Local Sports

  • Buccaneers eye better days with No. 1 pick

    TAMPA — Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy stood near an entrance to Tampa Bay’s locker room talking about the end to another disappointing season.

    But instead of venting frustration, the NFL’s highest-paid player at his position spoke about what he’s convinced will be much better days ahead for the Buccaneers.

  • FSU squeezes by Florida 65-63 on final fluke play

    TALLAHASSEE — Florida forward Jacob Kurtz accidentally tipped in a Devon Bookert miss with 0.4 seconds left to give Florida State a 65-63 win against its in-state rival. The victory Tuesday snapped a Gators’ five-game win streak in the series dating back to 2008.

  • Rally falls short

    LECANTO — The Lecanto boys basketball team showed resilience on Tuesday, after a disappointing first half had them trailing 45-27 at the break against visiting Deland. The Panthers twice cut that 18-point deficit in half — once on a long 3 by Darius Sawyer, and later on a Kenon Seward steal and bucket in the fourth period.

  • Lecanto gives one-loss Colts a tough battle

    C.J. Risak


    LECANTO — Put a girls basketball team with a 12-1 record up against one with just three wins in 12 games, and predicting a winner shouldn’t be difficult. Indeed, a close game may be hard to envision.

  • ’Canes fall short

    C.J. Risak


    LECANTO — Close, but not quite.

    Citrus, which has often made opponents pay with its deadly shooting from 3-point range, had a chance to do it again in the closing seconds of its girls basketball game Monday against Dixie Hollins. But Shally Morales’ shot bounced off the rim and the Rebels secured a 46-43 triumph in the opening round of games at the Lecanto Holiday Classic.

  • Bucs on the clock

    TAMPA — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers wound up winners after a season-ending loss.

    Drew Brees shrugged off three interceptions — two of them stopping promising third-quarter drives — to throw for 281 yards in the New Orleans Saints’ 23-20 win over the Buccaneers on Sunday.

    With the loss, Tampa Bay (2-14) locked up the first pick in next spring’s draft.

  • Not much to play for

    TAMPA  — While the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may be accustomed to not having much to play for at this time of year, Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints are not.

    The NFC South rivals, nevertheless, insist they’ll approach today’s season finale at Raymond James Stadium the same as if there was much more at stake than finishing on a winning note.

  • Not close enough

    SHREVEPORT, La. — Dylan Thompson threw for 294 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score in South Carolina’s 24-21 victory over Miami on Saturday in the Duck Commander Independence Bowl.

    Pharoh Cooper was Thompson’s favorite target, catching nine passes for 170 yards, including a spectacular 25-yard grab on the decisive drive late in the fourth quarter.

    Thompson completed 22 of 34 passes.

  • Third-year grappler Keene off to solid 15-1 start for Citrus

    Tony Castro


    Last June’s commencement exercises at Citrus High School cost the Golden Hurricanes dearly, losing six seniors.

    None was more formidable than the loss of their top-two vote-getters for Citrus County’s Wrestler of Year: Brandon Taylor and Casey Bearden.

    The dynamic duo combined for ridiculous 110 mat victories against nine setbacks (92 percent).

  • District roundup

    County high school boys teams wrapped up their first round of county and district contests last Friday without a stir in the 5A-6 standings. Citrus notched its third-straight win over Crystal River to stay at No. 2, while Dunnellon issued Lecanto (2-7, 1-2) its second district defeat by a score of 78-61 to improve to 3-0 against Citrus County opponents and remain atop the district.