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Girls basketball district tournament recap

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Tuesday (district quarterfinals)

Class 7A, District 7

Palm Harbor University 60, Alonso 41

Steinbrenner 61, Sickles 41

Class 7A, District 8

Lakewood Ranch 53, North Port 44

Newsome 43, Lennard 24

Class 6A, District 7

Strawberry Crest 56, Lakeland Kathleen 47

Class 6A, District 8

Bloomingdale 56, Leto 33

Hillsborough 63, King 14

Class 6A, District 9

Wiregrass Ranch 53, Gaither 9

Class 6A, District 10

Largo 37, Bradenton Manatee 33

Seminole 48, Pinellas Park 43

Class 5A, District 6

River Ridge 44, Land O’ Lakes 40

Zephyrhills 59, Pasco 23

Springstead 55, Gulf 13

Class 5A, District 9

Middleton 41, Spoto 28

Robinson 65, Sumner 24

Class 5A, District 10

Northeast 49, Countryside 40

Clearwater 66, Osceola 9

Boca Ciega 56, Bradenton Bayshore 23

Class 4A, District 6

Weeki Wachee 44, South Sumter 36

The Villages 68, Central 14

Hernando 55, Citrus 23

Class 4A, District 8

Tarpon Springs 36, Hudson 30

Anclote 61, Cypress Creek 27

Class 4A, District 10

Tampa Catholic 66, Lemon Bay 59

Lakewood 68, Dunedin 29

Academy of the Holy Names 60, Gibbs 34

Class 3A, District 9

Berkeley Prep 54, Tampa Prep 51

Class 3A, District 10

Lakeland Christian 52, Frostproof 23

Class 2A, District 6

Cambridge Christian 29, Universal Academy 22

Class 2A, District 7

Sarasota Christian 48, Lakeside Christian 41

Prime time performers

F Tegan Drinkwater, Fr., Academy of the Holy Names: Played well inside, finishing with nine rebounds, six points and four steals in a win over Gibbs. 

F/C Zoi Evans, Sr., Wiregrass Ranch: Finished with a team-high 18 points in a win over Gaither. 

G Liv Fuller, So., Clearwater: Led the Tornadoes with 15 points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals in a win over Osceola. 

G Syncere Jackson, Sr., Middleton: Had 17 points, seven rebounds and four steals in a win over Spoto. 

G Jasmine James, Sr., Weeki Wachee: Led the Hornets with 16 points, 12 rebounds, four rebounds and four steals. 

G Tyra Kennedy, So., Hillsborough: Scored a team-high 19 points in a win over King. 

G Meya King, Sr., Northeast: Finished with 14 points, three rebounds and three steals in a win over Countryside. 

G Kierry Kline, Fr., Palm Harbor University: Had 17 points, seven assists and four rebounds in a win over Alonso. 

G Ava Knauer, So., Bloomingdale: Had 17 points and three assists in a win over Leto. 

C Adriena Lett, Sr., Springstead: Finished with 15 points and five rebounds in a win over Gulf. 

G Julia Miller, So., Robinson: Scored 32 points, including six 3-pointers, in a win over Sumner. 

G Ashley Morrell, Sr., Anclote: Tied Breanna Ortega for the team lead in points with 24 in a win over Cypress Creek. 

G Arianna Mosley, Sr., Tampa Prep: Led all scorers with 41 points in a loss to Berkeley Prep. 

F/G Karimah Nix, Jr., Boca Ciega: Scored a team-high 13 points in a win over Bradenton Bayshore. 

F/G Sydney Sandhoff, Jr., Steinbrenner: Finished with 15 points and four rebounds in a win over Sickles. 

