By Andy Villamarzo
With all the summer-fall sports now officially concluded in Hernando County, we move into the fall-winter season of athletics and it brings on boys and girls basketball. Along with basketball is boys and girls soccer, weightlifting and wrestling. We take a brief look at all the boys basketball teams across Hernando County and what to look forward to this upcoming 2019-2020 campaign.
Nature Coast: Nature Coast sets the bar high for teams in Hernando County. Year in and year out, the Sharks are perennially in the thick of the action when it comes to winning district championships and going to the playoffs. That mantra remains the same for this Nature Coast team, as Dave Pisarcik and crew have the pieces to make another run. Question is how far can this club run the tables?
Springstead: When it comes to who is the best player for Springstead, there’s no argument this season who that is. Unique Torain returns as the Eagles top player this season after averaging over 17 points per game last fall. Springstead finished last year with a record of 12-11 and are always a strong team under the direction of Matt McGarry. His team this year could be a district championship contender if they can bring it altogether.
Hernando: Hernando is another team coming off a season in which it finished 12-15 but was very competitive throughout the 2018-2018 campaign. Now the Leopards will have to do that without two of its leading scorers from a year ago and that certainly will not be an easy thing to do. Jacob Batten averaged a team-high 17.8 points per game last season and will be sorely missed in the scoring department.
Central: The Bears were a talented and fun group to watch last season after finishing 12-15, but this Central team brings back the core of its team and should be good again. Leading the charge for the Bears will be junior guard Talon Bergantino, who averaged just over 10 points per game a year ago. Also alongside Beegantino will be senior guard Rashaad Boyce, who averaged around 11 points per contest. This team led by Bergantino and Boyce should stir up some noise.
Weeki Wachee: Two. That’s the amount of wins the Hornets were able to pull off last season, as the upended Tarpon Springs and Hernando Christian. Now the Hornets look to bounce back off a 2-23 season that saw the team play competitively in a lot of games but weren’t quite able to pull off wins. Weeki Wachee has to take small steps as they’re rebuilding the team up against some of the other solid Hernando County teams like Nature Coast and Springstead.
Hernando Christian: Much hype is always surrounding the girls basketball team over at Hernando Christian, but the boys team isn’t too shabby either. The Lions went 13-11 last year and played some of the neighboring teams like Academy at the Lakes, Zephyrhills Christian and Weeki Wachee. Hernando Christian has some of its returners back in the fold and bring an above .500 team should be in the cards.
Andy Villamarzo can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.