By John McGurl
Wesley Chapel High Basketball Recap
With a regular season record of 13-1 in Class 5A, District 8, the Wesley Chapel High (WCH) Wildcats sat at the top of their district entering the District tournament. But, the season ended a little earlier than expected for for coach Doug Greseth’s ‘Cats, who finished the 2011-12 campaign with an overall record of 24-5, after losing to Hudson High (68-61) in the District championship game and to Nature Coast Tech, 68-53, in the first round of the Region 5A-2 tournament.
Junior forward Erik Thomas led the Wildcats in scoring this year, averaging 19.1 points per game. Thomas also led the ‘Cats in rebounds and steals, averaging a district? county? best 14.1 rebounds, to go with 3.0 steals per game. Senior forward Sasha Mentor also had a solid season, averaging 9.2, 6.6 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game.
Meanwhile, the WCH Lady Wildcats’ disappointing 2011-12 season came to a close when the Lady ‘Cats lost their opening round game in the District 5A-8 tourney, 49-32, against Ridgewood High. Coach Shawn Brown’s team finished the season with a 4-19 overall record, including 4-8 in District 5A-8.
Junior point guard Tiffany Echevarria was the top scorer for the Lady ‘Cats, with an average of 14.5 points per game.
Wiregrass Ranch High Basketball Recap
The Wiregrass Ranch Bulls boys basketball team ended the 2011-12 campaign with a 17-11 overall record. Coach Jeremy Calzone’s Bulls went 6-2 in District 7A-9 during the regular season, but their season ended after the Bulls followed up a loss in the District 7A-9 tournament finals (to Chamberlain High, 80-65) with a loss in the Region 7A-3 quarterfinals (to St. Petersburg High, 77-50).
Leading his team in scoring, rebounds, and steals this season was junior forward Rico Kearney. Kearney averaged an astounding 25.1 points per game, along with 14.2 rebounds and 3.3 steals per game. Kearney’s scoring and rebounding averages were among the best not only in the District and county, but the state as well, even though he stands only 6’-2” tall. His rebounding total (398) and average were both ranked in the top three in all of Florida.
Junior guard Chris Parra was an outstanding complement to Kearney, averaging a solid 17.2 points per game, 3.7 rebounds, 3.0 steals and 2.6 assists per game.
On the girls’ side of the ball, the WRH Lady Bulls racked up an impressive overall record of 20-8, and a district record of 5-3, landing them the number two spot in their league. But, coach John Gant’s squad ended the season in the second game at the District 7A-9 tournament, when they were beaten by Freedom High in Tampa Palms, 54-46. That disappointing loss followed a 68-18 thrashing of Anclote High in the opening round of the District tourney.
McCaffrey Is An All-Star Bull
WRH’s Kelley McCaffrey has been selected to play in the Florida Athletics Coaches Association All-Star game in Daytona Beach on Friday, March 16. The senior guard averaged an outstanding 19.2 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 4.4 steals per game. Gant says he is very pleased with MacCaffrey’s accomplishments.
“It is a well-deserved honor,” says Gant, “Kelly has worked really hard through her four-year career here.”
Another one of the Lady Bulls’ top scorers and players was impressive freshman forward Amanda Melosky, who chipped in with an average of 10.7 points, 7.1 boards and 3.8 steals per game.