoring production from a team that finished below .500 the previous season, Vetter molded an underclassmen-heavy lineup into a district champion. In one of the deepest districts (4A-7) in the bay area, the Cobras lost just once. Under Vetter, Hudson advanced to the postseason for the third time in four seasons. Before his arrival, the Cobras had never made the playoffs.