With Nature Coast’s 39-36 loss to Eustis in the Class 5A, Region 2 quarterfinals, prep boys basketball in Hernando County concludes another great season in which teams had to persevere through a pandemic embroiled campaign. Nature Coast was once again a force and was able to notch a district championship by beating a very tough Wesley Chapel squad. Springstead wasn’t too far behind but fell in the district tournament play. Heading back over to Brooksville, Central continued its strong district play against The Villages in the postseason and narrowly lost. Both Hernando and Weeki Wachee made strides this season and should be able to contend in the near future. We go team by team and look back on the 2020-2021 campaign.
Nature Coast (18-10): This Sharks team achieved some of the goals that it aimed for, but missed out on winning 20 games and narrowly lost a regional quarterfinal game. Nature Coast was able to come away with a district championship and reach the playoffs, which are always a plus for any program. As long as Dave Pisarcik is the head coach, Nature Coast will be in the thick of things in Hernando County.
Springstead (19-5): It was an extremely tough ending to the season for the Eagles. The program came just one win away from reaching 20 victories and that last loss of the season to Land O’ Lakes in the district tournament ended up leaving Springstead out of the postseason altogether. It was a disappointing end to a great regular season for the Eagles under the watch of head coach Matt McGarry.
Central (14-13): The Bears ended up being the one other boys’ basketball program that was able to clinch a playoff berth, as Central reached the Class 4A postseason. They ended up losing 58-37 against Santa Fe, but there were still plenty of positives all the way around for the Bears. Central defeated Nature Coast during the regular season and nearly knocked off Springstead as well. Central is a team on the rise.
Weeki Wachee (8-18): The win improvement from last season to this past campaign was a major difference for Weeki Wachee. In the 2019-2020 season, the Hornets only had one win through 26 games. A seven-win improvement from a season ago has everyone believing the Hornets could be even better in a year from now.
Hernando (4-18): Competing from game to game was the goal for Hernando all throughout the season and that was something the Leopards did night in and night out. The Leopards’ four wins came twice versus Weeki Wachee, Crystal River, and New Port Richey Gulf. It was mainly the small strides Hernando made that was the difference.
Andy Villamarzo can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.