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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
Lecanto toppled Citrus 41-35 Thursday in a Class 4A, District 6 game that should not have been as close as the final score indicated. After the game, neither coach gave the reaction many would associate with victory or defeat.
The Panthers (8-5, 5-1) went on a 15-3 run to begin the game, but with about two minutes left in the first quarter, they put it in cruise control, which seemed to bother coach Ron Allan.
Despite adding another district win to the team's record, an obviously frustrated Allan had only one thing to say.
"Coach (Eli) Jackson's girls played very well tonight," he said, "and that's my only comment."
On the other hand, Jackson was proud of the product his players put on the floor in a loss that dropped his team below .500.
Standout small forward Ashley Hoglund dropped in 12 points on the strength of two 3-pointers and dished out five assists.
The Hurricanes (6-7, 2-5) also got a strong effort from point guard Krystal Boardman. The floor leader was a sharpshooter from 3-point territory, nailing three. Those were her only points of the game, but her clutch shooting kept Citrus close.
"We've lost two game in two nights, and I would probably have to say that these have been our best two games of the season," Jackson said. (Citrus fell 63-62 in overtime to Wildwood on Wednesday.)
Lecanto's talent was too much for the Hurricanes in the end. The Panthers' top scorer, small forward Melissa Foraker, totaled 15 points while center Tara Haddock added 11, all in the first half.
The biggest evidence of the lull that greeted the Panthers in the second half was the play of Haddock and starting point guard Melissa Fatz. Fatz handed out five of her six assists in the first quarter. In that quarter, Lecanto had 17 points. In contrast, the team scored only 14 in the second half.