CRYSTAL RIVER, Fla. — It was exactly the kind of game Nature Coast Tech High School basketball coach Dave Pasricik wanted to see from his team on Friday night, December 13 inside the Pirate’s Cove.
It was the kind of game that had all the elements that created plenty of atmosphere. There was plenty of emotion that spilled out onto the court and into the stands. There were even two overzealous fans that went too far in voicing their displeasure at the game officials and were escorted out of the building by a Citrus County Deputy Sheriff.
Nature Coast Tech High School defeated Crystal River High School 73-64, thanks to the sharp shooting senior forward Phillip Scalise who scored 32 points against the Pirates.
“We needed a game like this. We were in a tough game on Tuesday- county rival; we knew that this was going to be a tough week,” Pasarcik said before getting on the bus. “Crystal River beat Springstead. We watched a lot of films and get back to what we do on both ends of the floor and execute our game.”
Nature Coast Tech High School style of basketball is to use their quickness into forcing their opponent into making turnovers and then able to convert them into baskets.
It is the combination of defense which produces offense.
Against the Pirates they added something to the Shark’s style of offense and that was emotion of frustration by Crystal River High School.
“We missed a lot of assignments on defense,” Crystal River High School basketball coach Jim Ervin said. “Number 12, (Scalise) he really lit it up- he knocked down open shots and you can’t leave a high school kid that shoots that well wide open.”
Scalise scored 10-three point shots, including five in-a row in the first half.
The screens were set for Scalise by his team mates and then he would just drift alone into either the left or right corner waiting for the pass and then-take the shot,
Ervin tried several different types of defense to cool Scalise off but the same result would happen, somewhere the defense for the Pirates would break down and they all would be looking at an uncontested shot that would find it way through the net.
Ervin said, he believes that if the foul that was missed but called on Sharks guard Dedric Hall, it might have changed the momentum of the game.
Ervin said that if a player extends the forearm out the way Hall did midway in the third quarter then it should have been called a flagrant foul, a technical foul and perhaps the ejection from the game.
It did not happen, no whistle! Which created the emotional charge in the gym- making it loud, as the Pirates fans and Ervin became upset, and more so when the referee escorted Crystal River High School junior guard Ian Rose to the bench.
Rose made an attempt to slap the ball away from Hall, who went into a defensive posture to keep the ball. Rose ran into the forearm and fell to the floor.
Rose came up from the floor and was angry at Hall, he was visibly upset and when he came up from the floor he took a combative stance and said some heated words toward Hall. The players were separated by the referee and escorted to their respective bench.
Rose had to remain on the bench for the rest of the third quarter but Hall was able to continue to play, which even produced more emotion from the Crystal River Student Section.
Citrus County Sheriff’s Deputies had to get involved with two Pirates fans, removing them from the stands, from the gym and from the school with the sound of thunderous applause from the rest of the Pirates basketball fans in the building.
It will be a busy week for Nature Coast Tech High School as the holiday break gets closer but there is still business to take care of before all the time off arrives.
Nature Coast Tech High School will be rolling out the welcome mat Monday, Dec. 16, and will be waiting for Lecanto High School. The tip off for the varsity game is scheduled for 7:30 PM.
Tuesday night, Dec. 17, the Sharks will be invading Wesley Chapel High School for a 7:30 meeting inside the Wildcats gym.
Closing out the week Friday night, Dec. 20, the Sharks will be ready to take on Weeki Wachee High School inside the Shark Zone starting at 7:30 p.m.
Plenty of games begin the holiday season, could there be any better present for Sharks basketball fans and for Pasarcik to celebrate than with victories? No. So let the celebration begin!
Editor’s Note: We were contacted by the Citrus coach Jim Ervin. His account of the incident between Hall and Rose and the referees’ involvement differs from our sports reporter’s account.