Hernando: News and notes

By IZZY GOULD and DAVID MURPHY, Times Staff Writers
Published December 7, 2007

A revival of girls hoops

Before Hernando's Class 4A, District 8 showdown against Gulf this week, a group of Leopards players asked coach Josandra Maner to open up the game in a full-court, man-to-man pressure defense. Maner consented, and the plan worked. Thanks in large part to its pressure defense, Hernando forced the Bucs to shoot just 26 percent from the field en route to a 47-42 win.

"They were determined to win the game," Maner said. "They went out and pressured them man-to-man, and it made a big difference."

That type of determination is a big reason the Leopards appear headed to their best record since 2001-02. Under the direction of Maner, a first-year coach who took over for veteran Walt Cermak, Hernando has won five of its first eight games, including victories over district rivals Gulf and Pasco.

Hernando hasn't won more than eight games since going 22-5 in 2001-02. Sophomore Jasmire Brown (12.4 points per game) and senior April Griffey (14.4 ppg) have them hoping to make noise once the 4A-8 tournament arrives.

"This year," Maner said, "they want to win."

Wolfe invited to MLS combine

Major League Soccer hasn't officially announced the participants in its 2008 scouting combine, but former Ridgewood star Tanner Wolfe has been formally invited, Rams coach Ed McComiskey said. A two-time first-team all-Pasco County player with the Rams, Wolfe has spent the past four seasons at Stetson. This year, he finished tied for second in the Atlantic Sun Conference with 23 points.

MLS has not announced an official date for the combine, which features four teams of college prospects that compete against each other. Last year it was held the first week of January in Fort Lauderdale.


Kiwanis Invitational

Where: Hernando High, Brooksville

Today: Weigh-ins, 1 p.m.; first round, 3

Saturday: Restart, 10 a.m.; finals, 6 p.m.

Who: Springstead, Lake Gibson, Tampa Jesuit,

Hernando, Zephyrhills, North Marion, Ocala West Port, Central, South Lake, Belleview, Crystal River, Lecanto, Gulf, Mitchell, Sunlake, Lake Weir, Dunnellon, Pasco, River Ridge, Ridgewood, Nature Coast, Tampa Bay Christian, Land O'Lakes, Sickles, Wiregrass Ranch

Lasting images

See a game or feature photo that strikes your fancy? You can buy them at tampabay.com/photos.