Hillsborough: News and notes

By JOE SMITH, KEITH NIEBUHR, Times Staff Writers
Published November 13, 2007

On the Web: final rankings

The football regular season is done, and so are the Times' Top 50 rankings. Agree with your team's finish? Think John C. Cotey needs his head checked? Visit highschool.tampabay.com and weigh in one last time.

Buc off to UVA

Berkeley Prep senior Jonathan Jordan, one of the bay area's top swimmers, said Monday he plans to sign with the University of Virginia. Jordan is coming off a strong state meet, where he was silver medalist in the 500 free (4:31.13) and third-place finisher in the 200 free (1:40.43).

Behind the team

During Durant's region final volleyball win Saturday over Orlando Edgewater, the school's boisterous student section made its presence felt from the opening serve to the final spike. That group had a helping hand.

Players' parents paid for the first 60 students to get in free. Admission was $6 per person. The group also printed shirts for students that read "7th man" and brought food for a prematch tailgate on the school's front lawn.

"It was an awesome way to celebrate our success and to get them pumped to play," Cougars coach Dawn Hough said.

Football playoffs

All games Friday at 7:30 p.m.

5A: Sickles (7-3) at Gaither (7-3); Wharton (5-5) at Chamberlain (7-3); Lakeland (9-1) at Brandon (7-3); Plant City (5-5) at Kissimmee Osceola (10-0)

4A: Jefferson (4-6) at Boca Ciega (8-2); Northeast (6-4) at Plant (9-1); Lake Region (7-3) at Armwood (10-0); Hillsborough (8-2) at Auburndale (5-5)

2A: Riviera Beach Inlet Grove (6-4) at Tampa Catholic (8-2)

Panthers' backups shine

With Plant leading comfortably at halftime, starting quarterback Aaron Murray took only one snap in the second half and headed to the sideline for the rest of the night. In his place, freshmen Phillip Ely and Dominick Marino, a couple of last-minute additions to the roster, shared snaps under center. And both did quite well.

"They were callups from the (JV)," Panthers coach Robert Weiner said. Both of them did an outstanding job in the second half of running our offense."

Marino tossed a third-quarter touchdown to Daniel Lerom.

Injury report

Armwood senior defensive lineman Zachori Beasley, the team leader in tackles for loss, will miss Friday's region quarterfinal against Lake Region. Beasley's grandmother passed away last Friday in Miami, and he's staying there with his mother, Lori.