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Local Sports

  • Pirates right ship, get revenge over Citrus in district showdown

    Chris Bernhardt Jr.

    Correspondent

    CRYSTAL RIVER — At the beginning of the season, with four returning starters and coming off a regional appearance, Crystal River was considered one of the top contenders in Class 6A, District 7.

    For one reason or another, it hasn’t been the storybook season the Pirates had expected. But they served notice that the final chapter is not yet written on Friday night.

  • Warriors stay hot despite key injuries

    Chris Bernhardt Jr.

    Correspondent

    LECANTO — Missing two starters and two more reserves couldn’t cool off Seven Rivers Christian on Thursday night.

    The host Warriors won for the eighth time in their last 10 games, knocking off Class 2A, District 4 opponent Clearwater-Lakeside Christian, 48-27.

  • Lecanto advances past CR

    David Pieklik: Corespondent

    OCALA — Lecanto faces Eastside in the District 3A-5 girls soccer championship Friday after a 1-0 win over Crystal River on Wednesday night. 

    The Panthers are guaranteed a spot in the regional playoffs regardless of the outcome of the district playoff title match. This ends a self-described “drought” for the team, who last advanced to the tournament in 2013.

  • Warriors hand Lions first loss of season, 36-18

    C.J. Risak

    Correspondent

    LECANTO — A basketball team may search through a wide variety of philosophies in trying to find a path to success. The one that best fits that team’s strengths will be its foundation, what it will rely on throughout the season.

    Of course, it always helps if there’s a go-to person, someone to count on when a basket is needed, or a stop is imperative, or a run must get kick-started.

  • Pirates strike back against Rattlers

    David Pieklik

    Correspondent

    CRYSTAL RIVER — Emily Hooper’s five goals led Crystal River over Belleview 8-0 in the District 3A-5 playoff quarterfinal Tuesday, setting up a semifinal showdown against Lecanto tonight.

  • Scoring onslaught pushes Panthers on

    Chris Bernhardt Jr.

    Correspondent

    LECANTO — If anyone arrived a few minutes late to Lecanto’s field on Tuesday night, they missed an awful lot. 

    Hosting sixth-seeded Lake Weir in a Class 3A, District 5 quarterfinal, the third-seeded Panthers wasted no time jumping all over the visiting Hurricanes.

  • Hedman scratched late, but Lightning hold off Kings 2-1

    LOS ANGELES — The Tampa Bay Lightning learned they would have to play without do-everything defenseman Victor Hedman only a few minutes before the opening faceoff of their six-game road trip.

    “We were just like, ‘What else is new?’” Brian Boyle said of the latest setback in a difficult season.

    The Lightning responded to their All-Star's absence with improved defensive play across the board in a gut-check win.

  • Versatile defender

    C.J. Risak

    Correspondent

    If there was a Basketball Coaches Bible, this would likely be the First Commandment: Offense wins headlines, defense wins championships. 

    Every coach preaches it, perhaps amending it slightly but adhering to that basic belief. Charlie Bryant, who has coached Crystal River’s girls team to the top of District 6A-7, is a firm believer.

  • District tournament soccer matches get underway Tuesday for area girls’ teams

    David Pieklik

    Corespondent

    They’re all in: in a historical first, four county schools are pursuing girls soccer championship glory as district playoffs kick off Tuesday with some exciting storylines. 

  • Grapplers bounce back

    Matt Pfiffner

    Sports editor

    INVERNESS — After a rough time for the area wrestling teams in Spring Hill last weekend, coaches were looking for better results Saturday at the Citrus Ed Kilpatrick Classic. And for the most part, the county schools were able to leave the gym happy.