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Boys Basketball

Boys basketball: Weekend roundup

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Friday

Scoreboard

Bell Creek Academy 72, Tampa Bay Christian Academy 27

Tampa SLAM 58, Elevation Prep 56

Sickles 50, Wharton 38

Chamberlain 47, Jefferson 40

King 56, Brandon 50

Armwood 74, Strawberry Crest 68

Robinson 64, Middleton 48

Plant 49, Steinbrenner 43

Blake 49, Sumner 44

East Bay 55, Bloomingdale 50

Jesuit 85, Spoto 66

Durant 66, Newsome 46

Tampa Bay Tech 57, Leto 47

Freedom 90, Mitchell 67

Cambridge Christian 64, Bayshore Christian 51

St. Petersburg Catholic 75, Indian Rocks Christian 69

Nature Coast 60, Crystal River 44

Land O’ Lakes 66, Pasco 30

East Lake 69, Wiregrass Ranch 36

Keswick Christian 54, Zephyrhills Christian 45

Wesley Chapel 55, Zephyrhills 52

Orlando First Academy 60, Hernando Christian 39

Countryside 73, Boca Ciega 53

Fivay 67, River Ridge 27

Pinellas Park 66, Parrish 57

Gibbs 55, Largo 47

Clearwater 78, Seffner Christian 69

Hollins 76, Palm Harbor University 66

CFCA 69, Seminole 33

Lakeland Kathleen 48, Plant City 34

Lakeland Christian 81, Cypress Creek 33

Prime time performers

G Anthony Bittar, Sr., East Lake: Led the Eagles with 21 points, five rebounds, five assists and five steals in a win over Wiregrass Ranch. 

G Dominic Gooden, Jr., Sickles: Had 15 points and three assists in a win over Wharton. 

G Devin Hayes, So., Gibbs: Finished with 23 points in a win over Largo. 

G Diante Hollis, Sr., Tampa SLAM: Scored 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds in a win over Elevation Prep 

F Treyshawn Howard, Jr., Robinson: Had 19 points, six rebounds and four steals in a win over Middleton. 

G/F Willie Jones, Sr., Seffner Christian: Led the Crusaders with 28 points and 18 rebounds in a loss to Clearwater. 

G CJ Lee, Jr., Clearwater: Scored 27 points and grabbed seven rebounds in a win over Seffner Christian. 

G Jean Luma, Jr., Plant: Had 20 points, seven rebounds, two blocks and a steal to help the Panthers erase a 18-point second quarter deficit to beat Steinbrenner. 

G Patrick Ruffner, Jr., Jesuit: Finished with 20 points and four rebounds in a win over Spoto. 

G Robert Sanders, Sr., Durant: led all scorers with 28 points in a win over Newsome. 

G Nate Santana, Jr., Land O’ Lakes: Recorded 24 points and six rebounds in a win over Pasco. 

Saturday

Scoreboard

St. Petersburg 60, Lakewood 58

Lakeland Victory Christian 59, East Bay 50

Academy at the Lakes 43, IMG Academy Gray 38

Wildwood 68, Seminole 61

Brooks DeBartolo 67, Wesley Chapel 51

Bishop McLaughlin 76, King 49

Alonso 57, Plant 31

IMG Academy Blue 46, Admiral Farragut 45

Lakeland Christian 100, Seffner Christian 72

Calvary Christian 73, Lakeland 51

Prime time performers

G Oteman Delancey, Sr., Lakewood: Scored 24 points and had seven rebounds and two blocks in a loss to St. Petersburg. 

F Kareem Grant, Sr., St. Petersburg: Led the Green Devils with 12 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots in a big win over rival Lakewood. 

G Tristan Gross, So., Calvary Christian: Scored a team-high 25 points in a win over Lakeland. 

F/G Dillon Mitchell, Jr., Bishop McLaughlin: Finished with 30 points and six rebounds in a win over King. 

G Ray Perry IV, Sr., St. Petersburg: Scored 12 points and had seven assists and three steals in a win over Lakewood. 

G Emanuel Sharp, Jr., Bishop McLaughlin: Had 23 points and 14 rebounds in a win over King. 

G Mari Sherrod, Sr., St. Petersburg: Finished with 11 points and four assists in a win over Lakewood.

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Boys Basketball

Bishop McLaughlin’s Emanuel Sharp commits to Houston

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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

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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

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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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