Well it was a win!
Nature Coast Tech High School finished in seventh place at the Seventh Annual Nature Coast Christmas Tournament being played inside the gymnasium on campus from Dec. 27-29, three days of basketball games and three different lessons for the Sharks to learn.
Winning by coming back from a 10 point deficit against Tampa Jefferson High School and winning 45-41, was pleasing to Nature Coast High School basketball coach Dave Pisarcik and to the fans that woke up early Sunday Dec. 29, 2019.
After the win on Sunday which followed losses to Freedom High School on Friday, Fivay on Saturday, coach Pisarcik said,
“We were happy to be able to get a win, we got down early and we fought back. For us to fight back- we’re happy about that. It shows that we didn’t give up. A lot of teams would’ve gave up.”
At the start of the game, Nature Coast Tech, got the tip off and was moving the ball down the court and once again the chronic problem of the epidemic of turnovers plagued the Sharks.
Sharks’ senior point Dedric Hall with the ball, let loose a pass that sailed into the waiting hands of Jefferson senior guard Julius German, who was able to drive to the basket without anybody in front of him.
Pisarcik wanted to get the Sharks offense started early in the game but the Sharks struggled with moving without the ball and that slowed down the flow of the offense.
Nature Coast Tech senior forward Phil Scalise is still fighting through a shooting slump from the perimeter. He took nine shots, including six attempts in a row from behind the arch and missed all six before lucky seven. Scalise finished the game with five points scored.
Leading the Shark attack, senior guard Cai Teague had 21 points and he pulled in eight rebounds but it was his ability to block a break away to the basket attempt by Dragons’ senior guard Jordan Codio with 20 seconds left in the game, that preserved the victory for the Sharks.
“Cai came in started to work on his game and he started to put the extra work and it is starting to show,” Pisarcik said about Teague. “Coming in from football he got in a little late, he is putting in the work and he knows that he has got to score for us to win.”
Nature Coast Tech High School basketball team was physical and took up a lot of court space against the Dragons but in the first half, Jefferson was able to find the creases in the Sharks defense and the Dragons took full advantage.
Both teams took the court for the start of the second half, the Sharks needed to play a tighter defense, look for an opportunity to create an extra possession.
The defense played better in the second half, shutting down the Jefferson, with the one-on-one and with a box zone defense. The combination of the defenses created just what the Sharks needed extra chances to put the ball through the hoop.
The offense for the Dragons started to get bogged down, Jefferson High School basketball coach Eric Hayes was coaching his team from the sideline, in front of his bench anywhere he could find a chance to give his team instructions on recognizing what was in front of them.
Hayes was teaching his team to play against what defense was in front of them, Pisarcik was trying to teach his team to finish the effort of coming back in a game and learning the art of victory.
When the game was over, the Sharks went through the line with the traditional hand shake of their opposition and then walked off the court, like they have done a hundred times before and then disappeared into the locker room, for the after the game briefing.
Hayes and the Dragons followed the Sharks off the court and then went inside their locker room, the door closed and the speech began.
Hays was upset with his team and made sure that there was no mistake that his team could not recognize-he was upset! He was not happy with the lack of effort in the second half and the fact that his team let a 10 point lead melt away.
Nature Coast Tech High School maintenance staff might have to check the paint that covers the wall in the visitor’s locker room because there is a good chance that the paint has peeled away from after Hayes’ speech to his team.
It was a win, a seventh place finish and the rest of Sunday off for the Sharks but there is more tournament basketball action ahead of Nature Coast Tech at the Hernando High School Holiday Classic beginning Thursday January 2, 2019 inside the Leopard's Sen at Hernando High School.
The first opponent is Bloomingdale High School with the tip off scheduled for 1:30 p.m.
More tournament action for the Sharks and another lesson to learn and one lesson that might be easy to study for the Sharks and that is winning is fun.
Results of the 2019 7th Annual Nature Coast Christmas Tournament
1. ZEPHYRHILLS HIGH SCHOOL
2. Alonso High School
3. Tampa Freedom High School
4. Plant City High School
5. Wesley Chapel High School
6. Fivay High School
7. Nature Coast Tech High School
8. Tampa Jefferson
1 WHARTON HIGH SCHOOL.
2. Berkeley Prep
3. George Jenkins High School
4. Sunlake High School
5. Riverview High School
6. Land O’ Lakes High School
7. Armwood High School
8. Crystal River High School