Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Sports

Despite losing players to injuries and transfers, Riverview's girls basketball poised for good season

RIVERVIEW — Riverview coach Lelani Gordon has seen the highest of the highs and lowest of the lows this season.

Before the season, Riverview lost low-post presences Justina James and Jessica Causey to transfer. But then Gordon got news that heralded guard Tesha Hanson, who led Seffner Christian to the final four, would be joining the Sharks as a transfer. But just as things were taking shape, the Sharks lost two key players — Monet Williams and Madison Greany — to season-ending injuries over a two-week stretch.

"It's been quite a ride," Gordon said.

Greany broke her left arm in three places after a nasty spill during a holiday tournament and Williams, whom Gordon called "the heart and soul of the team," tore her ACL.

"The team got the news about Monet right before we lost (61-56) to (Tampa Bay) Tech," Gordon said. "They were devastated."

What the Sharks do have is arguably the best one-two combination in the county with Hanson and Faith Woodard. Both average more than 18 points per game and the juniors have drawn the attention of national recruits.

"Tesha and Faith were good friends before she transferred, so that made it smoother for her," Gordon said. "It took some time for all of us to get to know her and her game, but I think she is playing her best basketball of the season right now."

Gordon said the pair have picked up their games in Williams and Greany's absence.

"The two of them have been averaging about 50 points combined over the last five or six games," Gordon said. "They have been huge when we needed them."

Gordon got some good news when Riverview recently welcomed back Kiera Haywood, who was out since the beginning of the season with a dislocated kneecap. And even though this isn't the roster she envisioned before the year began, Gordon thinks Riverview, a team that lost by two points in the 5A region finals last year, can make a deep playoff run.

"We're missing some players," she said. "But I think this team plays better with the underdog mentality. It works for us."

Brandon Wright can be reached at [email protected].com.

Comments
FSU, Willie Taggart face unforgiving ACC slate in 2018

FSU, Willie Taggart face unforgiving ACC slate in 2018

By the looks of the ACC football schedules released Wednesday, Willie Taggart's first season in the league will seem more like an initiation than an introduction.Taggart makes his debut as FSU coach on Labor Day evening (Sept. 3) at home against Virg...
Updated: 2 hours ago
DeSean Jackson says Jameis Winston needs to stop trying to “impress the world,” and play his game

DeSean Jackson says Jameis Winston needs to stop trying to “impress the world,” and play his game

Receiver DeSean Jackson stopped short of saying he regretted his decision to sign a three-year, $33.5-million contract as a free agent with the Bucs last March. But he certainly is disappointed in his lack of chemistry with quarterback Jameis Winston...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Florida Gators’ Scott Stricklin joins College Football Playoff committee

Florida Gators’ Scott Stricklin joins College Football Playoff committee

Florida Gators athletic director Scott Stricklin is one of the new members of the College Football Playoff selection committee.Stricklin will serve a three-year term on the committee, which decides the four teams who will compete in the playoff.The o...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Sorry, Dad, no baseball for this Radke

Sorry, Dad, no baseball for this Radke

TAMPA — From the very beginning, Ryan Radke was surrounded by baseball.The son of former major-league right-hander Brad Radke, Ryan grew up in stadiums, playing with toys at ballparks all over the country while his father made a living during a...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rays spring tickets go on sale Friday

Rays spring tickets go on sale Friday

The Rays will put single game tickets for spring training home games on sale Friday at 10 a.m. via raysbaseball.com.The Rays are playing 14 home games in Port Charlotte, starting with the Feb. 23 opener vs. Pittsburgh. Tickets will be available at th...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Abuse survivor confronts gymnastics doctor: ‘I have been coming for you for a long time’

Abuse survivor confronts gymnastics doctor: ‘I have been coming for you for a long time’

Two yearbook photos floated side-by-side on a projection screen in the Michigan courtroom.Both images caught the same small girl - in one, all gawky smile and bangs; the next, braces and long hair - a few years apart. Until this week, the child in th...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Vegas-Lightning, of all things, is the biggest show in town

Vegas-Lightning, of all things, is the biggest show in town

TAMPA — It's Vegas night.Who would have thought we would have been circling this one on the schedule before the NHL season began?Vegas Golden Knights at Tampa Bay Lightning.We've circled it just the same.It's Vegas night.The Vegas Knights, the ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
A look at Rays 40-man roster with spring training starting in less than a month

A look at Rays 40-man roster with spring training starting in less than a month

With the start of spring training now less than a month away, here is what the Rays roster looks like, with the most glaring hole at first base, which at this point seems likely to be manned by Brad Miller, and some questions about the pitching staff...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Could Mikhail Sergachev replace Hedman on All-Star team?

Could Mikhail Sergachev replace Hedman on All-Star team?

With Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman out 3-6 weeks with a lower body injury, he has to get replaced on the Atlantic Division team. There are plenty of strong candidates to fill the void, including the Maple Leafs' Morgan Rielly and Boston rookie C...
Updated: 6 hours ago
How Urban Meyer helped J.T. Barrett prepare for the NFL draft

How Urban Meyer helped J.T. Barrett prepare for the NFL draft

ST. PETERSBURG – Quarterback J.T. Barrett is one of the most accomplished players preparing for Saturday's East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field.He's the only three-time captain in Ohio State history, and he set at least 37 school/Big Ten re...
Updated: 6 hours ago