North Suncoast: News and Notes

Published November 17, 2007

Here's hoping for inspiration

Pasco girls basketball coach John Edwards called on Tennessee coach Pat Summitt for some inspiration. Okay, he didn't literally call college basketball's all-time winningest coach - she has won 949 games - but he scored his team tickets to Thursday's ESPNU Invitational at the St. Pete Times Forum.

The Pirates sat in the lower level across from Oklahoma's bench and were treated to a top-flight game between the ninth-ranked Sooners and top-ranked Tennessee. The Volunteers, the defending national champions, won a close one 70-67 in front of 6,331. The game featured two of the country's top players in Vols forward Candace Parker and Oklahoma center Courtney Paris. The Pirates lost opening night in overtime 59-57 to Hudson, then again Wednesday 59-27 to Land O'Lakes.


Lions out of D-II tourney

The Saint Leo volleyball team's season has come to an end. The Lions 24-14, 6-10 Sunshine State Conference lost 3-2 to No. 14 Florida Southern (25-8, 11-5 SSC) in the quarterfinals of the Division II South Region Tournament on Thursday, as the Moccasins erased a 2-1 deficit to win 25-30, 30-18, 19-30, 30-25, 15-4.

Saint Leo was led by 2007 SSC Freshman of the Year Kaitlin McKenna, who had 14 kills. Junior Audrey Starkebaum and sophomore Jenna Jordan added 13 and 11 kills, respectively, and sophomore setter Michelle Nogueras had nine kills, 48 assists and 18 digs.

Florida Southern went on a 12-2 run to win Game 4 and force a fifth game. The Moccasins led from the start and scored the final 10 points to win the match.

Saint Leo, which set a single-season record for victories, made the tournament for the second straight season, but the Lions have met Florida Southern 58 times in team history and never beaten the Moccasins, including two regular-season meetings earlier in the year.


Bucs honor TBT football coach

Tampa Bay Tech football coach C.C. Culpepper, readying his team to board the bus for their bowl game Thursday afternoon, received some big news. Culpepper was told by the Tampa Bay Bucs he was their Coach of the Year and will be invited to the Bucs' Nov. 25 game at Raymond James, where the Titans will run out of the tunnel with the pro players before pre-game warmups. Culpepper also was asked recently to be an assistant coach for the South team in the FACA State All-Star Game in Lakeland next month.

After two winless seasons, the Titans went 6-4 this year. TBT lost its bowl game at Mulberry 7-0 on Thursday.