Girls basketball: Hernando County top three — Jan. 23

The final week of the regular season is here. Hernando County teams are making one final push to get ready to contend for a district title or to qualify for a  playoff spot with an at-large bid. There is plenty of balance in the county with four teams vying for the top three spots in the rankings. Check out the list below.  

1. Weeki Wachee (18-5)

Up next: Tuesday vs. Hernando; Friday vs. Nature Coast

The lowdown: In order to make a run in the playoffs, the Hornets put together a tough schedule. After a 2-4 stretch in late December and early January, they have won six straight games. Weeki Wachee also is undefeated against Hernando County opponents, winning all six games so far by double digits. Paige Atwater averaged 16 points and Linsey Orr averaged 13 in four games last week. The Hornets will try to complete the sweep against county opponents with home games against rivals Hernando and Nature Coast to close out the regular season. 

2. Springstead (12-8)

Up next: Tuesday at Citrus; Thursday at Mitchell; Friday vs. Central

The lowdown: The Eagles completed the regular season sweep of rival Nature Coast in thrilling fashion. Down 39-29 in the fourth quarter, Springstead rallied by scoring the final 11 points for a 40-39 victory. That also continued the momentum for the Eagles, who have won four of their five games this month. Isabella Paul recorded a double-double against Crystal River last week, finishing with 24 points and 11 rebounds. 

3. Nature Coast (11-5) 

Up next: Tuesday at Lecanto; Wednesday at Crystal River; Friday at Weeki Wachee

The lowdown: The Sharks let a double-digit fourth quarter lead slip away in a loss to rival Springstead last week that snapped their four-game win streak. Nature Coast hopes to get back on track with three games this week, including a matchup with rival Weeki Wachee in the regular season finale. Gabriella Lee has been the leader for the Sharks, averaging a team-high 18.5 points per game this season. 

On the bubble: Hernando (9-11)