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District tests tougher for Sharks

Published February 4, 2007


BROOKSVILLE - After ending the regular season reeling from the loss of top shooter Joe Silvestri and second-half district losses to South Sumter and Springstead, Nature Coast enters the Class 4A, District 8 tournament as a solid No. 2 seed.

According to Nature Coast coach Travis Priddy, his team has a lot of adjusting to do to have any chance of winning the district or making waves past next week.

Even with all the turmoil, the Sharks 17-5 are an assumed favorite to reserve a spot in the district championship game with top-seeded Springstead. After losing twice to the Eagles this season, much has to change for Nature Coast to defeat its conference rival.

The issues for Nature Coast are primarily on offense. With a starting five that enjoys passing more than pulling the trigger themselves, losing the one guy who was not gun shy has thrown off a delicate balance.

"(Chris Bossio) and I are going to have to step up and start putting the ball in the basket," power forward Josh Ortiz said. "Losing Joe (Silvestri) has really thrown us off our game on that side of the floor."

Bossio, the team's starting shooting guard, referred to Silvestri as his "security blanket."

"When you passed the ball back out to Joe on penetration, you could almost start up the floor without watching him shoot," Bossio said. "You just knew it was going in."

Now that Silvestri is out for the season with a shoulder injury, Priddy said more emphasis will be placed on Ortiz in the post game, something different for what has been a four-guard offense much of the season.

The Sharks have never gotten out of the first round of districts, so now it comes down to pride after the team's most successful regular season.



1. Frazier Central 19.1

2. Hengesbach Bishop McLaughlin 18.1

3. Jenkins Wesley Chapel 17.0

4. Hennigan Springstead 15.7

5. Manuel Hernando 15.2

6. Thomas Land O'Lakes 14.7

7. Poderis Ridgewood 14.5

8. Branco Hudson 13.7

9. Bossio Nature Coast Tech 13.5

10. Lawrence Ridgewood 13.3

11. Valentine Springstead 12.7

12. Piccolo Central 11.3

13. Ortiz Nature Coast Tech 11.1

14. Manora Wesley Chapel 12.6

T-15. Swanson River Ridge 12.4

T-15. Thomas Wiregrass Ranch 12.4

17. Killinger Ridgewood 11.9

18. Balkom Mitchell 11.8

19. Mason Springstead 10.7

20. Killinger Ridgewood 10.6



1. Overbeck Bishop McLaughlin 10.5

2. Poderis Ridgewood 9.3

3. Towson Bishop McLaughlin 9.1

4. Ortiz Nature Coast Tech 8.5

5. Swanson River Ridge 8.3

6. Goetz Hernando 6.9

T-7. Howell Hernando 6.6

T-7. Selph Springstead 6.6

8. Zio Ridgewood 6.5

9. Haynes Springstead 6.0

10. Dudek Nature Coast Tech 5.1



1. Lawrence Ridgewood 7.4

2. Potts Land O'Lakes 4.5

3. Bilancione River Ridge 4.3

4. Bossio Nature Coast Tech 3.9

5. Manuel Hernando 3.8

6. Gonzalez Bishop McLaughlin 3.3

T-7. Moore Bishop McLaughlin 2.9

T-7. Pent Nature Coast Tech 2.9

9. Thomas Land O'Lakes 2.9

10. Dudek Nature Coast Tech 2.7


Compiled by Izzy Gould and David Murphy, Times staff writers. Contact Izzy Gould at or by phone at (813) 909-4619.

[Last modified February 3, 2007, 20:04:29]

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