Led by junior Ashley Hoglund, the Citrus girls won 44-40 against Central on Tuesday, snapping a three-game losing streak.
With the game tied at 38, Hoglund _ who plays point guard, wing and forward _ hit a three-pointer and two-point bucket to give the Hurricanes (4-7) the victory. Hoglund leads the team, averaging 11 points, 4 rebounds, 4 steals and 2 assists.
"She is just an all-around player who can do it all," Citrus coach Cheri Martone said. "She can dish, steal and rebound. She's just an awesome player."
WARRIORS TO PLAY RANKED FOE: The Seven Rivers girls are coming off a 76-6 pasting of Cedar Key. All the Warriors' starters left the game by halftime.
Seven Rivers (10-3) faces Tampa Cambridge, ranked second by the Florida Sports Writers Association, at home 1:30 p.m. Saturday. The Warriors continue to be led by Lacey Lyons, who is averaging 23.5 points, 8.4 assists and 8 rebounds. Rachel Ebert follows at 12.9 points, 6.5 rebounds.
BIG 'CANES WIN: The Citrus boys (10-3) are coming off their biggest victory, 48-45 over Central
The 'Canes went up 11-9 in the first quarter, then Central took a 19-17 halftime lead before Citrus regained it at 30-28 in the third. With it tied at 41, Walter Howard hit a three for the advantage. A Bears foul led to a J.D. Hoglund free throw before R.J. Cobb made a wide-open layup to seal the victory.
In addition to scoring leader Donnie Ross (13.5 average), rebounding leader Howard (13.3 ppg, 9.6 rpg) and Cobb (11.6 ppg, 3.6 assists), coach Tom Densmore said the difference was the fourth-quarter help from the bench. Players such as sophomore Mark Xenophon, who scored four of his six points; and Hoglund, a junior, who produced six points late.
Another key was Citrus' ability to hold West Virginia signee Alex Ruoff _ who averages 30.2 points, 11.7 rebounds for Central _ to 20 points. The win was important because the Hurricanes are tied at 5-1 atop the Class 4A, District 9 standings with Leesburg. Citrus' only district loss came against Leesburg (59-55 in overtime), and Leesburg's lone district loss (58-46) was against Central.
The 'Canes face South Lake at home tonight at 7. The last time they played, Citrus trailed by eight points at the end of the third quarter before going on a 18-6 run to win 48-44.
TOUGH LECANTO LOSS: The Lecanto boys (7-6, 2-4 in Class 4A, District 9) have improved defensively since their trip to Massachusetts, but they lost 71-66 in triple over against Leesburg.
"We play well enough to win. We just didn't win," coach Chris Nichols said. "But we feel like we're on the right track to peak towards the end of the year."
Against Leesburg, Kaylen Summers had his best game of the season, scoring 18 points. Andrew Toyloy came off the bench to replace Mychal Nichols, who was in foul trouble.
The Panthers meet Nature Coast at home tonight at 7.
LIVINGSTON PACING PIRATES: Junior forward J.C. Livingston continues to lead Crystal River, averaging 18.9 points, 11.2 rebounds.
Sophomore Jay Winborne has stepped up in the point guard position, cutting a high turnover rate, said coach Tony Stukes.
The Pirates (8-5, 2-4 in Class 4A, District 9) play Leesburg tonight at 7.
_ DAWN REISS, Times staff writer