Sunday, June 24, 2018
Sports

Boys district soccer: Mitchell, Wiregrass Ranch squeak into final

TAMPA — There will be an all-Pasco final in Class 4A, District 8, albeit after both Mitchell and Wiregrass Ranch had to hold on for dear life Wednesday at Leto.

Top seed Mitchell (20-2-1) edged Gaither 3-2 in the first semifinal, while No. 2 Wiregrass (19-1-2) overcame a rare deficit to knock out Sickles 2-1. Both Tampa sides saw tying opportunities barely miss.

Mitchell looked on the way to a relatively comfortable win, as Nick Bartkus netted his second goal of the night for a 3-1 lead with 23 minutes left. But things changed when Gaither's Jonathan Dasilva, almost casually, scored on a bicycle kick with 6:30 remaining.

"It was the only shot I had. I got a quick look where the goalie was and I took it. I knew it was in," he said.

Then came what would have been an even more shocking score. With time running out, goalie Carey Ledee-Nicholls left his net, heading into the Mustangs penalty box on a long free kick. Sure enough the ball settled right to his feet — and Ledee-Nicholls blasted a 20-yarder that rang square off the crossbar.

"That was too close," said a Mitchell coach Oscar Ubillus.

Mico Petrovich did not add to his 30-goal total but had a big hand in all three Mitchell scores. He assisted on two and could have been credited with a third. Though he did not touch the ball, Petrovich's brilliant dummy move sucked in three defenders, all as he let the ball roll through his legs to teammate C.J. Kirtley for the first score.

Bartkus made it 2-0 in the 48th minute but Gaither's Jose Perez answered two minutes later.

Though Gaither (4-7-4) only had one district victory during the regular season it did tie Mitchell 1-1. Similarly, Wiregrass had narrowly defeated Sickles 3-2. And the Gryphons (11-5-2) got on top deservedly when Inti Corsa scored from distance in the 19th minute.

But the Bulls came out charging in the second half, and Bryce Wilson scored twice within two minutes to make it 2-1 with a half hour left. A tremendous long carry by hulking forward Matt Bradshaw set up Wilson for the tying goal and Andy Hippley assisted on the winner.

Sickles threw everything it had at Bulls goalie Alex Cypriano, but he made a huge save on one in-close shot and got a major piece of help when Doug Nolting cleared a ball off the line with 16 minutes remaining.

Sickles' Nate Schmidt, who had six shots, found himself unmarked in the final minute before heading wide.

"That game could've gone either way," said Wilson.

Comments
Rays team up to beat Yankees again 4-0

Rays team up to beat Yankees again 4-0

ST. PETERSBURG — With all that's been said, tweeted, ranted and written on these pages and elsewhere about the Rays' odd, unorthodox, weird and some days downright wacky pitching plan, this might be the craziest thing yet:It's working.Like, rea...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Greg Auman answers your questions about NFL’s investigation into Jameis Winston

Greg Auman answers your questions about NFL’s investigation into Jameis Winston

There are many unanswered questions and discrepancies about the story of Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston and the March 2016 Uber ride in Arizona that has led to his upcoming three-game suspension for violating the NFL's conduct policy.The Bucs won't ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Will this be Jameis Winston’s last season in a Bucs uniform?

Will this be Jameis Winston’s last season in a Bucs uniform?

A t his introductory news conference after being drafted No. 1 overall by the Bucs in 2015, Jameis Winston said to judge him on his actions moving forward."Actions speak so much louder than words, or what they may have read or what they may have hear...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Rays Tales: Why ‘trades’ and ‘prospects’ are always in same conversation

Rays Tales: Why ‘trades’ and ‘prospects’ are always in same conversation

Besides the continual evolution of their intriguing pitching plan, the primary topics of conversation for the Rays over the next several weeks will be trades and prospects. And not mutually exclusively.Some sooner than others, the Rays are going to c...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Former Mitchell High player Nathan Smith taken in NHL draft by Jets

Former Mitchell High player Nathan Smith taken in NHL draft by Jets

It's rare to see an NHL draft pick with Tampa Bay ties, but the Jets used a third-round pick Saturday on center Nathan Smith, 19, who played for Mitchell High School in Trinity and most recently for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders of the USHL.Smith was ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Report: Lightning to talk to John Tavares during free-agent courting period

Report: Lightning to talk to John Tavares during free-agent courting period

Despite limited salary-cap room, the Lightning is among at least five teams expected to talk with Islanders All-Star center John Tavares, who can be a free agent July 1, when the courting period begins Sunday, ESPN reported.Tavares also is expected t...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rays journal: New confidence carries over for Willy Adames

Rays journal: New confidence carries over for Willy Adames

ST. PETERSBURG — The key to SS Willy Adames rapping two of the biggest hits in the Rays' 4-0 win Saturday actually took place the night before.An RBI single that snapped an 0-for-12 and a second hit two winnings later in Friday's game restored ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Another small, quick forward headlines Lightning’s draft picks

Another small, quick forward headlines Lightning’s draft picks

Even without a first-round pick, the Lightning wrapped up its draft with seven picks Saturday, starting with Gabriel Fortier, an undersized 18-year-old forward from Quebec in the second round."They were guys that we really wanted," Lightning director...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Yankees game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Yankees game

INF Daniel Robertson has only played two games after a short DL stint, but it seems like he has already made a half dozen great plays. Willy Adames and Jake Bauers get the attention, but Robertson has the skills to steal the show any night.It is obvi...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Tampa Bay Tech wins Battle of the Bay 7-on-7 tournament

Tampa Bay Tech wins Battle of the Bay 7-on-7 tournament

TAMPA — Tampa Bay Tech lost some significant players from an offense that averaged more than 40 points per game last season.The biggest departures were in the passing game. Mike Penix, the Tampa Bay Times' all-Tampa Bay offensive player of the ...
Updated: 7 hours ago