The 2019-2020 is expected to be a big breakout year for Springstead’s boys basketball team and if the results in preseason action mean anything, the Eagles should be a club to keep an eye on.
Springstead hosted the Glory Days Preseason Classic tournament and were able to run the table and eventually defeated Hudson Fivay 69-42 in the tournament’s title game last week. The Eagles now head into the regular season with confidence as one of the area’s top teams coming out of Hernando County.
The improvement for Springstead is already being seen here in preseason action, as the Eagles started off last year losing to Fivay 55-48 to begin the campaign. Now the Eagles end the preseason defeating the Falcons soundly and can build off the tourney victory with some good opponents taking part.
The other two teams that also took part in the tournament was Ocala Trinity Catholic and Umatilla, who played in the consolation third place game. The Celtics went 21-7 last season and soundly beat the Eagles during the regular season, while the Bulldogs had a rough 2018-2019 season and finished at 4-22. With Trinity Catholic being a perennially good program, it gave the tournament another solid team.
Springstead is coming off a 12-11 season in which they lost 79-69 to Sunlake in the semifinals of the district tournament, the Eagles are inching themselves towards taking the next step in claiming a postseason spot. It won’t be easy whatsoever for Springstead, however, as they are in a district also with Sunlake, Land O’ Lakes and Mitchell, all teams that have made the postseason at one point in the last five years.
This year’s version of Springstead’s boys basketball team will feature a new top player on the team in Unique Torain, who takes over as the club’s leading returning scorer. Torain averaged around 17 points per game last season and could be pushing 20-plus points per game this 2019-2020 campaign. Matt McGarry’s team has several other pieces surrounding Torain, but will need the senior to be the overall focal point for the Eagles.
The pressure isn’t essentially on Springstead to be the best team coming out of Hernando County, as Nature Coast figures to continue its reign as an area powerhouse but the Eagles are taking aim at turning the corner. That could be this season and contending for a district championship shouldn’t be a distant goal for the Eagles.
Andy Villamarzo can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.