Wednesday (district semifinals)

Class 7A, District 7

Plant 70, Palm Harbor University 10

Steinbrenner 52, Wharton 36

Class 7A, District 8

Sarasota Riverview 66, Riverview 49

Newsome 45, Lakewood Ranch 40

Class 6A, District 7

Armwood 82, Strawberry Crest 25

Lakeland George Jenkins 54, Plant City 27

Class 6A, District 8

Tampa Bay Tech 55, Bloomingdale 33

Hillsborough 48, East Bay 46

Class 6A, District 9

Wiregrass Ranch 59, Mitchell 47

East Lake 58, Sunlake 56

Class 6A, District 10

Palmetto 41, St. Petersburg 30

Seminole 32, Largo 27

Class 5A, District 6

Fivay 43, River Ridge 36

Zephyrhills 50, Springstead 19

Class 5A, District 9

Jefferson 46, Middleton 39

Robinson 48, Chamberlain 38

Class 5A, District 10

Clearwater 70, Boca Ciega 43

Class 4A, District 6

Crystal River 49, Weeki Wachee 39

The Villages 59, Hernando 27

Class 4A, District 8

Wesley Chapel 66, Tarpon Springs 21

Anclote 48, Nature Coast 41

Class 3A, District 5

Calvary Christian 67, Indian Rocks Christian 42

St. Petersburg Catholic 41, Clearwater Central Catholic 33 

Class 3A, District 9

Brooks DeBartolo 61, Berkeley Prep 18

Carrollwood Day 80, Bishop McLaughlin 26

Prime time performers

G Kailee Burkleo, Sr., Wiregrass Ranch: Scored a team-high 16 points in a win over Mitchell. 

F Kendal Cheesman, Sr., Plant: Led the Panthers with 18 points, seven rebounds and four steals in a win over Palm Harbor University.

G/F Liv Fuller, So., Clearwater: Had 19 points and 18 rebounds in a win over Boca Ciega.  

G/F Brianna Gautier, So., St. Petersburg Catholic: Finished with 13 points and 14 rebounds in a win over Clearwater Central Catholic. 

G/F Kaliyah Gaynor, So., Jefferson: Scored a team-high 16 points in a win over Middleton. 

F Tavi’yanna Habib, Sr., Armwood: Recorded 28 points and 12 rebounds in a win over Strawberry Crest. 

F Jania Jones, Jr., Fivay: Had 11 points and 14 rebounds in a win over River Ridge.

G Tyra Kennedy, So., Hillsborough: Finished with 17 points, nine rebounds and seven steals in a win over East Bay. 

F/G Brionna McClinton, Sr., Brooks DeBartolo: Led the Phoenix with 25 points and six rebounds in a win over Berkeley Prep. 

G Breanna Ortega, So., Anclote: Scored a team-high 30 points in a win over Nature Coast. 

G Bella Rodrigues, So., Robinson: Finished with 14 points and five rebounds in a win over Chamberlain.  

G Whitney Rush, Sr., East Lake: Led the Eagles with 24 points, 16 rebounds and five assists in a comeback win over Sunlake.

F/C Cameron Siler-Nixon, Jr., Steinbrenner: Had 13 points and 11 rebounds in a win over Wharton. 

G Ava Stoller, So., St. Petersburg: Finished with a team-high 21 points in a loss to Palmetto.  

G Keasia Williams, Jr., Calvary Christian: Scored a team-high 19 points in a win over Indian Rocks Christian. 

Thursday (district semifinals)

Class 3A, District 10

Seffner Christian 66, Lakeland Christian 19

Lakeland Santa Fe Catholic 66, Bell Creek Academy 37

Class 2A, District 5

Hernando Christian (champion/only team in district)

Friday (district finals)

