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FIVE BURNING POSTSEASON QUESTIONS

Can anyone stop Gulf?

The Buccaneers are clearly the top team in Pasco County. Their only two losses (Tampa Catholic and Holy Names) are by one point each. Land O'Lakes knocked out Gulf in last year's region semifinal, but a powerful scoring punch of Kayla Kivinski (20.0 ppg) and Kadejah Saunders (16.2 ppg) have the Bucs ready to challenge for a trip to state.

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Can Pasco build on a turnaround season?

The 21-2 Pirates are one of Tampa Bay's biggest surprises, with their only two losses coming to Gulf. Sophomore standouts Brianca Roberts (14.8 points, 4.0 assists per game) and Allahon Marbra (16.7 ppg) lead a greatly improved team. Pasco might not be able to get by Gulf for the district title, but a strong run this year can help a young squad in the coming seasons.

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Can Academy at the Lakes do it again?

The Wildcats were last year's Cinderella team after a quick rise from 0-15 to the region final. AATL might have sneaked up on teams last year, but it won't do it again. The Wildcats were young then and return key players such as Vanessa Vincent and Andrea Mauger. Do they have enough firepower to make a run at state?

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How good is Nature Coast?

The Sharks have an impressive record (18-3), but they play in a district with only one other team above .500. Their last six wins have been by a total of 171 points, and one glaring loss was a 26-point defeat to Gulf earlier this winter. But Nature Coast has plenty of talent, including standout post Lyndsey Pospisil (11.7 ppg). Will it be enough to peak at the right time?

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How far will Wiregrass Ranch go?

Last year was rough for the Bulls after a recruiting scandal, an exit at district thanks to Land O'Lakes and a coaching change. But Wiregrass (19-7) has recovered well behind senior guard Kelly McCaffrey (18.7 ppg, 8.8 rpg). It's having its best season since 2008-09, despite playing in District 7A-9 against foes such as Steinbrenner and Freedom.

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Players to watch

NINA ARGENTO, MITCHELL: The senior guard has been a steady force for the Mustangs, averaging 11.5 points and 5.1 rebounds for a Mitchell team that will likely fight with River Ridge for a trip to region.

LEAH FORD, RIVER RIDGE: The freshman guard hasn't looked inexperienced. She leads a turnaround Royal Knights program with 15.6 points per game and dropped 21 points on Anclote this past week.

ALICIA ARTLEY, FIVAY: The sophomore post player averages nearly a double double (11.7 points, 9.3 rebounds) for a Falcons team hovering around .500.

NATASHA MORRIS, RIDGEWOOD: The senior guard topped 1,000 career points this season and leads the Rams in scoring (17.1 points per game).

REMI MANUEL, HERNANDO: The senior guard had one of the North Suncoast's top performances, scoring 37 against Lecanto this past week.

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FAST FACTS

District schedules

CLASS 7A-9 AT STEINBRENNER

Tuesday: No. 4 Chamberlain vs. No. 5 Gaither, 7 p.m.

Wednesday: No. 2 Freedom vs. No. 3 Wiregrass Ranch, 6; No. 1 Steinbrenner vs. Chamberlain/Gaither winner, 8

Friday: Final, 7

6A-10 AT RIVER RIDGE

Tuesday: No. 5 Sunlake vs. No. 4 Land O'Lakes, 7 p.m.

Wednesday: No. 3 River Ridge vs. No. 2 Mitchell, 6; No. 1 Tarpon Springs vs. LOL/Sunlake winner, 7:30

Friday: Final, 7

6A-6 AT VARIOUS SITES

Tuesday: No. 5 Springstead at No. 4 Central, 7 p.m.

Thursday at West Port:No. 2 West Port vs. No. 3 Lecanto, 6; No. 1 Citrus vs. Springstead/Central winner, 7:30

Friday at West Port: Final, 7

5A-8 AT ANCLOTE

Tuesday: No. 1 Gulf vs. No. 8 Hudson, 6 p.m.; No. 2 Pasco vs. No. 7 Zephyrhills, 7:30

Wednesday: No. 4 Fivay vs. No. 5 Anclote, 6; No. 3 Ridgewood vs. No. 6 Wesley Chapel, 7:30

Friday: Pasco/Zephyrhills winner vs. Ridgewood/Wesley Chapel winner, 6; Gulf/Hudson winner vs. Fivay/Anclote winner, 7:30

Saturday: Final, 7

5A-7 AT EUSTIS

Tuesday: No. 3 Crystal River vs. No. 6 Dunnellon, 6 p.m.; No. 4 Eustis vs. No. 5 Hernando, 7:30

Thursday: No. 2 Tavares vs. Crystal River/Dunnellon winner, 6; No. 1 Nature Coast vs. Eustis/Hernando winner, 7:30

Saturday: Final, 7

3A-8 AT SEFFNER CHRISTIAN

Tuesday: No. 4 Bishop McLaughlin vs. No. 5 Carrollwood Day, 7 p.m.

Friday: No. 2 Brooks-DeBartolo vs. No. 3 Tampa Prep, 5:30;No. 1 Seffner Christian vs. Bishop/CDS winner, 7

Saturday: Final, 7

2A-8 AT CAMBRIDGE

Tuesday: No. 5 Cambridge vs. No. 4 Tampa Bay Chr., 6 p.m.

Thursday: No. 3 Citrus Park Christian vs. No. 2 Hernando Christian, 6; No. 1 Academy at the Lakes vs. Cambridge/TBC winner, 8

Friday: Final, 7

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