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Baisley finishes on top

The Land O'Lakes senior closes the season strong for Times honors.

If the race for Pasco County Player of the Year honors could be likened to a horse race, midway through this season's race Jeff Baisley was in the middle of the pack.

River Ridge's Casey Johnson was breaking school records at River Ridge. Ridgewood's Donny Lotz was terrorizing those who tried to stop him or score on him in the paint. Gulf's Ross Goad was relentless in leading the Bucs to one of their best starts. Kenny McCullough was leading Zephyrhills in every category, and Wesley Chapel's Scott Sorenson was scoring points like no other player in recent memory.

But as the season came out of the final turn, Jeff Baisley pulled away from the group. With every clutch three-pointer, every dominating defensive effort and the accumulation of Land O'Lakes wins, Baisley proved, as he did last year, there was no finer all-around player in the county.

The Pasco Times and Sunshine Athletic Conference Player of the Year finished with a rush, averaging more than 25 points the final month. In the district tournament, Baisley overwhelmed Ridgewood and Palm Harbor, leading the Gators past the latter for the district championship with 28 points, 4 three-pointers, 6 steals, 6 assists and 7 rebounds.

The performance defined the senior's all-around contributions.

"Jeff may not have led the county in scoring or rebounding, but look at the leaders and he's right behind every one of them in every category," Land O'Lakes coach Dave Puhalski said. "Look at the stats; Jeff is everywhere."

Look at his teammates' stats, and Baisley is everywhere, too.

"He made (everyone) better," Puhalski added.

The 6-foot-3 Baisley said there was no particular thing that sparked his second-half surge, except maybe a competitive nature that ultimately took over and lifted his game to higher level. He shot 54 percent from the floor, 77 percent from the free-throw line and made 65-of-180 three-pointers for 36 percent. He led the team in steals and rebounds and was second in assists.

"I just started making more shots, I guess," Baisley. "I don't know how to explain it. I just started playing better. It just happened."

Baisley joins brother Brad as a SAC and Times Player of the Year, honors the 6-foot-10 Brad earned in 1998. And like his older brother, Baisley is done with basketball. His primary sport is baseball, where he is the Gators' starting shortstop and designated closer with a signed scholarship in hand to attend South Florida next season.

It's weird, he says, to think he might have played his last organized basketball game, a playoff loss to Countryside. But he take solace that after leading Land O'Lakes to 55 wins and two district championships the past two seasons, he ends his career in the same place in which his Gators finished the season in Pasco.

On top. As the best.

ALL-COUNTY BOYS BASKETBALL TEAMS

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Jeff Baisley, Land O'Lakes

COACH OF THE YEAR: Dave Puhalski, Land O'Lakes

FIRST TEAM

RYAN VAN BLARCOM: G, Sr., Land O'Lakes. The sharp-shooter made 36 percent of his threes and averaged 15.8 ppg for county's best team.

SCOTT SORENSON: G, Sr., Wesley Chapel. Lit up scoreboards across the county, easily winning scoring crown with 26.1 ppg; shot 42 percent while making 96 three-pointers.

JEFF BAISLEY: F, Sr., Land O'Lakes. Did it all for Gators and was clearly best all-around player, earning SAC Player of Year honors for the second time.

NATE GOAD: F, Sr., Gulf. Led county in rebounding with 11 a game and was tenacious inside, leading to 18.3 ppg and the best Bucs season in years.

DONNY LOTZ: C, Sr., Ridgewood. North Florida-signee was a 6-foot-10 force, averaging 16.9 ppg and 10 rpg. Also blocked 47 shots to lead county.

SECOND TEAM

KENNY MCCULLOUGH: G, Sr., Zephyrhills.

JOE PHILLIPS: G, So., Gulf.

JOE ANDERS: F, Sr., Ridgewood.

BRIAN BAISLEY: F, Sr., Land O'Lakes.

CASEY JOHNSON: C, Sr., River Ridge.

HONORABLE MENTION

HUDSON: Billy Moksay; LAND O'LAKES: Sam Weatherford, Jordan Schebell; MITCHELL: Jason Weaver; PASCO: Leonard Bates; RIDGEWOOD: Chris Halkitis, Eric Sierra; RIVER RIDGE: Drew Thomas; WESLEY CHAPEL: Matt Harden, Tyrone Tomlin, Spencer Honeycutt; ZEPHYRHILLS: Marquis Willis.

