"We've been playing just beneath the radar."
_ NEAL GOLDMAN
Jesuit coach who has been slogging through a rebuilding year with the Tigers. Jesuit made it to the region final last season and is now 8-11.
CAUGHT ON TAPE
With a last name like Dziagwa, the connection was hard to conceal, so Tampa Catholic coach Don Dziagwa met with his players early to quell any uneasiness. Yes, incoming freshman Matt Dziagwa is his son, Don Dziagwa said. No, he wouldn't be playing favorites. Dziagwa can't deny it though: Coaching his son has been something special. "I think it's the greatest thing in the world," he said. "Although, I'm not sure he would say the same thing." While coaching Matt has had its ups and downs, along with a rocky 4-16 season, Dziagwa doesn't want to forget a thing. He has begun keeping a tape recorder with him at practices and games so he can record thoughts and memories about coaching his son. He hopes one day to write them in a book. As for Matt Dziagwa, he proved early that he can hold his own. He is the Crusaders' second leading scorer (9.3 points per game) and top 3-point shooter.
THE TOP FIVE (BOYS)
1. Brandon (17-3)
2. Berkeley Prep (16-2)
3. Wharton (15-4)
4. Gaither 12-5)
5. Riverview (11-5)
UPS AND DOWNS
It's been a bizarre season for the county's girls basketball teams. It seems nobody can take its record or standing for granted, no matter the opponent. With the exceptions of Tampa Bay Tech and Cambridge, which have been practically untouchable, it seems the top 10 spots are up for grabs. Case in point from last week: Durant (12-6), one of the county's strongest and most talented teams, fell 50-47 to Chamberlain (3-16), one of the weakest. This week, Chamberlain lost to Alonso, and Durant rebounded to defeat Bloomingdale.
THE TOP FIVE (GIRLS)
1. Tampa Bay Tech (18-1)
2. Cambridge (20-2)
3. Bloomingdale (14-5)
4. Plant (14-2)
5. Academy of the Holy Names (16-3)
TONIGHT: Riverview at Bloomingdale (girls), 7:45. These two east Hillsborough teams are as evenly matched as they've ever been. Bloomingdale's Erica Woodard and Riverview's Ratisha Rumph will be fun to watch.
MONDAY: Bradenton Christian at Cambridge (girls), 7. Want to gauge Cambridge's chances of making it to the state tournament this season? Watch this game. This matchup may be a preview of the region final. The two played in it last season (and the Lancers lost).
TUESDAY: Plant at Brandon (boys), 7:45. Hopefully, there are no hard feelings between the longtime rivals after some rough play led to Eagles forward Zaronn Cann's season-ending knee injury two weeks ago. This will be an emotional game, but Brandon still rules over Plant.
FRIDAY: Jesuit at Tampa Catholic (boys), 7:45. After years of playing this time-honored game at the University of Tampa, the two private schools have gone back to the old days of playing in their gyms. Jesuit won earlier this month.
_ Compiled by Emily Nipps.