Article and Photography by ALICE MARY HERDEN
Hernando County- Six schools in Hernando County competed in the 2020 District Championship Tournament, and even though some teams only made it to the quarter-finals, it’s not always about how far they got in the bracket, it’s about how they grew as a team and preparing for next season.
On Feb. 14, hearts were broken for the Central High and Nature Coast Tech basketball players. Both these teams played hard for the District Championship win, but their challengers took home the trophy.
Central High Bears persevered to the 4A District 6 championship. Defeating Weeki Wachee 66-32 in the quarter-finals brought the Bears to face South Sumter, a level talented contender, for semi-finals. They cleared that match with a 61-51 win. On Friday night, Feb. 14, Central landed back on the court to challenge The Villages Charter for the District Championship.
“With good teams like that, you have to bring your ‘A’ game. I think their experience got to us. That’s one of the best teams in the state. We can’t feel sorry for us, it hurts but at the beginning of the year, not too many people would have thought we would be here,” Central basketball coach Matt Zandecki said. “I am happy with the boys; they played their tails off.
Central lost to The Villages Charter 71-54.
Nature Coast Tech’s overall record this season is at 17 wins and 11 losses. The Sharks took the quarter-finals win by ten points over Tarpon Springs 54-47. Then they had an intense fight in the semi-finals scraping by with only 5 points over Wesley Chapel 46-41. In the district finals, Anclote dominated NCT with an eighteen point lead at 69-51 which sealed the Sharks’ fate as 4A District 8 runners-up.
In 2A District 5, Hernando Christian Academy’s (HCA) season ended at three wins and 20 losses. HCA fell to Classical Prep 44-39, ending their district tournament at quarter-finals.
Hernando High’s season ended at four wins and 21 losses. Hernando took their final loss against Crystal River 71-51 during the 4A District 6 quarter-finals.
Weeki Wachee 2019-2020 season ended with one win and 25 losses. The Hornets finished their court season during 4A District 6 quarter-finals against Central, 66-32.
F.W. Springstead High placed at third seed in the 5A District 6 division and held firm their entire season with 17 wins and eight losses. The Eagles dominated Gulf during the quarter-finals 73-56, but Zephyrhills stopped them at the semi-finals with a five-point lead, 62-57.