Saturday, Sep 20, 2014
Sports

2012-13 Hernando Today All-County Boys Basketball Team

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Player of the Year

Jeffrey Velasquez

Guard

Hernando – Senior

COMMENTS: Move-in from Puerto Rico … Third in county in scoring at 17.6 points per game … County leader in steals averaging 3.3 … Second in county in assists (5.6) … Knocked down 51 3-pointers … Scored a season-high 35 points twice within three games, Jan. 15 against Dunnellon and Jan. 18 at Crystal River … During an eight-game stretch Jan. 3-22, he averaged 25.6 points, directly after an injury sidelined 2011-12 All-County guard Mark Wilson for over a month … Notched double figures in assists three times, with season high of 12 Jan. 31 against Citrus … Helped Leopards go 18-8 for first winning record since 2003-04.

QUOTES: “He was a huge addition. A true primary ball-handler. He had a pass-first attitude. Scoring came as a necessity for us to win games. … He’s a true ambidextrous ball-handler. He’s deceptively quick. He can beat you off the dribble. He’s dangerous from beyond the arc. He’s just a truly great basketball player.”

- Hernando head coach Mark Latsko

Rohan Blackwood

Power Forward

Nature Coast – Junior

COMMENTS: The lone repeat All-County selection … Paced the county in rebounding (11.0 boards per game) and was fourth in scoring (15.4 points per game) … Grabbed season-high 20 rebounds in Jan. 22 66-60 victory at Tavares … Totaled 20 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two steals in 89-47 triumph over Anclote in Class 5A, Region II quarterfinals.

QUOTES: “Losing Tyler (Bergantino), Blake (Lowman), losing seven guys from last year’s Final Four team, it was his opportunity to step up, be a leader and sort of have the team on his back. … Winning a district championship and being undefeated in the county again, I think he had a great year and he was a big part of why we were where we were at. … If he puts the work in, he definitely can allow us to continue that tradition we’ve worked so hard in the past to create.”

- Nature Coast head coach Dave Pisarcik

Vic Davila

Point Guard

Nature Coast – Senior

COMMENTS: County’s top assist man, dishing out 6.7 per game … Biggest highlight was hitting from beyond the arc with just over four seconds left in overtime of the Class 5A, District 7 Tournament final, putting the Sharks in front for a 58-56 victory over Eustis … Tallied 11 points and nine assists in the 5A-7 finale, and 13.5 points, 5.5 assists and 2.2 steals in two regional contests.

QUOTES: “The reason we were where we were at was because of Vic’s leadership. What he’s done for us, his desire, his commitment, his dedication to prove he can lead a team back to a district championship, that’s all he talked about. … His leadership is going to be really hard to replace. … Everything he’s done he’s earned. He’s one of the hardest-working players I’ve had the pleasure to coach. … I think he definitely stepped up in the playoffs. He didn’t want to let his teammates down. And he put so much work in, he deserved to have success.”

- Nature Coast head coach Dave Pisarcik

Yamil Marrero

Center

Nature Coast – Senior

COMMENTS: In first year receiving significant varsity playing time, finished second in the county in rebounding (10.5) and only player other than Blackwood to average a double-double, scoring 10.0 points a game … Paced the county in blocks, averaging 1.7 … Totaled 11 points, 11 rebounds, three blocks and three steals in 5A-II semifinal loss to Eustis.

QUOTES: “We knew all along what Yamil could do. He just never had a chance to display it on the court. … I think he definitely took advantage of his senior year and flourished on the court. … He brought an extra low-post option. Even when we weren’t throwing it directly into him, he had a knack for rebounding the ball. He excelled in our system. Having Rohan and Yamil down in the post definitely gave us an advantage.”

- Nature Coast head coach Dave Pisarcik

Giovanni Perez

Forward

Hernando – Senior

COMMENTS: Moved in from Puerto Rico … Fifth in the county in scoring, averaging 13.8 points … Also averaged 2.3 steals, 4.0 rebounds and hit on 34 3-pointers.

QUOTES: “He probably has the highest basketball IQ of anybody on our team this year. He found a way to get it done. He’s got a jump shot, he’s scrappy on defense, he’s got good low-post moves. He’s just a well-rounded basketball player. … If we had (Perez and Velasquez) from the time they were freshmen or another year, the sky’s the limit.”

- Hernando head coach Mark Latsko

Joey Stokes

Shooting Guard

Central – Senior

COMMENTS: The county’s second-best scorer, posting 18.8 points per game … Knocked down an eye-popping 78 3-pointers, more than half his total made field goals (150) … Added 1.8 assists and 1.4 steals … Scored at least 25 points five times, including a season-high 31 Jan. 9 at Anclote … Just missed 1,000 points for his career, totaling 966 in 84 games over four seasons … Over his last three seasons, he averaged 13.4 points.

QUOTES: “Having coached him the last three years, he’s the definition of Central basketball. He’s somebody who has put the work in. He never missed a practice. Even in offseason conditioning, he’d be there until he got his shots up. … He became a deadly 3-point shooter. … This year I think he really developed other aspects of his game. He could drive, go to the hole and score. He got to the free throw line a lot (117 times) this year. And I think his defense improved.”

- Central head coach Matt Zandecki

Tyler Wiley

Forward

Weeki Wachee – Junior

COMMENTS: The county’s leading scorer at 20.1 points per contest … Huge leap after not averaging double figures as a sophomore … In the Hornets’ four victories, he averaged 32.3 points … Put up 40 points in second-year Weeki Wachee’s first-ever win, 61-54 over Springstead on Dec. 3.

QUOTES: “Tyler was our season. We wouldn’t have won any games without him. That’s just the way it is. … He’s really fast, really quick. He has a quick first step. If he had a little bit of help, he’d be even better. It was hard for him to do everything by himself. The fact he played as good as he did on our team, having no help, that’s even more impressive. … He’s 1,000 times better than he was as a sophomore. He worked on his game forever. He’s done a lot of work to improve and be able to be in games. And he’s working on his game now, trying to get even better yet.”

- Weeki Wachee head coach Bob Croyle

Coach of the Year

Dave Pisarcik

Nature Coast – 6th year

COMMENTS: Fourth consecutive Coach of the Year selection … Guided Sharks to a 24-4 mark, a repeat 5A-7 championship and third district title in four years, and a fourth straight Sweet 16 appearance … Only one starter (Blackwood) returned from last season’s state semifinal appearance, and Nature Coast lost three-time Player of the Year Tyler Bergantino to graduation … Now has a 139-32 record in his career, all with the Sharks, and as many regional/state finals victories (seven) as all other coaches in the history of the county combined.

QUOTES: “This year, losing seven seniors, it was sort of a challenge. We liked that challenge of not being the underdogs, but that we could do the same thing with this group of kids. The only people who believed we could do the same thing were in the gym with us. … It’s definitely one of the best years we’ve had because we earned it, when no one thought we’d make it this far. … I’m very fortunate to be able to coach these guys at Nature Coast. Their leadership and commitment to get back to that level inspired me to do my best to give them a chance to succeed in basketball.”

- Pisarcik


cbernhardt@hernandotoday.com

(352) 544-5288

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