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Archive for the ‘Basketball’ Category

The Hawks of Lake Minneola High and the Panthers of Eustis High School are hoping for a birth to the state finals this weekend as both boys’ varsity basketball squads compete in separate regional finals.

At the Panther Den at Eustis High, the school is eagerly awaiting its matchup against American Heritage High School from Plantation, Fla. The tipoff for the regional finals in District 5A is Saturday, Feb. 22, at 7 p.m.

Eustis High earned the birth to the final eight by defeating Titusville High by a score of 69-27 on Tuesday. The win was the second consecutive away game for the Eustis High boys’ basketball team in the regional playoffs as the team defeated Rockledge High in the quarterfinals.

Lake Minneola High will experience its first road game in the regional playoffs as it visits Lake Wales High School, located at 1 Highlander Way in Lake Wales, on Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. in the District 6A regional final. The Hawks outlasted Vanguard High School by a margin of 74-66 in the semifinals and defeated Deltona High in the quarterfinals.

Admission to either regional final is $7. Winning the regional finals will place the teams in the State Finals, which begin for districts 5A and 6A on Friday, Feb. 28 with the semifinal matchups. The championship games for both districts are scheduled for March 1.

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The Mount Dora High girls’ varsity basketball team netted an impressive 48-24 victory over South Sumter High School Friday night in the class 4A district 7 tournament to secure a spot in regionals for the first time since 1986.

Mount Dora High SchoolThe Lady Canes next game is set for 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 7, at Bradford High School in Starke, Fla. Mount Dora’s next opponent, the Lady Tornados, enter the contest with a 17-7 record. Tickets are $7 (Only FHSAA State Series Passes will be accepted).

The Mount Dora Lady Canes are coached by Ms. Marlene Straughan, who is in her fourth season with the team. The team roster includes Ana Driggers, Taylor Lynch, Hope Leimberger, Shalandrah Manning, Danielle Davis, Amanda Hampton, Ashley Anderson, Tomeka Bailey, Amanda Garcia, Deondra Harris, Charkevia Hall, Dynasty Davis, and Annabelle Gannaway. Assistant coaches are Janice Leimberger and Raphael Campbell.

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The Tavares High girls’ varsity basketball team used a strong second half to capture the district championship Friday night with a 50-23 win over Crystal River High.

Tavares High SchoolThe Lady Bulldogs now enter the 32-team regional quarterfinals with the team’s next game set for 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 7, at Tavares High, located at 603 N. New Hampshire Ave. Tavares High’s opponent will be Pasco High School, which enters the contest with a 21-1 record. Tickets are $7 (Only FHSAA State Series Passes will be accepted).

The Lady Bulldogs are coached by Connie Solomon. The team roster includes Jennifer Clutts, Cierra Evans, Skye Gaines, Savannah Guenther, Antanisha Hardwick, Leah Henigan, Harley Horsley, Sanderica Hutto, Alana Johnson, LeAnn McCullough, Ashiana Ogiste, Alecya Saldivar, Ihisha Threat and Shakera Williams.

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The honor this week for Lake County Schools Student-Athlete goes to Litisha Speights, a senior at East Ridge High School.

SPEIGHTS

SPEIGHTS

Each week Lake County Schools chooses a student who embodies a dedication to athletics as well as academics and extracurricular activities.

Litisha Speights is a two-letter sport athlete, one year of Varsity Volleyball and two years of Varsity Basketball. She is also the basketball team Co-Captain.

Speights is a dedicated student athlete who leads by example. She became this pillar of example for the girls’ basketball team by dedicating herself to weight training, nutrition and working on her post moves during the off-season. As a result, she lost over 70 pounds, and has developed into one of the top inside scorers in Lake County and the state, helping to keep the Lady Knights in championship contention with her consistent output on the court.

She led the Lady Knights to its first district finals in 11 years with a win over Osceola High School, contributing 16 points and 10 rebounds. She is currently averaging 17 points per game, 13 rebounds per game, helping the Lady Knights get to a 21-4 record.

Speights also excels in the classroom with a 3.9 GPA, a regular on the honor roll, and currently volunteers at Cooper Memorial Library. She plans to attend college and major in Early Childhood Education.

She is the daughter of proud mother, Mary Frazier. According to the East Ridge High coaching staff, “Litisha is a great leader for her team and East Ridge. Litisha leads not just in words, but in her actions as well. She is a great person to be around, and it is a joy to coach her.”

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The honor this week for Lake County Schools Student-Athlete goes to Deanna Denapoli, a senior at South Lake High School.

Student-Athlete-DeannaEach week Lake County Schools chooses a student who embodies a dedication to athletics as well as academics and extracurricular activities.

Deanna Denapoli has been a member of the South Lake High School Varsity Girls’ Basketball Program for all four years. She has started every game for three straight years and been a captain for her junior and senior year. She is currently averaging 12.5 points per game, 2 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2 assists per game, helping the Lady Eagles get to a 9-5 record.

Deanna is also an active member of the National Honor Society and Student Government. She has a 4.3 GPA and currently volunteers at the South Lake Hospital.

“Deanna has been asked to play multiple positions throughout her career at South Lake, and she has always worked extremely hard and done everything she could to help her team win,” said Coach Amanda Shafer.

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Lake County Schools is starting a new tradition this week by awarding its first Student-Athlete of the Week honor to one student who embodies a dedication to athletics as well as academics and extracurricular activities.

South Lake HIghThe first Student-Athlete of the Week for Lake County Schools is Morgan Kerns, a junior at South Lake High School. Kerns is a three-year varsity starter on the South Lake High Lady Eagles basketball team. She is currently team captain and averaging 14 points and 8 rebounds per game.

She is also a member of the South Lake High’s track and field team, student government class president and president of the prom committee. Other extracurricular activities include National Honor Society member, Eagle Heart member, Key Club member and Peer Buddy. She currently has a 4.5 weighted grade point average.

“Morgan is a very responsible student-athlete and a great example of one,” said Coach Amanda Shafer.

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A tradition of excellence in basketball continued this week at Eustis High and Leesburg High as both schools had coaches and players receive accolades.

At Eustis High, Coach Mike Bowe was selected as the Coach of the Year in Class 5A Boys Basketball as well as named overall Coach of the Year, regardless of classification for Lake, Sumter and Citrus counties.

“The Florida Athletic Coaches Association selected Coach Bowe from a field of very experienced and qualified coaches,” said Eustis High Principal Al Larry. “The Panthers continue to excel both on the court and in the classroom.”

Panthers guard Dustin Dunham who was chosen District 7 (Lake, Sumter and Citrus counties) Class 5A Player of the Year and over-all Player of the Year of all eight classifications. Forward Josh Brown, who has a 4.0 grade point average, was also nominated for the Academic All-State Team. The Panthers look to continue its stellar 23-4 season with a win in the first round of the state playoffs against Hudson High, located at 14410 Cobra Way, at 7 p.m. tonight.

After capturing the Class 4A state title last year, the Leesburg Yellow Jackets continue to impress as Coach Marcel Thomas and guard Joe Toolie garnered honors in District 6. Thomas was named District 6A Coach of the Year and Toolie was selected District 6A Player of the Year. Both were selected last year as State Coach and State Player of the year at the 4A level. The Yellow Jackets (17-9) will travel to West Port High, located at 3733 SW 80th Ave., Ocala, for a 7 p.m. tipoff tonight in the first round of the state playoffs.

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