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Chiefs head to tournament

After losing the opening wrestling match to Bloomingdale High School, Chamberlain's Adam Jessup was nearly perfect, romping to a 57-15 win Jan. 22.

The victory improved the Chiefs to 14-3 on the season as they head toward the Class 2A, District 8 tournament. Chamberlain will host the event, which begins Feb. 14.

In beating the Bulls, Chamberlain had pins from Chris Smith (112 pounds), Michael White (135), Ricardo Topham (140), Travis Corsall (171), Andrew Gardana (189) and Garrett Gibbons (275). Chamberlain's only other loss, in fact, came when Bloomingdale won at the 145-pound weight class and on a Chamberlain forfeit at the 103 weight.

Chamberlain has one regular season match left, Tuesday at home against Plant. Alonso wrestles Hillsborough on Wednesday, the same day Gaither travels to Durant. Also, Jefferson faces off against King on Thursday.

GIRLS BASKETBALL: With Yarenis Blanco out with back spasms, Leto's Sheena Kee had a career night, scoring 30 points Jan. 20 in the Falcons' 55-45 win against King. Shevonne Battle added 14 points but the evening belonged to Kee, who established a new career high in points scored in the 10-point win.

With Blanco back in the lineup Jan. 23, the Falcons defeated Wharton 57-55.

Blanco, Hillsborough County's second-leading scorer, scored 18 points in her first game back while Sandy Stout also scored 18 and Kee added 10. In games from Jan. 22, Sickles fell 54-37 to Armwood, Plant topped Alonso 45-28, Wharton bounced back with a 62-25 thrashing of Middleton, and Freedom surprised Gaither 58-47.

This Monday, Alonso is at Hillsborough, Chamberlain hosts King, Freedom hosts Sickles, Gaither hosts Plant, Leto is at Robinson, and Wharton hosts Riverview.

BOYS SOCCER: Wharton and Sickles both lost in the semifinals of the Wharton Invitational tournament, played Jan. 20-24 at Wharton. The Wildcats opened the inaugural tournament with one of the best individual performances as Onjen Perucia scored four goals and had an assist in a 6-1 Wharton victory against Durant.

Sickles also was a first round winner, defeating Plant City 4-3. Nick Bentley scored twice for the Gryphons, who also got goals from Brent Fernandez and Derek Sanz.

The semifinal round wasn't as kind, as Wharton lost to King on penalty kicks. The teams were tied at 2 after regulation but the Lions won the match 3-2 on penalty kicks. Sickles, meanwhile, had nothing go right in a 6-0 loss to Brandon.

District tournaments kick off Monday with Alonso, Chamberlain, Gaither, Leto and Wharton playing in the Class 5A, District 7 event at Sickles, while Freedom and Jefferson will be at Tampa Bay Tech in the Class 4A, District 11 tournament.

FOOTBALL: John Forbes became the fourth consecutive north Hillsborough player to win the Guy Toph Award when he was recognized Jan. 22 as Hillsborough County's best football player. Forbes, a tailback at Alonso, rushed for 1,722 yards in 2003 and scored 22 touchdowns. Also, he helped lift the profile of the third-year program as the Ravens went from 2-8 in 2002 to 8-2 and a playoff qualifier last season.

Forbes, considered smallish at 5-foot-7, 175 pounds carries a 3.94 GPA and is considering scholarship offers from schools including Ohio, The Citadel, Air Force and Florida Atlantic.

The three previous Guy Toph winners were Andre Caldwell from Jefferson last year, Chamberlain's Eddie Lee Ivery in 2001 and Lydell Ross of Gaither in 2000.

SCHOLARSHIPS: Forbes' teammate Leger Douzable has verbally committed to UCF. A 6-foot-5, 275 pounder, Douzable played offensive line, defensive end and defensive tackle for the Ravens last season. He is expected to focus on the defensive line in college.