Girls rule and boys drool during Countryside Recreation Center's coed summer basketball season.
The league started last weekend with its first all-girls team. The Spurs, who play in the 11-13 age group and are coached by Crystal Plentovich of Palm Harbor, are comprised of eight girls who also are on the Clearwater Basketball Club, a traveling team that just won a U.S. Specialty Sports Association state title and competes in AAU events around the state.
With plenty of girls for every rec league team this season, Plentovich, whose twins Carley and Savannah are guards, started quietly drafting a girl in every round.
"Once I got to three girls, the other coaches looked at me and said, 'You're drafting an all-girls team, aren't you,' '' Plentovich said. "And I said, 'Yeaaaaaaaah.' ''
Plentovich ended up with one boy assigned to the team, but quickly got the okay to trade him for a girl: "It wasn't going to take long for his mother to call and say he didn't want to be the only boy with seven girls.''
The other Spurs are Bella DeVincentis, Kellie Gaston, Kristin Gaston, Jana Henson, Rachel Sinz and Maralee Strickhouser.
Dave Wilson, supervisor of the Countryside Rec Center, said the Spurs will be competitive.
"The girls really play hard — harder than the boys sometimes,'' he said. "Skill level, they can hang with the boys and in some cases, they are more well-rounded.
"These girls can hold their own.''
The Countryside Rec Center has various leagues, camps and training available. For more information, call (727) 669-1914.
• At the USSSA state tournament, held last weekend in Tampa, the Plentovich sisters joined Clearwater Basketball Club teammate Megan Ingram on the all-tournament team. Savannah Plentovich was named tournament MVP. The other Clearwater Basketball Club players are Dominique Eule, Michael L. Everhart, Julia Ingram, Madison Schmidt and Trinidad Susuico. The coach was Kurt DeVincentis and assistant coach Ray Slattery.
Matthew Smith of Shorecrest Prep in St. Petersburg was one of four Florida students to earn a $6,000 scholarship from USTA Serves, the philanthropic and charitable entity of the U.S. Tennis Association. The four are part of 71 high school students nationwide that received a variety of college scholarships totaling $379,000. Smith was a district champion and state semifinalist for the Chargers. He will attend Notre Dame.
• The St. Petersburg Tennis Center held a local junior open June 6-8. The boys 18 singles winner was Luke Burton, the 16 winner was Alex Fennell, the 14 winner was Amaury DeBeer, the 12 winner was Peter Litsky and the 10 winner was Markopolo Fulepp. The girls 18 singles winner was Akilah James, the 14 winner was Emmanuelle DeBeer, the 12 winner was Shachaamah Brown and the 10 winner was Lucija Radovcic.
The West Coast Women's golf league held a tournament Monday at the Bayou Club in Largo. In Flight AA, the first gross winner was Lisa Hartley of Clearwater Country Club, who shot 85. The first net winner was Jean Krause of the Bayou Club, who shot 77. The Flight A winners were Cathy Moss of Vinoy and Mary Nelson of St. Petersburg CC, who each shot 83.
• The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour held its midseason major on June 6-7 in Celebration. Both winners in the girls divisions were from Pinellas County. Seminole's Ryan Ashburn won the girls 15-18 group with 72-74—146. Shane Crutchfield won the girls 10-14 group with 83-83—146. Other area finishers were Ryan Mosley of St. Petersburg, who finished fourth in the boys 13-15 age group, and Linzy Clark of Palm Harbor, who was fifth in the boys 16-19 age group.
• The latest biweekly 18-hole scramble at Largo Golf Course was held June 6. The scramble, which is open to the public, had a total of nine teams (36 players). The team of Jack Falzone (Largo), Larry Bates (St. Petersburg), Jim Helpin (Largo) and Ed Kerns (Largo) won with 11-under 51.
Northwest's youth softball team won the 9- to 10-year-old Dizzy Dean District 5 championship Saturday in Pinellas Park. The team went undefeated in the two-day tournament that included teams from Fossil Park and Pinellas Park. The team is made up of offensive MVP Tori Broxson, defensive MVP Shelby Comuntzis, Emily Richards, Aryka Vaughn, Hannah Wiand, Jenna Albertson, Mia Blasingane, Alexis Blasingane, Julie Dunn, Kaycee Greene, Samantha Ross and Julia Saunders. The team was managed by Joe Saunders and coached by Luann and Jamie Greene and Kelly Wiand.