Article by ALICE MARY HERDEN Photography by BETTY ANN KOLAR
Spring Hill, Fla.- The girl’s basketball program at both Hernando High and F.W. Springstead has again started fresh with new coaches.
Springstead’s new head coach Zach Anspach is from Lake County while Hernando’s new head coach Ed Millikin is from Kentucky. Both gentlemen have years of coaching experience behind them and are driven to bring success to their basketball programs.
Friday’s night game on Dec. 13 was dynamic, with the most intense moments occurring in the third and fourth quarters.
Hernando was leading by ten points at the end of the second quarter 24-14, but Springstead gained thirteen points in the third, Springstead 27 Hernando 35.
During the fourth quarter, fouls were coming from both sides of the court. Springstead pushed hard to tie the game, Springstead 44 Hernando 44, with just under seven minutes remaining.
Springstead’s strong determination unfortunately got the best of them. Quick fouls cost the Lady Eagles the game with Hernando’s Hayden Kimbrough completing 4 points in free throws. Hernando wins 48 to Springstead 44.
“We have to trust the process,” Springstead coach Zach Anspach said. “I love to get a win, but I can live with the hard work and effort.”
“I know this is a very big rebuilding situation, they haven’t won a district title in school history on the girl’s side, but we are going to get there. That’s the beautiful thing about basketball, the regular-season record doesn’t really matter, because everybody gets at least one game to try to advance. We are trying to get better each night. I am proud of them,” Anspach added.
Springstead takes on Citrus Dec. 16 which could bring in a win and some much-needed encouragement for the girls to face River Ridge on Thursday night.
“The big thing about our process is that the girls are buying into what we do, they’re leaning us. We’ve gone back to old school basketball. It’s discipline, it’s fundamentals, it’s hard work, it’s not making excuses. We are teaching them to fight, where in the past they have not finished,” Hernando coach Ed Millikin said. “We push them every day to be better, to reach deeper inside themselves and fight through.
“Tonight they came back, and I was very happy with them for the way they did fight through.”
The win for Hernando brings some relief from their loss against Fivay (76-50) and begins to build up confidence to face Central on Dec. 18 and Lecanto on Dec. 20.