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Ashley wins SSC honor

University of Tampa center Crystal Ashley, who played her high school basketball at Countryside under coach John Napoli, has been named the Sunshine State Conference player of the year.

Ashley, who plays the low post at 5 feet 10, is averaging 15.2 points and 9.3 rebounds per game, which has helped the Spartans (21-5) win their first conference title and a school-record number of wins.

In an 81-52 conference tournament win over defending champion Florida Tech on Tuesday, Ashley scored 12 points and pulled down a team-high 13 rebounds.

The championship game is scheduled for Tampa's Martinez Sports Center at 12:30 today.

Vicky Green (Gibbs High/St. Petersburg Junior College) completed her college career at Saint Leo Tuesday night in an SSC tournament loss to No. 1-seeded Florida Southern. A team co-captain, Green started at guard for the Monarchs (8-19) and had season averages of 11.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.3 steals and 2.7 assists.

Necole Tunsil (Lakewood) ranks 10th in the Big Ten Conference in scoring (16.2 average) for the No. 14-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes. Her 78 percent foul shooting ranks fourth in the conference.

Men's basketball: Coach Jeff Price (Seminole High '77) is taking his Lynn University Knights (23-6) to the NAIA Division II national championship tournament in Nampa, Idaho. The 24-team playoffs get under way Tuesday.

Lynn, formerly called College of Boca Raton, earned the berth with an 87-80 win over Wilmington College in the championship game of the Northeast Regionals last Sunday at Philadelphia. Price, who played collegiately for St. Petersburg Junior College and Pikeville (Ky.) College, was named the Northeast Regional coach of the year.

Greg Roberson (Pinellas Park High) provided muscle up front that helped Lynn to its winning record and bid to the nationals.

"Greg's been a major reason for our success," said Price by telephone. "During the last 10 games he really turned it on at power forward, blocking shots and forcing (opponents) to alter their shots. He intimidated everyone under the boards. He's a solid player."

Roberson, 6 feet 7, leads the team with 70 blocked shots. His 11.3 scoring average is based on the best field-goal accuracy on the team _ 61 percent. He's averaged 7.3 rebounds, the Knights' second-best total.

"Greg helped us play an exciting up-tempo game this season," said Price, in his first year at Lynn. "We filled our gym for every home game."

All conference: Darnell Jackson (Pinellas Park), a 6-6 forward at SPJC, and Carlton Bryant (St. Petersburg High), a 6-5 forward at Florida College, were named to the 1994 All-Suncoast Conference first team.

Tennis: Damon Henkel (Thom Howard Academy), playing in the No. 3 position for No. 11-ranked Florida, won his singles match Tuesday to help the Gators squeeze out a 4-3 win over Auburn.

At Notre Dame, John O'Brien (St. Petersburg High) has an 8-3 record playing at No. 5. He started the season 7-0. O'Brien, a business administration major, spent his last two high school years at Cardinal Gibbons in Fort Lauderdale.

At Alabama, Amy Mascotti (Clearwater Catholic) and Monica Kervandijian (Seminole) teamed up at No. 3 doubles Wednesday in an SEC match against Vanderbilt. They lost 6-1, 6-4.

Mascotti, voted team captain earlier in the season, has a 2-5 singles record playing in both the No. 4 and 5 positions.

"She tends to start off slowly," Alabama coach Jim Tressler said, "but lately she's been coming around. She won against Kansas and Arkansas last week." Mascotti won the Florida high school singles championship in 1988 for the Marauders, defeating Jennifer Capriati of Wesley Chapel in the final.

Kervandijian was the Times' 1991 player of the year for leading the Warriors to the state title. She originally attended Minnesota on a scholarship, but transfered after her freshman year. Her record is 1-3 this season in doubles play.

Baseball: At Florida A&M, Mike Sullivan (Seminole High) went 4-for-4 for the Rattlers in an early season win over the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. After 16 games, he has a team-leading batting average of .422, including 12 RBI and four homers. Sullivan, a transfer from SPJC, plays third, designated hitter and has been taking the mound lately, his first pitching duties since Little League. In 8 innings of relief, he has a record of 1-0, plus a save, giving up four hits and striking out 12.

Track: Ervin Whitehead (Dixie Hollins) broke the Teikyo Westmar (Iowa) University 200-meter indoor record with a 22.42 at the Iowa Small College Championships in Mount Vernon, Iowa, on Feb. 26.