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Boys Basketball

Tuesday night rewind: Boys basketball




Wildwood Hoopsgiving Classic

Steinbrenner 53, Pasco 13

Wiregrass Ranch 79, Lake Minneola 55

East Lake 67, Ocala Forest 55

Sickles 73, Wildwood 36

Central Thanksgiving Shootout

Clearwater 74, Central 59

Other games

Seminole 80, Palm Harbor University 57

Jesuit 72, Brandon 27

Sarasota Christian 48, Keswick Christian 39

Berkeley Prep 64, Cypress Creek 20

St. Petersburg 41, Clearwater Central Catholic 33

Fivay 68, Springstead 67

Prime time performers

G Saquon Carswell, Jr., Springstead: Scored a team-high 20 points in a loss to Fivay. 

G Dean Gabrelcik, Sr., East Lake: Led all scorers with 30 points in a win over Ocala Forest. 

G Dominic Gooden, Jr., Sickles: Scored 18 points in a win over Wildwood. 

G Eric Howard, Sr., Fivay: Finished with 20 points, eight rebounds and six steals in a win over Springstead. 

G Zach Johnson, Jr., Sickles: Had a team-high 24 points in a win over Wildwood. 

G CJ Lee, Jr., Clearwater: Named MVP of the Central Thanksgiving Shootout after scoring 16 points in a win over the host Bears in the final. 

G Josh Martin, Jr., Wiregrass Ranch: Finished with 21 points, eight rebounds and six assists in a win over Lake Minneola. 

G Kai Ravenna, Sr., Jesuit: Had 17 points and seven steals in a win over Brandon. 

F Patrick Ruffner, Jr., Jesuit: Scored 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds in win over Brandon.

G Quincy Smith, Sr., Wiregrass Ranch: Had 20 points and three rebounds in win over Lake Minneola. 

F Max Tidwell, Sr., Keswick Christian: Led the Crusaders with 12 points in a loss to Sarasota Christian. 

G AJ Wright, Jr., Clearwater: Named to the all-tournament at the Central Thanksgiving Shootout after scoring 15 points against the host Bears in the final. 

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Boys Basketball

Bishop McLaughlin’s Emanuel Sharp commits to Houston



Bishop McLaughlin’s Emanuel Sharp, who led the program to its first state title game appearance, made his college plans official by committing to Houston on Thursday. 

Sharp publicly made the decision on social media. The four-star recruit, who was rated as the 11th-best shooting guard in the nation by ESPN, picked the Cougars over offers from Florida, Georgia Tech and Louisville, among others. 

Last month, Sharp was named the state player of the year in his classification for the second straight season by the Florida Dairy Farmers.

A year ago, Sharp (featured photo above courtesy of Willie Kelly) took home 5A honors after finishing as the state’s fourth-leading scorer and ranking among the top 20 in the nation with an average of 31.9 points per game. Better still, he helped Blake go through a remarkable turnaround. The Yellow Jackets went from a losing record during the 2018-19 season to finishing 22-6 and reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2011 last season. 

In the offseason, Sharp switched schools, transferring to Bishop McLaughlin to join his father, Derrick, who took over head coaching duties. After missing the first six games of the season with an injury and enduring a 17-day layoff for contact tracing related to COVID-19, Sharp found his groove. 

The junior guard finished with a team-leading 24.7 points per game and led the Hurricanes to their first state title game appearance in school history. Those numbers, coupled with the playoff run, were the main reasons Sharp won again, this time as the 3A state player of the year. 

He is the first male at Bishop McLaughlin to win a state player of the year award in the school’s classification.

Sharp is one of the prized prospects in the 2022 class for Houston, which went 28-4 and lost to eventual national champion Baylor in the Final Four this season.

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Boys Basketball

Former St. Petersburg star Serrel Smith Jr. commits to USF



For years, the USF men’s basketball program has tried to land a prized prospect from the bay area, extending offers to local stars such as Tampa Catholic’s Kevin Knox and Thomas Dziagwa, Tampa Prep’s Juwan Durham and St. Petersburg’s Serrel Smith Jr..

All went elsewhere.

On Friday, one of those standouts decided to give the Bulls a chance. 

Smith Jr., who played two seasons at Maryland before transferring to East Tennessee State, announced on his Twitter page that he was committing USF.

The move comes exactly two weeks after Smith Jr. entered the transfer portal. This is Smith Jr.’s third school in as many seasons. Still, the latest stop gives the Bulls a homegrown star, something that has eluded the program for years. 

Only three other locals — Hudson’s Mark Calleja, Seminole’s Henry Beard and Oldsmar Christian’s Troy Holston, have made the USF roster in the past five seasons. Calleja and Beard were walk-ons. 

Smith Jr. was a coveted recruit who continued to receive interest from the Bulls a year ago when he transferred to East Tennessee State. 

“The way the transfer portal is now, players are constantly coming and going,” Green Devils coach Chris Blackwell Jr. said. “Their journeys are always evolving but eventually they end up playing where they should have been all along.

“I’m happy for Serrel. He’s back home, and it should be a good situation for him.”

During his two seasons at Maryland, Smith Jr. played sparingly, averaging 10 minutes and 2.6 points per game. Last season, Smith Jr. averaged seven points and 2.3 rebounds per game at East Tennessee State.   

He was a star throughout his high school career at St. Petersburg. As a senior, Smith Jr. was named the Florida Dairy Farmers Class 8A state player of the year after averaging 29. 3 points per game and helping the Green Devils reach the state semifinals for the third time in his four seasons with the program. 

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Boys Basketball

Tony Livingston transfers to King



Tony Livingston, a two-sport star who committed to Florida earlier this month, has transferred from Carrollwood Day to King. 

The rising senior will play football and basketball for the Lions. 

“We’re happy to have him for his last year,” said King basketball coach Chris Senoga-Zake, who previously coached at Carrollwood Day. “He’s grown a lot from the time I had him as a freshman and has been working hard this off season. I’m hoping we can change the culture at King and give him the opportunity to showcase his true talent on the court.”

Three weeks ago, Livingston became the first area player in the 2022 class to commit to the Gators. . 

Livingston (featured photo above courtesy of JJ Battle/Battle Tested Photography) is a 6-foot-6, 250 pound offensive tackle who is athletic enough to play tight end, too. The four-star recruit is rated as the 18th-best player in the state and 19-best offensive tackle in the nation in the 2022 class according to 247 Sports’ composite list.

Though Livingston’s primary sport is football, he also played a key role in helping Carrollwood Day’s basketball team win a district title and reach the Class 3A region semifinals. Earlier this month, Florida became the first school to extend offers to Livingston in both sports. 

He could end up playing both in college, much like his former Carrollwood Day teammate Mike Trigg plans to do at Southern California this coming fall.   

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