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Pirate girls get word _ focus

Their coach wants them to maintain consistency that got them to 18-3.

With just five days remaining before the start of district tournaments, Crystal River coach Norris Lightsey is trying hard to make sure his 18-3 Pirates do exactly what has gotten them to this point: Focus on one game at a time.

Crystal River took on Hudson Thursday night and will host Central tonight on Senior Night.

Lightsey said both Hudson and Central are competitive teams, which is exactly what he wants his girls to face at this point.

"Right now we're just trying to get focused," Lightsey said. "We played Dixie County Monday night and we played extremely well for a half and then we had some moments where we didn't play well. We survived it, but I just want us (over the next two games) to have a consistent game."

Lightsey said he won't even begin to think about the Class 3A, District 6 tournament until after tonight's game, where he expects to find out a lot about where his team stands mentally.

TRYING TO FINE-TUNE: After losing to district leader Leesburg by 32 points Tuesday night, the Lecanto boys (8-14) are hoping to regroup with a game at South Sumter tonight.

"We're just trying to play the best we can," said coach Chris Nichols said. "We played pretty well last Friday night. We had been in a stretch of three games where we cut down our turnovers. But we turned the ball over 33 times and we lost by 32. We got out of our game plan. I think that playing against a great team like that can only help make us better."

Nichols said South Sumter is a very athletic team and he considers South Sumter's A.J. Bryant one of the best players in the area.

A NICE SEND-OFF: The Citrus girls team played its final regular-season home game Wednesday night, earning a victory over Central and a nice farewell for its seniors.

"We had a sweet one (Wednesday)," coach Bruce Nelson said. "Our seniors had 34 of our 40 points. And Candice (Wright) just lit them up. She had 17 points and she was great. Lisa (Mobley) had nine, Megan (Hensley) had six and Courtney Wilson, who doesn't get to play that much, had two points and five rebounds so she had a good game.

"It was one of those nice rewards about being a coach. When you see girls that have put in four years and worked hard, it's nice for them to have a night like that."

Citrus will close out its regular season tonight with a game at Lecanto, which has a 5-19 record. But Nelson said the record is deceiving.

"We beat Central, which is 12-10, and I think Lecanto is every bit as good," Nelson said. "Records sometimes don't always tell the story."

STOPPING THE MISTAKES: The Citrus boys are 14-4, but coach Jimmy Thomas said there is much room for improvement.

"We're playing good, but I'm one that will always think we can do better," Thomas said.

The Hurricanes were to take on Leesburg on Thursday night and Thomas was looking for one thing in particular.

"If you take care of the ball you can play with people," he said.

South Sumter is extremely fast and physical and creates turnovers, so the Hurricanes have been working hard to cut down on the number of turnovers.