TAMPA — Hillsborough has been a state final four team the past two years, is currently 12-4 and 7-0 in Class 6A, District 8, and coach Chris Ward feels like his team has far more potential to fulfill.
“We’re still looking for leadership,” Ward said. “If we don’t find somebody to step up and lead, then we will be done sooner than later. If we do find somebody to step up and lead, then people will once again be reading about us late into the playoffs. That’s where we’re at.”
Friday night certainly seemed like a step in the right direction with senior Tyriq James leading all scorers with 23 points in a 57-39 victory over Bloomingdale in a key district showdown.
“We want to lead by example,” said James, who celebrated his career 1000th point with his family during a 30-second timeout on Friday. “But we also know that as seniors we need to hold the younger players accountable. We need to keep the intensity up.”
On Friday, Hillsborough barely gave a break to Bloomingdale (10-4, 4-3). After the first quarter, Hillsborough held a 13-4 lead, then led by double digits pretty much the rest of the way.
“Tonight we did a pretty good job with our intensity,” Ward said. “But we’ve been inconsistent. We need to keep up that intensity at all times through the rest of the season.”
Terriers junior guard Jalen Harris finished with 11, followed by senior Cantia Rahming with nine and senior Howard Fleming with seven.
Bloomingdale was led by sophomore Rudolph Hayes with 12 points and senior Gabriel O’Bryant with 11.