Tom Ryan has been at Eckerd College long enough to know the season can sometimes be a grind. In his 15 years as the men's head basketball coach, he has dealt with player injuries, sicknesses, and school and personal problems. The 2010-11 season is proving no different.
As the Tritons prepare for the final two weeks of the regular season, Ryan is finally seeing signs that his streaky team might be coming together at the right time. After a 10-game win streak earlier in the season, Eckerd (16-6, 7-5 Sunshine State Conference) then went on a three-game losing streak.
The Tritons broke a two-game losing streak Wednesday night by beating rival Tampa 84-79. They are tied for third in the conference with five games remaining before the SSC tournament.
"I've been doing this long enough to know you have to be playing your best basketball at the end of the season,'' Ryan said. "We've gone through some swings. We had three different kids out with the flu last week. We've battled some things this year, some internally and some out of our control.
"But right now we're getting some people back and we're getting some chemistry. That's what you want at the end of the year.''
They will be without junior center Adio Faucher for the rest of the season. Faucher, who has played in 15 games as a reserve, is out with a torn labrum in his shoulder. But they still have key players John Harper (12.9 points per game), Dale Carn (11 ppg), Wayne Sears (11 ppg) and Lance Kearse (10.9 ppg). Woody Taylor and Walade Wade have started all 22 games this season.
Ryan said his team is not built around one or two players. If the Tritons are going to play well at this crucial time of year, they must have all hands on deck.
"This league is always so tough,'' Ryan said. "We know on any night we can beat any team in our league. But we have to be at our best to do that. Even though we beat Tampa, I still think we can play better. We have to get better each game.''
The Belleair Women's Golf Association held a tournament on the East Course on Feb. 1. The best ball duo of Ramona Williams and Leslie Notaro won the nine-hole tournament with a score of 28.
• The Women's Golf Association held a two-round tournament at Isla Del Sol. The final round was played on Tuesday, Feb. 8. The overall winners were Emma Harnet and Ann Fay with a two-week net of 121. First flight winners were Marty Brokaw and Debbie Harlow (124). Second flight winners were Roz Heenan and Sylvia Kaso (124).
• The County Golf Association held its weekly tournament on Feb. 7 at Cypress Run Golf Club in Tarpon Springs. The regular division gross winners were Kevin Andress and Jim Fannin, who shot 76. The senior division gross winners were Jim Montali and Shane Hayward, who shot 71. The overall net winners were Bernie Kline and Jim Hammar, who shot 64.
• Dan Stefan of Pasadena won the Seminole County Winter Designated Boy's 14 tournament with a 6-0, 6-0 win in the final.
• The East Lake Woodlands Adult Winter tournament was held Feb. 6-8. The men's 3.5 singles winner was August Tacea, the 4.0 winner was Rob Spiars and the 4.5 winner was Nik Sukhasam. The women's 3.5 singles winner was Dori Hazama and the 4.0 winner was Jeanie MacEachern.
LaFleur's Gymnastics of Largo competed at the Pikes Peak Invitational on Feb. 5-6. Level 7 winner was Alexa Mattessich in all-around. Level 8 winners were Heidi Hepokoski (vault, floor, all-around), Cassidy Marks (bars) and Kylie Halbert (vault). Level 9 winners were Jasmine Kauffman (floor) and Jenna Cashmore (bars). Level 10 winner was Kaitlin Green (bars, beam, floor, all-around).
• Apollo Gymnastics boys team competed in the Daytona Beach Invitational on Feb. 5-6. Level 4 winners were Josh LaSpada (high bar), Bobby Travers (rings) and John Karlen (pommel horse). Level 5 winner was Alex Beckers (pommel horse). Level 6 winner was Connor Vonhof (rings). Level 8 winner was Nick Kelton (floor). Level 10 winner was Cody Teaney (all-around, pommel horse, parallel bars).
• The Tampa Bay Turners also competed in Daytona Beach. Level 7 winners were Sami Strickler (vault, all-around) and Hannah Mixson (bars, all-around). Level 8 winners were Gabby Johanek (beam, all-around), Mimi Gilbert (bars), Charity Chen (bars) and Sarah Boyd (bars, beam). Level 10 winners were Tiffany Henry (beam, floor), Shelby Hilton (floor) and Sarah Wolford (bars). Prep-Op Novice winners were Jessica Beltran (vault, bars, all-around) and Casey McLaughlin (floor). Prep-Op Open winners were Lauren LaPeter (vault, beam, all-around) and Katie Boyle (bars).
The Sunrise Table Tennis Club will host a table tennis tournament on Saturday, Feb. 19. The tournament is for players of all skill levels. There will be a morning fun tournament and two sandpaper paddle events. For information, call Bill Robbins at 323-3519.