Class 7A, District 7

Plant 59, Steinbrenner 30

Class 7A, District 8

Sarasota Riverview 43, Newsome 17

Class 6A, District 7

Armwood 64, Lakeland George Jenkins 39

Class 6A, District 8

Tampa Bay Tech 52, Hillsborough 46

Class 6A, District 9

Wiregrass Ranch 41, East Lake 30

Class 6A, District 10 

Palmetto 70, Seminole 23

Class 5A, District 6

Fivay 48, Zephyrhills 43

Class 5A, District 9

Jefferson 53, Robinson 29

Class 5A, District 10

Clearwater 39, Bradenton Southeast 30

Class 4A, District 6

The Villages 71, Crystal River 47

Class 4A, District 8

Wesley Chapel 66, Anclote 30

Class 4A, District 10

Lakewood 45, Sarasota Booker 42

Class 3A, District 5

St. Petersburg Catholic 59, Calvary Christian 40

Class 3A, District 9 

Brooks DeBartolo 42, Carrollwood Day 39

Class 3A, District 10

Lakeland Santa Fe Catholic 70, Seffner Christian 56

Class 2A, District 6

Foundation Christian Academy 62, Cambridge Christian 28

Class 2A, District 7

Keswick Christian 56, Sarasota Christian 37

Prime time performers

F Marielis Creque, Sr., Fivay: Led the Falcons with 24 points and nine rebounds in a win over Zephyrhills.

G Brianna Gautier, So., St. Petersburg Catholic: Finished with 13 points and four rebounds in a win over Calvary Christian. 

G/F Kaliyah Gaynor, So., Jefferson: Scored a team-high 18 points in a win over Robinson. 

G Ava Graham, Fr., Keswick Christian: Had 23 points, 12 rebounds, five assists and five steals in a win over Sarasota Christian.

F Emma Gregory, Jr., Wiregrass Ranch: Scored a team-high 14 points in a win over East Lake.

F Tavi’yanna Habib, Sr., Armwood: Led the Hawks with 21 points, 15 rebounds and nine steals in a win over Lakeland George Jenkins.   

F/G Brionna McClinton, Sr., Brooks DeBartolo: Finished with 10 points and six rebounds in a win over Carrollwood Day. 

G Nyla Jean, Sr., Plant: Led the Panthers with 23 points, nine rebounds and six steals in a win over Steinbrenner. 

C Kyleigh Welsh, Jr., Clearwater: Had 14 rebounds and five blocked shots in a win over Bradenton Southeast. 

Region quarterfinals

All games on Thursday start at 7 unless noted

Class 7A

Newsome at Plant

Steinbrenner at Sarasota Riverview

Class 6A

Seminole at Wiregrass Ranch

East Lake at Palmetto

Class 5A

Bradenton Southeast at Jefferson

Robinson at Clearwater

Zephyrhills at Orlando Jones

Lecanto at Fivay

Class 4A

Atlantic at Lakewood

Anclote at Lake Highland Prep

Eustis at Wesley Chapel

Class 3A

Seffner Christian at Brooks DeBartolo

Carrollwood Day at Lakeland Santa Fe Catholic

Bradenton Saint Stephen’s at St. Petersburg Catholic

Calvary Christian at Sarasota Cardinal Mooney

Class 2A

Cambridge Christian at Hernando Christian

Naples First Baptist at Keswick Christian

General

FHSAA releases softball class and district assignments

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The Florida High School Athletic Association released the classifications, districts and regions for softball this coming season. The assignments are based on student enrollment numbers from October 2020. This is a one-year cycle that the FHSAA board of directors voted on earlier this year. There likely will be a two-year cycle starting with the 2022-23 calendar year. Below is the list for area teams. For the full  boys softball list click here.

