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Sunday, Mar 29, 2015
Nature Coast

Sharks use 27-0 run to hold off Tigers

Hernando Today correspondent


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BROOKSVILLE - In a game that had to be seen to believe, the Nature Coast Sharks used a 27-0 run to hold off the Orlando-Jones Tigers, 83-77, on Saturday night.

With the win, the Sharks (10-1 overall, 2-0 in tournament) earned a berth into the Nature Coast Christmas Tournament final against Tarpon Springs, Monday at 7 p.m.

The Sharks were outplayed in the first quarter, and Jones' (7-8 overall, 1-1 in tournament) pressure-trap defense caused havoc for a Nature Coast offense that struggled to move the ball.

"They are a good team," Sharks head coach Dave Pisarcik said. "That is the type of team we need to beat to advance in the playoffs."

With his team trailing 25-20 to start the second, Carlos Clemente took over for Nature Coast. The Puerto Rican sharpshooter was lights-out, igniting the big run with four 3-pointers, and finished it with a steal and thunderous slam dunk.

"I just saw the opportunity and I ran with it," Clemente said about his dunk. "I trust my teammates to make plays and they got me the ball and I just shot."

Clemente finished with a new career-high 32 points and seven 3-pointers, but was held to only five points in the second half.

"We got huge minutes from (Joey) Dudek and Cody (Bergantino)," Pisarcik said. "It's good to see our guys battle-tested, because we need to be able to handle it when teams key in on Carlos."

The younger brothers of former Sharks had key plays for Nature Coast, Dudek finishing with 14 points and five rebounds, and Bergantino recording his second double-double of the tournament with 12 points and 11 boards.

Leading 53-31 at the half, the Sharks seemed to struggle to find an alternative to Clemente right away, as Jones came out and cut into the lead little by little.

However, the Tigers only shot 9-of-25 from the free throw line, preventing themselves from cutting into the lead even further.

"Good teams make runs," Pisarcik said. "We knew they would come out and make it a run and this time we came out on top."

The Tigers would cut the gap to nine points with a little over three minutes left, but would never get any closer, as the Sharks made their free throws down the stretch to ice the game.

"I don't know if we got complacent or struggled," Pisarcik said. "We weren't playing with a sense of urgency like we did in the first half."

Up next awaits a tough Tarpon Spings team that beat Tampa-Brooks-Debartolo earlier Saturday, 65-53, led by Scotty James with 11 points and 20 rebounds.

"(James) creates a matchup problem," Pisarcik said. "He's big, athletic, and can stretch the floor. We will game-plan for him and be ready."

Nature Coast 83, Orlando-Jones 77

Qtr. Scoring 1 2 3 4

JHS 25 6 22 24 - 77

NCT 20 33 15 15 - 83

Jones (77): Blair 9 4-7 22, Georges 6 1-3 13, Young 3 0-0 8, Smith 4 0-0 8, Edwards 2 1-2 6, Felton 3 0-0 6, Dav. Smith 1 3-6 5, Stevenson 2 0-0 5, Jackson 1 0-0 2, Tanelus 1 0-3 2, Dar. Smith 0 0-2 0, Sanders 0 0-2 0, Salters 0, Booker 0.

Nature Coast (83): Clemente 10 5-5 32, Bergantino 5 2-2 12, Burkes 6 4-6 16, Dudek 6 2-2 14, Crima 2 0-0 5, Dom. Jones 2 0-0 4, Dar. Jones 0, Carnegie 0, Thomas 0, Copeland 0, Parker 0, Pellage 0.

Three-Point Field Goals: JHS 4 (Young 2, Stevenson, Edwards); NCT 8 (Clemente 7, Crima).

Total Fouls: JHS 17, NCT 21

Technical Fouls: None

Fouled Out: Clemente (NCT)

Records - Orlando-Jones (7-8 overall, 1-1 in tournament), Nature Coast (10-1 overall, 2-0 in tournament).

Nature Coast Christmas Tournament


Tampa-Brooks-DeBartolo 69, Springtead 55

Tarpon Springs 55, Tampa-Jefferson 49

Orlando-Jones 77, Weeki Wachee 24

Nature Coast 79, Lutz-Steinbrenner 66


Springstead 78, Jefferson 71 (OT)

Steinbrenner 76, Weeki Wachee 33

Tarpon Springs 65, Brooks-DeBartolo 53.

Nature Coast 83, Jones 77


(7th place)

Weeki Wachee vs. Jefferson, 1 p.m.

(5th place)

Springstead vs. Steinbrenner, 3 p.m.

(3rd place)

Jones vs. Brooks-DeBartolo, 5 p.m.


Nature Coast vs. Tarpon Springs, 7 p.m.

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