By STEVE JACKSON
East Bay High closes out the regular season in boys basketball this week. Spoto High clashes with two tough opponents this week at Spoto before its final regular season contest next week. That last Spartan game is at Spoto Jan. 29 versus Alonso High at 7 p.m. The Riverview Sharks have two more regular season games in a miraculous attempt to make the state playoffs. First up this week for the Sharks was the Tuesday date with Chamberlain High in Tampa.
Lennard High played this week Jan. 24 at East Bay at 6:30 p.m. and hosts Armwood High Friday, Jan. 26, at 8. The Longhorns have other games on the schedule to wrap up the season next week. The Horns open Western Conference Tournament action versus Jefferson High Jan. 30 at Hillsborough High at 6:30 p.m. Lennard continues play in the countywide post-season tourney at Hillsborough High Thursday, Feb. 1 against Gaither High at 6:30. The Western Conference consolation game and championship game are at Leto High at 6:30 and 8 p.m. respectively.
Riverview’s final season game is scheduled Jan. 29 with Gaither High in Tampa. The fifth team among South Shore squads is Sumner High, which has the best chance of making the state playoffs from the South Shore five. The 13-6 Stingrays hosted 9-10 Gaither early this week, followed by a mid-week game at Sumner with 10-9 Freedom at 8 p.m. and a Jan. 26 visit to Wharton High. The Stingrays continue the regular season at 13-6 Braden River Jan. 31 at 7:30 pm.
East Bay High, of first year (for Indians) Coach Jeff Turner, must be the unofficial comeback team wiyh the coach of the year in the South Shore. Following last season’s winless record of 0-19, EB has posted a respectable 7-9 record so far this season.
The Indians were sparked to a 58-56 victory over Armwood Jan. 16 by junior Aaron Quarterman and senior Kamren Lovett. Quarterman hit for 16 points and three steals. Big Lovett registered another double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds.
Curry Staples also scored nine points for EB. Two nights later, EB kept its modest winning streak alive by trouncing rival Riverview Sharks 63-41. Stat leaders for EB were seniors Xavier Grimsley and Amare Baran with 12 points each. Soph Curry Staples dumped in 11 points. Senior Lovett added 10 points and nine rebounds. Other Indian point contributors included junior Anquon Haggins who scored 6 and rebounded seven. Quarterman had 3 points and seven assists, along with a pair of steals in the victory. Junior Jaeryn Millerd and senior Christian Green both scored 3 points.
This week, East Bay has a challenging three-game slate to complete its regular season. First up early week was powerhouse 15-3 Blake High in Tampa. Then on Wednesday, Jan. 24, neighbor rival Lennard High travels to Big Bend Road for a 6:30 p.m. game. The EB regular season concludes Jan. 26 at home at 7 p.m. with visiting tough Bloomingdale at 14-7 overall and 4-1 in 6A District 10. The Bulls won 71-42 in mid-December at Valrico.
The 7-12 overall and 2-5 District 10 Lennard Longhorns of Coach Christopher Putnam have four games on the schedule and end the regular season next week. The Horns probably need to win a couple even to be considered for a state playoff berth.
At mid-week Lennard took the short jaunt to visit East Bay for a 6:30 p.m. match Jan. 24. After the EB match is the game this Friday, Jan. 26, at Lennard against ex-Horns coach Zarko Stojakovic and his 5-14 Armwood Hawks. Scoring leaders for the Horns have been Davis at 17.8 points game and junior Richard Sykes, scoring 11.2 per game. Armwood topped Lennard 59-54 in late November.
Last week Lennard could not stay with powerful 17-2 Plant City High, who dominated the Horns in Ruskin 78-56. The defeat dropped Lennard to 7-12 overall and 2-5 in 6A District 10.
The 6-9 overall and 2-3 district Spoto Spartans won two of three last week under Coach Waymond Reed. Spartan fans will see the scoring and rebounding star senior Jose Deleon Monday, Jan. 29, versus 9-11 Alonso High at 7 p.m. Deleon has amassed 13.9 points per game and tops 5A District 8 with 10.5 rebounds per game.The Spartans ended last week with 57-43 victory over the 8-11 Carrollwood Day High. Deleon, captain of the Spartans, hit for 16 points and collected 16 rebounds. Soph Jerren Rodriquez scored 14 points, and junior Donovan McSwain tallied 11 points. In other games last week, Spoto sneaked past Middleton 37-29 and then lost to Durant 72-42.
Other Spoto games this week included a Wednesday, Jan. 24, home game with Gaither High and a Jan. 25 home game with Blake High at 8 p.m.. A Jan. 26 Spartan visit to Dover for an 8 p.m. contest versus 3-17 Strawberry Crest precedes the final season home game Jan. 29 with 9-11 Alonso at 7 p.m.
Coach Anthone Corpening of Riverview has several more opportunities to add one more victory to its 3-14 overall and 0-1 district mark, riding a disappointing four-game losing streak. The most recent defeat was a 64-60 nailbiting loss to the Freedom High Patriots in Tampa last week. The 6-15 Chamberlain Storm hosted the Sharks Jan. 23 in Tampa. Riverview then goes back to Tampa for its season concluding game Monday, Jan. 29, with Gaither High at 8 p.m.
The Sharks have been led all season by Bryson Kearney with 13.9 points per game. The senior guard also tops the Sharks in rebounds with an average of four per game.
The Longhorns and the other four South Shore teams have other post-season games on the schedule to wrap up the season next week. The Horns open the Western Conference Tournament (composed of all Hillsborough County high schools) action versus Jefferson High Jan. 30 at Hillsborough High at 6:30 p.m.. Lennard continues play in the tourney Thursday, Feb. 1, against Gaither High at 6:30. The Western Conference consolation game and championship game on Feb. 2 are at Leto High at 6:30 p.m. and 8 respectively.
The four other South Shore boys teams also open first round games in the Western Conference Tournment next week.
On Tuesday, Jan. 30, at Armwood High, Sumner opens with Alonso at 6:30 p.m., followed by Riverview and Armwood at 8.
Playing in the first round at Brandon High, East Bay meets Middleton at 6:30.
The tourney continues play for every team on Thursday, Feb. 1, at various locales. At Spoto High, Riverview plays Steinbrenner at 6:30 p.m., followed by Jefferson against Spoto at 8. Lennard plays Gaither at Hilsborough at 6:30. Sumner High is the site for East Bay playing Strawberry Crest at 6:30, and Sumner High plays at 8 versus a to-be designated team.
Playoffs for the state for invited teams start the following week.