Two county players scored the 1,000th points of their careers within minutes of each other Tuesday night to become the 76th and 77th players in county history to achieve the feat.
Chamberlain's Shane Vogt canned a three-pointer early in the third quarter of the Chiefs' 65-57 win over King to eclipse the 1,000-point mark. Vogt is averaging 23.1 points per game this season and now has 1,014 career points.
On the other side of the county, East Bay's Robert Barger scored 39 points Tuesday in an 80-78 loss to Hillsborough to give him 1,008 career points. Barger, who scored a career-best 42 points last Friday to lift the Indians to a 98-96 win over Jefferson, is averaging 27.9 points this season, second in the county and No. 8 in the state.
With at least four games remaining for the Indians this season, Barger could break Alvin Brown's school record of 1,089 career points set between 1975 and 1978.
The ranks of the club could soon swell to 78. Mike Connell of Riverhills Christian is 21 points shy of the 1,000 mark entering tonight's game at Oldsmar Christian. Connell is averaging 18.4 points.
Panther sighting: With a 58-55 win over south Tampa rival Robinson on Tuesday, Plant has won three games in a row for the first time since it opened the season 4-0. The Panthers have resurfaced above the .500 mark at 11-10 and believe they could challenge for the district title.
"We think we're a lot better than our record," said second-year Plant coach Mark Aubin. "We're small and we're slow. So we try to be very deliberate and keep the scoring down. We hope to be in it in the last minute or so. Usually that's where your half-court execution comes into play."
The Panthers have lost four games since the beginning of the year by a total of five points, so they could have one of the county's better records, but with three games remaining _ all against 4A schools _ Aubin said he would be happy to take a .500 mark into the district tournament.
Forward Al Miranda, one of three junior starters for the Panthers, leads the team with 14.0 points per game. Guards Timo Schwarz and Eric Lastra add 13.9 and 13.0 points per game respectively.
"We don't have any stars," Aubin said. "We're very balanced. I didn't expect to win 11 games this year. So I'm satisfied. We're having fun and we're not getting blown out by anybody."
On a crusade: Two weeks ago, Tampa Catholic lost two of three games, two players and its state ranking all in a matter of a few days. This week all that is forgotten.
The Crusaders (22-3) have won four in a row, both Danny Jones and Andre Stewart returned to the lineup from injuries Tuesday night and TC is ranked No. 7 in this week's Florida Sports Writers Association Class 2A state poll.
"This is the time you want to be playing the best basketball," said TC coach Don Dziagwa. "You want to have all your guys ready. I think we're heading in the right direction."
Jones will require surgery on his knee, but not until after the season. "It's an emotional lift to have him back in practice," Dziagwa said. "He practices so hard, it gives everybody a lift."
A clerical error knocked the Crusaders out of last week's poll, said Bob Thomas of the St. Augustine Record, who compiles the poll. TC should have been ranked No. 10 last week after climbing as high as No. 3 this season.
Streaking: Undefeated Bayshore Christian, the state's top-ranked team in Class A, had its sights set on tying the school record of 26 consecutive wins Thursday night against Lakeland Christian. The Faith Warriors had won 51 of their last 52 games entering Thursday's game.
Bayshore is entered in the Blue Darter Classic at Apopka this weekend. Each of the other five schools in has a larger enrollment than Bayshore.