Class 7A, District 6

Durant

Newsome

Plant City

Riverview

Class 7A, District 7

Alonso

East Lake

Steinbrenner

Palm Harbor University

Plant

Class 6A, District 5

Gaither

Land O’ Lakes

Largo

Leto

Mitchell

Sickles

Class 6A, District 6

Armwood

Strawberry Crest

Tampa Bay Tech

Wharton

Wiregrass Ranch

Class 6A, District 7

Bloomingdale

Bradenton Manatee

Lennard

Palmetto

Class 5A, District 5

Fivay

Lecanto

River Ridge

Springstead

Sunlake

Class 5A, District 6

Auburndale

Groveland South Lake

Lakeland Kathleen

Pasco

Class 5A, District 9

Blake

Freedom

Hillsborough

Jefferson

King

Class 5A, District 10

Countryside

Osceola

Pinellas Park

Seminole

Class 5A, District 11

Boca Ciega

Hollins

Northeast

St. Petersburg

Class 5A, District 12

Braden River

Bradenton Southeast

Brandon

East Bay

Spoto

Class 4A, District 9

Cypress Creek

Hudson

Nature Coast

Wesley Chapel

Zephyrhills

Class 4A, District 10

Anclote

Clearwater

Dunedin

Gulf 

Tarpon Springs

Class 4A, District 11

Chamberlain

Lake Region

Middleton

Mulberry

Robinson

Class 3A, District 6

Central

Hernando

South Sumter

Weeki Wachee

Class 3A, District 9

Academy of the Holy Names

Berkeley Prep

Brooks DeBartolo

Lakeland McKeel

Tampa Catholic

Class 3A, District 11

Calvary Christian

Clearwater Central Catholic

Lakewood

Parrish

Sarasota Cardinal Mooney

Class 2A, District 6

Bishop McLaughlin

Hernando Christian

Mount Dora Christian

Ocala Trinity Catholic

Seven Rivers Christian

Class 2A, District 9

Academy at the Lakes

Cambridge Christian

Carrollwood Day

Foundation Christian

Lakeside Christian

Seffner Christian

Class 2A, District 10

Admiral Farragut

Canterbury

Indian Rocks Christian

Northside Christian

Shorecrest

St. Petersburg Catholic

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Former Largo and Illinois standout Bobby Roundtree dies

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Bobby Roundtree, the former Largo High and Illinois standout defensive lineman who became an inspiration for many by vowing to walk again after suffering a spinal cord injury, died Friday afternoon, the family confirmed. He was 23. 

No other details were provided. 

A candlelight vigil will be held Monday at 6:30 p.m. at the Ridgecrest YMCA. Those in attendance are encouraged to wear their 97Strong apparel.

Roundtree’s death came two weeks after he received the Bruce Capel Award for Courage, an honor given annually by the Illinois football program. 

Less than 24 hours ago before he passed, Roundtree posted a message on his Twitter page.

More than two years ago, Rountree was in a hospital bed, the result of a swimming accident near the docks off John’s Pass that required spinal cord surgery. It left him in a wheelchair. 

Before the accident, the goals were all related to football. A former two-sport star, Roundtree developed into a ferocious pass-rusher, first at Largo, then at Illinois. As a sophomore in 2018, he won the Dick Butkus Outstanding Defensive Player award after leading the Illini in tackles for loss (12.5), sacks (7.5) and pass breakups (7). His play made him a viable NFL draft pick.

Photos courtesy of Illinois Athletics

Since then, the ambitions have been different. 

Roundtree wanted to be independent. He wanted to travel. He wanted to coach, maybe even start his own rehabilitation center. 

Most of all, he wanted to walk again. 

“I just want to show everybody that anything’s possible,” Roundtree recently said last year in his first interview (via Zoom) with reporters since the accident. “You can be on top of the world and something happens, things might not go as planned, but there’s something out there for everybody.

“This injury isn’t going to overcome me. I’m going to beat this and be successful.”

After the accident, once the surgery was over, Roundtree woke up to machines beeping in every corner of the room. His mother, Jacqueline Hearns, kept saying he was special, that he was beating the odds. 

Friends and teammates were there, too, including former East Lake standout Jake Hansen, now a starting linebacker with the Illini. 

The coaching staff also came to the Tampa Bay area to be by Roundtree’s side. Illinois head coach Lovie Smith practically lived at the hospital, even while preparing for the 2019 season. 

The bond between the player and coach has always been strong. After all, Roundtree was one of the marquee names in Smith’s first recruiting classes. 

