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Beating the rival Panthers helps 'Canes get on a roll

The funk is over.

Before last week's victory against archrival Lecanto, the boys basketball team had slumped to 5-8. The Hurricanes enter tonight's home game with Leesburg at 9-8.

"We've built on that win," coach Jimmy Thomas said.

Senior shooting guard Jamaal Galloway continues to be Citrus' go-to-guy, leading the squad with a 23-point average. He also is tops in steals and second in assists.

Others are stepping up.

Junior point guard R.J. Cobb, averaging 11 points and 4.5 assists, is playing the best basketball of his career.

"He has made a big difference," Thomas said. "He's penetrating and dishing off. When he does that, good things will happen."

Inside, junior center Donnie Ross, whom Thomas calls the Hurricanes' most improved player, averages 10 points and six rebounds.

"He's more physical and has become a team leader," the coach said.

Additional strong play has come from Mike Brown, Walter Howard, Chris Ramirez and Mark Xenophon.

The district tournament begins Feb. 17.

STAFF SET: Mike Reynolds, father of former Citrus standout pitcher Gina Reynolds, is the new softball coach.

He replaces Scott Waters, who resigned last spring after five seasons. Reynolds has been active in local youth leagues for several years. His assistants are Jeanene Posta Gimbrone, an-ex Citrus star, and Becky Eldridge.

"I'm very happy with the entire staff," athletic director Vicki Overman said.

Waters was 93-38 with two district titles and three playoff appearances.

DECISION COMING SOON: Overman said Wednesday that the school hopes to name a new football coach by early next week.

The search committee interviewed eight candidates _ former Citrus standout Rick Hamilton, Citrus track coach Tom Darby, Citrus football assistants Rick Keeran and Ed Kilpatrick, Nature Coast Tech head coach Tommy Keeler, Bradwell Institute (Ga.) assistant Patrick Foster, Clermont East Ridge assistant Rik Haines and Central assistant Cliff Lohrey.

The job opened when Larry Bishop resigned in November after six seasons.

MAKING PROGRESS: The girls basketball squad is 4-11, but coach Cheri Martone likes the Hurricanes' long-term potential.

They have only two seniors. One of them, Alexsia Love, leads Citrus in scoring.

"I'm excited because we have a young team," Martone said. "They have a lot of talent."

ODDS AND ENDS: Galloway has 273 career 3-pointers.

_ KEITH NIEBUHR

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