tampabay.com

Powerful pair propels Eagles

By JOE SMITH
Published November 15, 2006


Leo Liriano's signing with Tennessee Tech on Friday was extra special.

The Oldsmar Christian senior guard sat at a table in the schools' chapel, packed with fellow students and faculty.

After both Liriano and backcourt mate David Minaya signed with the Golden Eagles, Liriano was shocked by a familiar face.

Brought in was Liriano's father, who had flown in from the Dominican Republic, to make his first visit to the Oldsmar campus.

"It was a great moment," Oldsmar coach David Minaya said. "A lot of emotion there."

Liriano and Minaya combine for a potent, one-two combination. Liriano, a 6-foot-3, 189-pound slasher, often sets up the sharp-shooting Minaya, who averaged 22 points per game last season.

Lacking the formidable frontcourt of district foe Calvary Christian, it will be up to Liriano and Minaya to take Oldsmar to the top.

"They're gonna be pretty good," says Minaya, their first-year coach. "We're just one player away from being a great team."

BACK IN ACTION: Lakeside Christian will field its first varsity boys basketball program in three years. Led by first-year coach Paul Grenelle, Lakeside will play an independent schedule, putting his short but scrappy team up against the likes of Canterbury.

Like Canterbury, which is led by guards Brandon Hamilton and John Lancaster, Lakeside will depend on versatile junior guard Daniel Henry (5-10) and sophomore Jon Eaton (5-10).

"We're not expecting to win the state title," Grenelle said. "But we're gonna be competitive."

 

Fast facts

Predicted order of finish

1. Oldsmar Christian: The Eagles will go as far as their one-two guard combo of David Minaya and Leo Liriano takes them.

2. Calvary Christian: Warriors hope to build on historic season, when they earned the program's first playoff berth.

 

Games to watch

Nov. 28, Calvary Chr. at Keswick Chr.: The post-Thanksgiving matchup should be a good early indicator for the Warriors.

Dec. 16, Oldsmar vs. IMG (Pendleton): Oldsmar will be looking to avenge Monday night's thriller.

Jan. 12, Calvary vs. Oldsmar.: Matchup of potential district title contenders could determine playoff seeding.

 

Players to watch

Kevin Castinol, Calvary Chr.: The 6-8 senior, a beast in the post, recently signed with Mississippi.

Leo Liriano, Oldsmar Chr.: The 6-3, 180-pounder can soar - and set up teammates with his slashing style. Signed with Tennessee Tech.

David Minaya, Oldsmar Chr.: The 6-foot-6 senior sharp-shooter averaged 22 points per game last season .