By STEVE JACKSON
The 23-24 boys basketball season continues to bounce on during early December with the Spoto Spartans, at 3-2 under Head Coach Waymond Reed, the only prep team in the South Shore with a winning record. The Lennard Longhorns of Head Coach Christopher Putnam are at 2-4. Sumner High, coached by Ryan Bethoney, stands at 1-1. Riverview High Sharks, coached by Anthone Corpening, are at 0-2. The fifth team in the South Shore is the East Bay Indians at 0-4. Their new coach is Jeff Turner.
Spoto posted its second victory of the season over South Shore teams. The Spartans squeaked by Lennard 54-52 last Friday. Spoto previously had topped East Bay 62-48 in late November. After losing 54-53 to Freedom in Tampa, Spoto came back to beat Lennard 54-52 over the weekend. The Spartans are led by lanky forward senior Jose Deleon in scoring and rebounding.
Helping out are junior Donovan McSwain, senior Deacon Spencer and junior Johnaven Reed.
Spoto hosts the 1-1 Newsome Wolves in an early week Tuesday game and then has a pair of tough games on the road. On Dec. 6, the Spartans visited 5-1 Blake High in Tampa. A bus ride to Plant City follows for a Friday evening duel at Plant City.
Next week, winless Riverview comes to Spoto on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. Then the Spartans bus back to King High in Tampa at mid-week. Bloomingdale visits Spoto for a Dec. 15 battle.
Lennard, after losing its first two games of the season, has bounced back to split four games, including close wins over Riverview and Manatee. Coach Putnam’s Horns return to Ruskin Friday, Dec. 8, to face underdog Brandon High at 6:30 pm. Road games this week included a short trip to engage Sumner Tuesday evening. On Wednesday, a voyage to Tampa Bay Tech is set. Next week, the Longhorns travel to Durant Dec. 12. Then it is back to Lennard for a Dec. 13 game with Bloomingdale and a Dec. 15 tipoff with East Bay, both starting at 6:30 p.m. Unofficial stats for Lennard, show slender junior center Arcadian Davis as the Horns top scorer and rebounder. Two other juniors, Richard Sykes and Makai Hills, have been supportive in points and rebounds. The Lennard starting football quarterback, soph Jacob Mobley, is also chipping in 10 points a game and aiding the Horns on the hardwood.
The Riverview Sharks had a tough match-up at home with 3-0 Plant City to open this week on Tuesday evening. A Wednesday trip follows to encounter 3-1 Robinson High in Tampa. On Friday evening at 6:30 p.m. Bloomingdale comes to Riverview as the Sharks look to register their first win of the season. Next week Riverview rides to Spoto for a Tuesday game at 6:30 p.m. Home games follow for the Sharks with Strawberry Crest and Sumner next Wednesday and next Friday, both tip at 6:30 p.m.
Coach Turner remains working with his East Bay 0-4 squad to snap a two-season losing streak. Junior point guard Aaron Quarterman is averaging 10.5 points per game as well as leading the Indians in assists. Big senior Kamren Lovett, at 6-5 275 pounds, is the paint presence for the Indians, averaging eight points a game and 11.5 rebounds per game.
The Indians had an opportunity to gain their first win. EB travelled to 0-2 Brandon Dec. 5. Visiting Big Bend Road is Durant on Dec. 8. Bloomingdale comes to East Bay on Dec. 12. The next night Armwood is in town for a mid-week clash. Then Lennard closes out next week at East Bay, starting at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 15.
The Sumner Stingrays are still working to improve last season’s top record in the South Shore of 20-8. After a loss to Durant, the Stingrays beat East Bay. Early this week, Sumner hosted Lennard. Then it has three consecutive road games: Dec. 6 at Hillsborough High, Dec.8 at Newsome High, Dec. 11 at Middleton High. Next week Sumner’s agenda after Middleton is Dec. 12 at Plant City and Dec.16 at Auburndale. All Sumner games are covered elsewhere in The Observer News print and digital by Francis Fedor.