The boys’ and girls’ varsity basketball teams at Dunnellon High School, looking to build on successful campaigns from last season, turned in strong performances in December to enter the new year with momentum on the court.
The Tiger boys reeled off four wins in a row before the holiday break to improve to 5-4 on the season. They poured on 24 points in the second quarter against Lake Weir on Dec. 15 to start 1-0 in district play. They followed up the next night with a 60-44 win over rival West Port, and won handily against Bradford and Innovation Montessori (Ocoee) during the four-game winning streak.
The Tigers were in Pinellas County this week for the Indian Rocks Christmas tournament.
The boys are led in scoring by junior point guard Aramys Rodriguez (13.4 points per game), sophomore Eli Nelson (12.2 PPG), and sophomore Sean Simpson (8.4 PPG).
Rodriguez also leads the squad in rebounds with nine boards a game and assists at five per night. Nelson is hauling in six rebounds a game. Junior Chris Henry averages a couple of steals a game.
They’re home next on Jan. 3 against Trinity Catholic (Ocala) and then Jan. 6 against Zephyrhills.
The Lady Tigers, who are reigning district champions, won 4 of 5 in December to cap the year at 6-4 overall. They picked up district wins over Lake Weir and Umatilla along the way to improve to 2-1 in league play.
Junior Tatiana Matthews is scoring an eye-popping 33 points a night while adding a team-high 8.4 rebounds and 3.6 steals. Point guard K’mari Williams is averaging 15.8 points and 3.4 assists. Sophomore Nia Heppner and senior Jada Hayes are dominating the boards for DHS. Heppner is posting 5.6 rebounds and 3.9 blocks per game, while Hayes boasts seven rebounds a night.
The girls have home games on Jan. 5, against Trinity Catholic, and Jan. 6, against West Port.
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