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Go-to guy and more

By DAVID MURPHY
Published March 18, 2007


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For the record, Hennigan sank that 16-footer in the district title game, giving the Eagles a 36-34 win over Nature Coast and giving them their second straight championship.

Springstead lost in the region quarterfinals to Orlando Bishop Moore, but the season was a resounding success. The Eagles went 22-7 despite the loss of 2005-06 leading scorer AB Rodriguez, going undefeated in both district and county action

Though the Eagles featured a deep, big team, Hennigan was the player who made it all work. Last year, he was a role player whose primary job was to come off the bench and hit 3-pointers. This year, though, he developed into a more well-rounded player, adding a mid-range game to his repertoire and moving into the starting lineup.

"Everybody on the team was trying to get better in different areas," Hennigan said.

That "team" talk is typical of the captain, who seems a little uncomfortable talking about his own individual accomplishments.

"He's a classy kid," Swartout said.

After getting injured playing youth football, Hennigan said he finally started taking basketball seriously at the age of 11.

He said he plays the sport every day, whether it is in his driveway or at the renowned Delta Woods Park in Spring Hill.

On Thursday, he participated in an all-star game at Pasco-Hernando Community College that pitted some of the best players from Hernando and Citrus counties against some of the best players from Pasco County.

Next year, he hopes to take his skills to college, though he admits he has gotten a late start on the process.

"I want to go somewhere where I can play and get a good education," Hennigan said.

For now, though, he'll focus on finishing up his senior year.

"I've been coach for two years and had two players of the year," Swartout said. "I'm lucky."

Hennigan, on the other hand, is just plain good.

David Murphy can be reached at dmurphy@sptimes.com or 352 848-1407.

 

With three seconds left in its Class 4A, District 8 title game against Nature Coast in mid February, Springstead's Craig Swartout was faced with every coach's dream. Three seconds left. Score tied. Timeout. Still, every single person in the South Sumter High gym knew the focus of the play Swartout was diagramming. "I think everyone knew we were going to give Tim a chance to win the game," Swartout said two months later. You can point to Tim Hennigan's 15.7 points-per-game average or his 40 percent accuracy from 3-point range. But all you really need to know about the Springstead senior is that when one of the top teams in the area needed a basket, it called his name.

[Last modified March 17, 2007, 20:58:12]


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