2000-01 FINAL PASCO COUNTY

Boys basketball statistics

POINTS

Scott Sorenson, WC 26.1

Kenny McCullough, Zh 20.7

Jeff Baisley, LOL 18.8

Nate Goad, Gulf 18.3

Donny Lotz, Rwood 16.9

Casey Johnson, RR 16.3

Ryan Van Blarcom, LOL 15.8

Leonard Bates, Pasco 14.0

Drew Thomas, RR 12.9

Joe Anders, Rwood 12.9

Tyrone Tomlin, WC 11.9

Ryan Sayre, Hud 11.8

Jason Weaver, Mit 11.5

Brian Baisley, LOL 10.8

Joe Phillips, Gulf 10.5

Marquis Willis, Zh 10.3

Matt Harden, WC 9.8

Danny Sheehan, Mit 9.8

Spencer Honeycutt, WC 9.7

John Bethel, Hud 9.2

John Flores, Mit 8.9

Kyle Cregan, Mit 8.7

Chris Halkitis, Rwood 8.7

Eric Sierra, Rwood 8.0

Sam Weatherford, LOL 8.0

Jason LeBlanc, RR 7.3

Jay Nigro, RR 7.1

Billy Moksay, Hud 6.8

Maurice Maisonett, Hud 6.6

Mike Stanzione, Gulf 6.6

Scott Callaway, Mit 6.5

Jason Boyette, WC 6.0

Nate Bradley, Rwood 5.6

Rob Bethel, Hud 5.4

Drew Weatherford, LOL 5.4

Seandor Riholm, WC 5.0

Brian Lacy, Hud 4.7

REBOUNDS

Nate Goad, Gulf 11.0

Donny Lotz, Rwood 10.2

Casey Johnson, RR 9.5

Matt Harden, WC 8.8

Tyrone Tomlin, WC 7.6

Jeff Baisley, LOL 7.3

Drew Thomas, RR 6.9

Joe Anders, Rwood 6.1

Marquis Willis, Zh 5.9

Jason Weaver, Mit 5.8

Kyle Cregan, Mit 5.7

Sam Weatherford, LOL 5.5

Rob Bethel, Hud 5.4

Seandor Riholm, WC 5.4

Brian Baisley, LOL 5.1

Jason Boyette, WC 4.9

Ryan Van Blarcom, LOL 4.9

Brian Lacy, Hud 4.8

Billy Moksay, Hud 4.6

Kenny McCullough, Zh 4.5

Scott Callaway, Mit 4.4

Scott Sorenson, WC 4.3

David Starkey, LOL 4.1

Jake Ashmore, Zh 4.0

Ryan Rose, Hud 3.7

Dan Barton, Hud 3.7

Lytsz Diometre, Gulf 3.6

Spencer Honeycutt, WC 3.2

Maurice Maisonett, Hud 3.0

Jared Tzoucalis, RR 3.0

STEALS

Kenny McCullough, Zh 3.5

Jeff Baisley, LOL 3.4

Maurice Maisonett, Hud 2.8

Nate Goad, Gulf 2.4

Ryan Sayre, Hud 2.3

Danny Sheehan, Mit 1.8

Marquis Willis, Zh 1.8

Chris Halkitis, Rwood 1.6

Ryan Van Blarcom 1.6

Jay Nigro, RR 1.5

Kyle Cregan, Mit 1.4

ASSISTS

Spencer Honeycutt, WC 4.9

Joe Phillips, Gulf 4.8

Jordan Schebell, LOL 4.1

Danny Sheehan, Mit 3.9

Leonard Bates, Pasco 3.5

Jay Nigro, RR 3.1

Maurice Maisonett, Hud 3.0

Tyrone Tomlin, WC 2.9

Jeff Baisley, LOL 2.8

Joe Anders, Rwood 2.8

Eric Sierra, Rwood 2.8

Kenny McCullough, Zh 2.7

Brian Baisley, LOL 2.7

Chris Halkitis, Rwood 2.7

Mario Policastri, Rwood 2.6

Ryan Van Blarcom, LOL 2.3

Jason LeBlanc, RR 2.3

FT SHOOTING

Joe Phillips, Gulf 41-44 .931

Seandor Riholm, WC 33-38 .868

Josh Bunting, Hud 13-15 .867

Mike Argerenon, Rwood 12-14 .857

Chris Halkitis, Rwood 54-65 .831

Leonard Bates, Pasco 38-47 .809

Drew Thomas, RR 87-112 .776

Eric Sierra, Rwood 63-82 .768

Jeff Baisley, LOL 99-129 .767

Brian Lacy, Hud 23-30 .767

Scott Sorenson, WC 133-176 .755

Donny Lotz, Rwood 106-142 .746

Rob Bethel, Hud 20-27 .740

John Flores, Mit 37-50 .740

Jay Nigro, RR 83-114 .728

Ryan Van Blarcom, LOL 73-101 .723

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