Local Sports

  • Panthers show growth

    INVERNESS — After leading much of the night, the Lecanto wrestling team could feel a county victory slipping away against Citrus to close out the regular season.

    The Hurricanes had stormed back on senior night with two pins and a technical fall to take a 28-24 lead with three matches to go. A Citrus forfeit at 195 gave the Panthers a slim 30-28 lead with two bouts remaining.

  • Pirates fall at Zephyrhills in 5A playoffs

    ZEPHYRHILLS — The Crystal River boys’ basketball team’s best season in more than two decades came to an end Thursday on the road against a talented Zephyrhills squad.

    After back-to-back 3-pointers by Pirates junior Caleb Bray knotted the game at 17-17 early in the second quarter, the Bulldogs held CRHS scoreless from the floor over the ensuing nine minutes, eventually building up a 22-point advantage in the third and capturing a 62-48 victory in the 5A-2 regional quarterfinals.

  • Pirates continue to pursue rare heights in postseason

    The Crystal River boys’ basketball team is playing with house money as it makes its first state playoff appearance since 1994 in today’s regional quarterfinal round at Zephyrhills. 

    The young Pirate squad, which sits at 17-10, snapping a long streak of losing seasons for the program, already checked off the main goal it set at the start of the season in notching just its third playoff berth in program history.

  • Crystal River battles wind, beats Lecanto

    Chris Bernhardt Jr.: Correspondent

    LECANTO — As gusts of wind blew through the Lecanto High tennis courts Wednesday, the empty metal stands actually began to come up off the ground.

    It was that kind of afternoon weather-wise, with breezy conditions making 50 degrees feel considerably lower and a bright sun doing little to warm things up.

  • A fitting beginning

    INVERNESS — The regular season for boys weightlifting in Citrus County pretty much picked up where it left off.

    “It’s exactly where we left off,” Citrus High coach Justin Taylor said.

    With a few changes that is. 

  • Florida sweeps Mississippi

    GAINESVILLE — Dorian Finney-Smith scored 16 points, leading five Florida players in double figures, and the Gators beat Mississippi 77-72 Tuesday night.

    Florida (16-8, 7-4 Southeastern Conference) swept both games against the Rebels (15-9, 5-6) this season while improving to 12-1 at home.

    The latest one was a nail-biter until the final minute.

    Florida's Kasey Hill hit a circus shot with 1:19 remaining and KeVaughn Allen followed with a deep 3-pointer from the wing that put the game out of reach.

  • Panthers are Elite

    C.J. Risak


    LECANTO — It took until the fourth quarter before Lecanto could assert itself in its Class 5A girls basketball regional semifinal battle against Citrus. When the Panthers did, they did it in avalanche style.

  • Gators look to get healthy at O’Connell

    GAINESVILLE — Florida’s postseason fate probably will be decided on the road.

    The Gators (15-8, 6-4 Southeastern Conference) play four of their final six regular-season games away from home, a tough stretch that begins next week and includes trips to Georgia, South Carolina and LSU. That daunting slate makes this week’s games in the comfy confines of the O’Connell Center, beginning tonight against Mississippi, almost must-win matchups for coach Mike White’s team.

  • Final showdown

    C.J. Risak


    When preparing for an opponent, particularly in the state tournament when the stakes are so high, one gathers as much information as possible to properly plan a course of action, then includes potential alternative strategies in case they’re needed.

    Very little of that will be of use Tuesday night, however — for the simple reason the opponents know each other far too well.

  • Information on the spring tennis leagues

    Eric van den Hoogen

    On tennis

    As promised, this week we have a little more information about the two upcoming USTA spring leagues.