Before the Class 2A, District 6 Tournament began, Nature Coast head coach Tom Brown knew it would come down to his Sharks and the Ridgewood Rams for second place and a chance to move on to regional play.
With the Pasco Pirates running through the field with very little resistance, it would most likely come down to who could get more players in the finals, the Rams or Sharks.
Luckily for the Hernando County squad, it rose to the challenge and advanced behind finals appearances from No. 1 Jesse Dewitt, No. 3 Alec Lund and No. 4 Dakota Willey.
Conner Schwefringhaus, the No. 2, lost in the second round to Gulf's Calvin Cao, but Jerry Bianculli, the team’s most successful player this season, won at No. 5.
Bianculli ran through whoever stood in his way defeating three opponents while only dropping 10 games and winning 39.
Pasco sported the winners in the first through fourth seeds and cruised to the overall district title with 19 points. Nature Coast finished with 12 and Ridgewood six.
The Hernando Leopards had all of their players lose in the first round despite an effort from No. 1 James Ortega, who dropped the second set against Anclote's Neziri by a slim 7-5 margin.
As for the doubles action, Pasco once again captured both available titles. The Pirates duo of Joshua Morris and Austin Riddaugh defeated the Shark duo of Dewitt and Schwefringhaus, 6-1, 6-2, in the No. 1 final, while Alexander Mitchell and Calvin Yann cruised to the No. 2 title.
Hernando's Tausif Ahmed and Charles Steinkamp defeated Larose and Waitkevich from Hudson, 6-1, 6-0, in the first round before falling to Ridgewood's Dizedzic and McGilvra, 6-2, 6-2, in the second round.
While the Sharks advanced to regionals, a stiff test awaits them traveling to Gainesville-Eastside on Tuesday.
“Gainesville (Eastside) is awesome,” Brown said. “It will be a learning experience because they are good.”
Class 2A, District 6 Tournament
1. Pasco 19, 2. Nature Coast 12, 3. Ridgewood 6, 4. Gulf 5, 5. Fivay 4, 6. Anclote 2, 7. Hernando 1, Hudson NTS, Wesley Chapel NTS
Nezri (Anclote) def. Ortega (Hernando), 6-0, 7-5
Dewitt (NCT) def. Disbro (Ridgewood), 6-4, 6-4
Dewitt (NCT) def. Cao (Gulf), 6-4, 6-3
Riddaugh (Pasco) def. Dewitt (NCT), 6-0, 2-6, 6-1
Balazy (Fivay) def. Ahmed (Hernando), 6-3, 6-0
Schwefringhaus (NCT) def. Cal Cao (Gulf), 6-0, 6-1
Morris (Pasco) def. Schwefringhaus (NCT), 7-5, 6-7, 6-2
Lund (NCT) def. Rodriguez (Anclote), 6-0, 6-0
Walker (Gulf) def. Chatham (Hernando), 6-2, 6-2
Lund (NCT) def. Walker (Gulf), 6-1, 6-4
Mitchell (Pasco) def. Lund (NCT), 6-3, 7-6
Yann (Pasco) def. Steinkamp (Hernando), 6-1, 6-0
Willey (NCT) def. Waitkevich (Hudson), 6-1, 6-1
Willey (NCT) def. Zuffulea (Gulf), 6-4, 7-5
Yann (Pasco) def. Willey (NCT), 6-3, 6-1
Panjabi (Gulf) def. Rose (Hernando), 6-0, 6-0
Bianculli (NCT) def. Zucco (Ridgewood), 6-0, 6-0
Bianculli (NCT) def. Waselewski (Pasco), 6-0, 6-0
Bianculli (NCT) def. Calleja (Fivay), 3-6, 6-2, 6-2
Dewitt/Schwefringhaus (NCT) def. Cao/Zuffulea (Gulf), 6-1, 6-3
Hunt/Nazari (Anclote) def. Ortega/Chatham (Hernando), 6-1, 6-1
Dewitt/Schwefringhaus (NCT) def. Lattner/Disbro (Ridgewood), 6-1, 6-2
Morris/Riddaugh (Pasco) def. Dewitt/Schwefringhaus (NCT), 6-1, 6-2
Cao/Walker (Gulf) def. Lund/Willey (NCT), 7-5, 7-5
Ahmed/Steinkamp def. Larose/Waitkevich (Hudson), 6-1, 6-0
Dizedzic/McGilvra (Ridgewood) def. Ahmed/Steinkamp (Hernando), 6-2, 6-2