John C. Cotey's Top 10
A lot happened this past week. Times columnist John C. Cotey shakes it all out and puts it in order for you:
1. Clearwater girls basketball
It's pretty amazing to think that Clearwater (18-0), which has been to the state semifinals eight times and made the state championship game four times, has never been ranked No. 1 in the state poll. I mean, what kind of idiots must vote in that thing if … oh, wait … never mind.
2. Berkeley Prep boys basketball
There may be only one thing better for the Berkeley Prep boys team than beating its archrival 83-69, and that's doing it at the annual Headmaster's Challenge. Or maybe the one thing better is that Tampa Prep was 14-0 at the time. Either way, it's got to be sweet for seniors Johnathan Gray (23 points) and Austin Suarez (20).
3. Soaring Eagles
The East Lake boys soccer team crushed archrival Palm Harbor University 3-0 in the Hurricane Watch Tournament (do they have one of those every other weekend, or is it my imagination?), the first time it has won the event.
4. UNC Tar Heels
Two University of North Carolina athletic teams are picking up some of the best Tampa Bay has to offer. The basketball team signed Sickles center John Henson, and the football team picked up a commitment from Armwood's Mywan Jackson (to go with the one they got from Armwood's Angelo Hadley).
5. Darryn Frazier, Central basketball
The senior guard dropped 39 on Oldsmar Christian (our No. 1 team), and it wasn't just a one-night outburst. He has scored at least 28 in four of the past five games, including 42 in a holiday tournament game in Orlando.
6. Mitchell girls basketball
Sisters Latrel and Lashe Kirkland (19 and 12 points, respectively) reminded everyone in Pasco County they are still dangerous by knocking off Wesley Chapel, which had not lost since … well, last year.
7. Florida High School Athletic Association
Nature Coast decided not to appeal last year's whopper of a football penalty (school fined and prohibited from playoffs). I'm not saying that means the FHSAA was right, but apparently Nature Coast had no evidence it wasn't.
8. Collette Eule, Tampa Catholic
Hey, 1,000 career points is nothing to sneeze at. I don't know what that means — did people used to purposely sneeze at stuff they weren't impressed by? — but I know this: Eule, only a junior, has her Crusaders off to a 15-1 start and looking like Hillsborough County's best team.
9. Jefferson, Robinson boys basketball
The Knights beat district co-leader Jesuit. The next night, the Dragons beat district co-leader Plant. Pretty impressive for a pair of teams that have five wins each.
10. Casey Merson, Seminole girls soccer
The Warhawks keeper has seven shutouts and has allowed just five goals all year. She's a big reason why coach Steve Kuplicki has another winner and the Warhawks are likely headed for a ninth straight trip to the postseason (and 15th in the last 20 years under the unsung head coach).
Who's in your top 10? Who should be in next week's? Let Cotey know at firstname.lastname@example.org.