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Revenge matchup on tap for Pirates

Here is a look at some key games from the weekend and some others this week.

PASCO: The Pirates can prove they're for real tonight when facing district rival Springstead in a grudge match of sorts. Pasco "gave away" last year's district title game, if you ask coach Poncho Broner. Here's a chance to take something back.

The Eagles are 4-0 and return all but one player from last year's team. The Pirates enter this one with a little more confidence after rivalry wins over Wesley Chapel and Zephyrhills to put them at 3-2.

Pasco guard Zach Caparaso has nicely filled the vacancy of John Daniel, providing an outside touch with 3-point range. He hit two key 3s against the Wildcats to spark a comeback and 65-63 victory Thursday.

Demetrious Larry came up huge with 30 points against Zephyrhills in a 70-43 win Friday. And Broner has been impressed with the inside presence of Jeremy Dixon. Pasco finishes out this week with games against River Ridge and at Hudson.

MITCHELL: The Mustangs might have hit rock bottom Friday night in a 43-22 loss to Sickles.

Mitchell (0-5) scored just seven points in the second half, and fell apart at the free-throw line, sinking just 1-of-14. At one point, Mitchell's defense made five consecutive stops, but couldn't score a single point in transition.

"It will be nice for us when we get teams of our equal ability," Mitchell coach Larry Holden said. "Then we'll see how playing the tougher teams has helped. I would have liked to have played easier teams first."

Mitchell faces St. Petersburg tonight, then travels to Gaither on Friday.

BISHOP MCLAUGHLIN: The Hurricanes came close to their first win Saturday, leading almost the entire game before their shooting got cold in a five-point fourth quarter and a 50-48 loss to Central. The game marked a reunion between Bishop McLaughlin coach Steve Matesich and Central coach Eric Hayes, who battled each other in the early 1990s playing for Jesuit and Tampa Catholic. Bishop McLaughlin fell to 0-5 before Monday's game against Canterbury. The Hurricanes play again Friday at Hernando Christian.

LAND O'LAKES: The Gators are off to a 3-0 start thanks to senior Dontarrius Thomas. The Wharton transfer dropped in 23 points in an 81-50 drubbing of Clearwater Central Catholic. Land O'Lakes led 18-3 after one quarter. The Gators have a pair of tough games this week, beginning with Springstead on Thursday and perhaps the best regular-season matchup of the season against Ridgewood on Friday.

Izzy Gould can be reached at igould@sptimes.com or (727) 580-5315.

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