Local Sports

  • Girls’ hoops season not so easy to predict

    C.J. Risak


    Easy to predict — that’s what the 2013-14 girls basketball season was. In 5A-6, Citrus was the favorite with Crystal River providing the biggest challenge and both Lecanto and Dunnellon trying to keep pace. In 2A-3, Seven Rivers Christian would try to unseat Ocala St. John Lutheran at the top.

  • Panther big man Burich wants a return to state playoffs

    This is old hat for Brandon Burich, who kicked off his fourth season as a varsity basketball player for Lecanto this week.

    It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long for the 6-foot-8 senior forward.

    “I’m sure people feel like I’ve been around for a while,” he said, “but it’s crazy how fast it’s gone. I want to leave this year on a good note.”

  • Pirate senior Eason learning a new role, position

    C.J. Risak


    She really isn’t that big. The girl known to her teammates simply as “Jazz” — Crystal River’s Jasmyne Eason — is just 5-foot-8. And yet, last season she was a principal reason the Pirates won 20 games and reached the regional round of the 5A tournament.

  • Lecanto can’t keep pace with South Sumter

    C.J. Risak: Correspondent

    LECANTO — One could argue this girls basketball game was over before it started. 

  • Islanders breeze by Lightning

    UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Cal Clutterbuck, Mikhail Grabovski and Ryan Strome scored in the second period to lift the New York Islanders to a 5-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night.

    Lubomir Visnovsky and Casey Cizikas also scored and Jaroslav Halak stopped 26 shots for the Islanders, who got a measure of revenge for a 5-2 loss at Tampa on Saturday that snapped their five-game winning streak.

  • Rolling to No. 1

    With just three weeks until the College Football Playoff committee releases its final rankings, Alabama, Oregon and Florida State seem to be in control of their championship chances.

    Keep winning and the Crimson Tide, Ducks and Seminoles should be in.

    The race for the fourth and final spot in the playoff is shaping up to be a tussle between four teams.

  • Lecanto’s Garcia signs with Shenandoah

    C.J. Risak: Correspondent

    Annalee Garcia was happy — but not entirely.

    Garcia, the standout outside hitter for Lecanto’s volleyball team, made it official Monday when she committed to continue playing in college at Shenandoah University, an NCAA Division III school located in Winchester, Va.

    That, understandably, was very happy news for Garcia.

  • Buccaneers finally ‘clicking on all cylinders’

    TAMPA — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers finally got the game they wanted — 10 contests into the season — in Sunday’s 27-7 victory over the Washington Redskins.

    The defense came up with six sacks and three takeaways and the offense found a major weapon in rookie Mike Evans.

  • Florida starts search for new football coach

    GAINESVILLE — Florida’s next football coach will have a “track record of success on the offensive side of the ball.”

    Athletic director Jeremy Foley said Monday that Florida fans want that and “we’re certainly going to try to provide for them.”

    Foley didn’t rule out a defensive coach, but made it pretty clear the Gators don’t plan on hiring another defensive coordinator without head-coaching experience.

  • Rodriguez helps Miami upset No. 8 Florida in Gainesville

    GAINESVILLE — With the game on the line and his confidence soaring, Miami’s Angel Rodriguez asked for the ball.

    Giving it to him was the easiest decision coach Jim Larranaga made Monday night.

    Rodriguez scored 24 points on seven baskets, including a falling-down, hand-in-the-face 3-pointer with 16 seconds remaining, to help the Hurricanes overcome a 15-point deficit and upset No. 8 Florida 69-67.