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Local Sports

  • Seven Rivers locks down on the Lions

    OCALA — The Seven Rivers Christian boys’ basketball team recovered from a slow start to survive a defensive battle in the quarterfinal round of the District 2A-4 tournament on Monday.

    The fourth-seeded Warriors rode an improved rebounding and shooting effort in the second quarter to capture a lead it would never relinquish, as it went on to prevail 53-46 over No. 5 seed Hernando Christian Academy at Meadowbrook Academy in Ocala.

  • Win or go home

    Three months of boys’ hoops boils down to three rounds of tournament action this week, as county teams vie for a district crown and a chance to advance to the regional playoffs.

    The District 5A-7 tourney, which includes Citrus, Crystal River and Lecanto, as well as four Hernando County teams, tips off its quarterfinal round 

  • Florida routs West Virginia 88-71 in Big 12/SEC Challenge

    GAINESVILLE, — Dorian Finney-Smith scored 24 points, Brandone Francis-Ramirez hit three huge 3-pointers and Florida upset No. 9 West Virginia 88-71 in the Big 12/SEC Challenge on Saturday.

    It gave first-year Gators coach Mike White a signature win and surely will help his team’s chances of making the NCAA Tournament in March.

  • Collins soaking it all up

    His coach calls him “a sponge,” “an athlete” and “laser-focused.”

    Another word to describe Citrus senior 170-pound wrestler Christian Collins would be a “natural.”

  • Upset in Australia

    MELBOURNE, Australia — Serena Williams put up both hands after sending a forehand long and high over the baseline in the first set. She wanted nothing to do with yet another unforced error in her Australian Open final against 

    Angelique Kerber.

    For the second time in as many majors, Williams fell short of equaling Steffi Graf’s Open-era record of 22 Grand Slam singles titles.

  • Panthers earn crown

    C.J. Risak

    Correspondent

    CRYSTAL RIVER — Both Lecanto and Citrus had an abundance of motivational factors heading into Friday’s 5A-7 girls basketball district final at Crystal River. The Hurricanes remembered last year’s district opener, when they were upset by Lecanto, while the Panthers lost twice to Citrus this season and hadn’t won a district title since the 2004-05 campaign.

  • Changing the culture in Tampa

    TAMPA — Todd Monken spent the past three seasons changing the culture of Southern Mississippi’s football program.

    Now, he’s eager to help Dirk Koetter turn the Tampa Bay Buccaneers into a winning team, too.

    Koetter hired the former Golden Eagles coach as his offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach this week, a move Monken found attractive even though he won’t be calling plays for Pro Bowl quarterback Jameis Winston in his new job.

  • Pirates get their football coach

    After a false start in the process of hiring a new head coach, Crystal River High School went out of state to find its next man to head the football program.

    Tony Lewis, a former head coach at high schools in Ohio and Indiana, and most recently at Henderson County in Kentucky, accepted the position this week at Crystal River, where he is expected to begin teaching as soon as Monday.

  • Citrus duo no joke

    They jokingly call themselves Kobie and Nash — in reference to the former Los Angeles Lakers superstar backcourt of Bryant and Steve Nash — but the chemistry between Citrus senior guards Zach Saxer and Derrick Wyatt, and the potential impact their play will have on any postseason success the team enjoys, is no joke.

    Both have found a multitude of ways to contribute on the basketball court in their final season as Hurricanes, which has taken their respective games to another level. 

  • Brawl ruins outstanding night of hoops

    CRYSTAL RIVER — A postgame melee that broke out while the Crystal River and Dunnellon boys’ basketball teams shook hands marred a double-overtime thriller in the Pirates’ regular-season finale in their gym on Thursday.