“Everything that Lovie said during the recruiting process, about being a family, he stuck by,” Packers coach Marcus Paschal said last year. “You could see it during Bobby’s injury and hospital stay. I don’t know of too many other college coaches who would have done what he did. That was big.”

In June of 2019, Rountree was transported to a rehabilitation center in Chicago. He had lost 70 pounds. He could barely raise his right hand, much less do push ups, after the surgery. 

Roundtree ignored conservative prescriptions for recovery, continuingly defying odds. Before long, he was manually pushing himself in a wheelchair. His triceps muscles were developing.

None of this came as a surprise to Jeremy Busch, the head athletic trainer for Illinois football. 

“After this injury you watched a person that eventually was at the worst point in his life, and yet he doesn’t acknowledge that to where it beats him, but he acknowledges it to motivate him,” Busch said last year of Roundtree. “He’s truly your idea of hope and inspiration on a daily basis. He’s gone from the simplest of struggles to absolutely overcoming everything that you put in front of him.”

Roundtree also was determined not to stay in football exile. He kept in contact with teammates. The coaching staff included him in meetings, virtually. 

The grit Roundtree showed through the grueling stages gave the Illini inspiration. A sign was displayed on the top of a tunnel that the players would touch before heading out to Memorial Stadium. It read: 97 Strong (referring to Roundtree’s number).

Illinois became the feel-good team of college football in 2019. The wins kept coming, often in dramatic ways. 

A field goal as time expired was the difference when the Illini handed the Badgers, ranked No. 6 at the time, their first loss in October of last season. It was the Illini’s first win over a ranked opponent since 2011. Afterward, Illinois players recorded videos of their celebration and sent them to Roundtree.

Three weeks later, the Illini rallied from a 21-point third quarter deficit to beat Michigan State 37-34. 

“I would do anything for the kid,” Hansen said last year of Roundtree. “He’s been a huge inspiration.”

Roundtree attended the 2019 regular season finale, his first game at Memorial Stadium since the injury. He led the team in a pregame prayer. 

And Roundtree remained part of the team. His locker was untouched. 

“Having the team I have now I wouldn’t trade them for anything,” Roundtree said last year. “They’ve been very supportive. They know I’m going to work. I know they’re going to work. We’ve got each other’s backs.”

The Illini faithful have shown financial support, too, pledging money to help offset some of Roundtree’s medical expenses. 

“With everybody so behind me and pushing me, that makes me want to go harder,” Roundtree said last year. “The support of everybody fundraising and everybody donating that means a lot having that support. I don’t have a million dollars to help me through this all. People are giving their last pennies to help me out. That’s just a lot of love right there, and I appreciate everybody for that.”

Roundtree spent the past year at home in Largo rehabilitating. He kept posting video messages of his progress. He bench pressed. He did core work. He rolled on to his side, even tried to stand up with the aid of athletic trainers.  

The final steps Roundtree wanted to take were on his own. 

“When somebody tells me I can’t do something I’m going to prove them wrong and show that I’ll be able to do it,” Roundtree said last year. “It might take me a couple of tries, but I’m going to do it.

“I want to show everybody that anything is possible, no matter the situation.”

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Lakewood’s Amari Niblack commits to Alabama

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Lakewood’s Amari Niblack had offers from 15 schools entering this week, including Florida, Florida State, Georgia and LSU. 

Then Niblack went to a camp at Alabama and picked up an offer from the Crimson Tide. 

That was all the three-star prospect needed to make up his mind. 

On Thursday, Niblack announced on social media that he committed to Alabama. 

A 6-foot-4 pass catching target, Niblack can play receiver or tight end. This past season, he had seven receptions for 126 yards and two touchdowns according to the stats listed on MaxPreps. 

This is the second straight season Alabama has landed an area receiver and the third time in the past five seasons the Crimson Tide has picked a local skill player.

Agiye Hall, who starred at Armwood and Bloomingdale, was part of the 2021 class. He was an early enrollee and has already made an impact with several highlight-worthy catches in the spring game. 

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