By MEL SUITER
Photography by Alice Mary Herden
BROOKSVILLE, Fla. --- There is still plenty of room for improvement!
The first half of the rival game, Friday night, December 6 was a half where Nature Coast Tech High School did just about anything they wanted to do inside the Hernando High School Gym.
If the Sharks wanted to drop their shoulder and drive toward the basket, they could do that and if the offense wanted to take perimeter shots, they could do that too but in the second half the Sharks almost let the win escape.
Nature Coast Tech High School won for the second time this season by defeating Hernando High School 55-44, and getting off to a good start in the 2019 state of Florida boy’s basketball season is something that most Sharks basketball fans can appreciate.
In the first half, it was the combination of the Leopards not being prepared for the Sharks and the ball not going through the hoop for them either which created opportunity for the Sharks and they were able to score from the mistakes by the Leopards.
The challenge of coaching with a big lead was once again a lesson that Nature Coast Tech High School basketball coach David Pisarcik had to teach his team. He was worried about the first five minutes of the second half.
The defense for the Sharks only gave up nine points to the Leopards offense, before retiring to the locker room to get a drink and to regroup.
Hernando High School basketball coach Travis Bruns did all the talking and his team did not interrupt him while he was outlining the new game plan against the Sharks.
Bruns explained that the 1-3-1 zone defense was out and the full court press was the defense of choice for the Leopards for the second half.
Hernando High School started the second half with a new attitude, a new interest in the game and with a new defense that suited the Leopards.
The defense would greet the ball as it entered the court, the press created a lot of confusion for the Sharks and created turnovers and that is what Bruns and his team wanted, instant offense and not much court distance to move the ball toward the basket.
With a 20-point deficit, Bruns said that his team just dug too deep of a hole for them to climb back into the game.
“The fouls, we had better rotation on defense, half court trap was better,” Bruns said after the game describing the difference between the halves. “We didn’t do much in the first half but when we did, it was ineffective. Guys weren’t rotating and they were more disciplined after halftime.”
Nature Coast Tech High School next game will be a home game against cross-town rival Springstead High School, Tuesday night, December 10 and the varsity is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m.
Pisarcik and his team will be working on the little things and he tells the fans that it is a work in progress and that the best is still to come before the end of the 2019 state of Florida’s basketball season.