Local Sports

  • Bolts win Cup rematch

    TAMPA — Nikita Kucherov snapped a second-period tie with his 20th goal and the streaking Tampa Bay Lightning ended Chicago’s franchise-record 12-game winning streak with a 2-1 win victory over the defending Stanley Cup champions on Thursday night.

    The win was the seventh straight for the Lightning — one shy of a team record — and gave the defending Eastern Conference champs a split of the season series with the Blackhawks, who won last year’s Stanley Cup final against Tampa Bay in six games.

  • ’Canes fall short of final

    David Pieklik


    CRYSTAL RIVER — Citrus was eliminated from the District 3A-5 boys soccer playoff semifinals Wednesday night after a very physical game against Belleview that saw one of its players airlifted to a hospital.

  • The finisher

    Josh Cole’s offensive production for the Crystal River boys’ basketball team is undoubtable. 

    The junior forward, who was a Chronicle All-County player as a sophomore, is accounting for close to 15 points a game if you combine his points and assists, which is good for fifth in the county.

  • Local sports briefs

    Top-seeded Rams knock out Pirates in opener

    The season came to a close for the Crystal River boys soccer team Tuesday night with an 8-0 loss at Gainesville Eastside in the opening round of district tournament play.

    The Rams, the top seed in the District 3A-5 tournament, advance to tonight’s semifinal round in Crystal River against the No. 4 North Marion-No. 5 Lake Weir winner. 

    The Pirates finished the season 1-16-1.

  • CR football coaching search starts over

    Crystal River is reopening its search for a new head football coach after the sudden resignation of Tommy Keeler, who accepted the position over the holiday break and started teaching at the high school on Monday.

    Crystal River athletic director Bobby Verlato said Keeler’s decision was for personal reasons.

    “I wish him the best of luck,” Verlato said. “I don’t know anything else about it.

  • Rattlers strike down Panthers

    BELLEVIEW — The Lecanto boys’ soccer squad didn’t look like the No. 6 seed while taking on No. 3 seed Belleview on the road in Tuesday’s District 3A-5 quarterfinals. 

    The Panthers twice took one-goal leads in the first half, and, after performing favorably in the battle for the midfield in the second half, were tied 3-3 with the Rattlers heading into the final 15 minutes of play.

  • And then there was one

    David Pieklik


    INVERNESS — Citrus went from flirting with déjà vu to putting on a scoring clinic, advancing to the District 3A-5 boys soccer playoffs semifinal with a 7-2 win over Vanguard on Tuesday night.

  • Finney-Smith told to focus more on himself

    GAINESVILLE — Dorian Finney-Smith tried to be Florida’s vocal leader.

    A fifth-year senior, a returning starter and a guy with Final Four experience, it made perfect sense for new coach Mike White to ask Finney-Smith to do a little more in his last year.

    But it took Finney-Smith well out of his comfort zone, which became painfully obvious to White a few weeks ago.

    So White ended the experiment by telling Finney- Smith to focus on himself.

  • Nathan’s return a spark for Hurricanes

    C.J. Risak


    During the holiday break dividing the 2014-15 girls basketball season, Citrus lost a key player when Alyssa Nathan left town.

    “I had her for the first half (of the season), then she moved to Alabama,” Hurricanes coach Dave Hamilton said. “And we felt the effects of that.”

  • Boys soccer teams begin district tournament play

    David Pieklik


    A first win and a potential record are all on the line as boys soccer district playoffs begin Tuesday.

    Citrus, Crystal River and Lecanto all have first-round matchups when the District 3A-5 playoffs start at various venues. The Hurricanes host the Vanguard Knights in their quarterfinal matchup, the Pirates play the Eastside Rams in Gainesville, while the Panthers travel to Belleview to play the Rattlers.