By Times staff reports
© St. Petersburg Times, published February 21, 2001
All games at 7:30 p.m. Thursday; admission $5
Countryside at Land O'Lakes
THE SKINNY: Land O'Lakes (28-2), No. 3 in the state poll, flamed out in the regional quarterfinal against Plant last season and is eager to make amends. The Cougars (19-7) have the depth and talent to hang with Land O'Lakes.
THE SKINNY: Can the Hurricanes (16-14) deal with the Pirates' pressure defense? The outcome hinges on that one factor. Boca Ciega's (17-10) calling card has been suffocating man-to-man defense. PHU, in the regional for the first time, must maintain its poise or it could be down by 10 in a hurry.
Bradenton Bayshore at Lakewood
THE SKINNY: The Spartans (25-2) are clearly the top team in the area. But can the Spartans, who start just one senior (Norris Anderson), cope with the expectations? We find out starting Thursday against Bayshore (19-12).
THE SKINNY: In the fall, the Largo football team met Southeast legend Adrian McPherson in the first round of the playoffs. It was ugly. On the hardwood, the fight should be more fair. The 6-foot-4 McPherson, bound for Florida State, ripped Lakewood for 37 points in one of the Spartans' two losses this season. No. 6-ranked Largo (24-5) has a more balanced offense than Southeast (20-10).
Sarasota Cardinal Mooney at CCC
THE SKINNY: The Marauders (25-5) ripped rival St. Petersburg Catholic 82-57 for the district title. Point guard Chris Zumwalt has been the glue for two seasons. Swingmen Dominick Jarmula, John Templeton and Marcus Edwards provide scoring and grit, and 6-6 Jon Simmons is a shot blocker. Southeast transfer Gerard Ciarleglio, a superb long-range shooter, is the top gun for Mooney (18-13).
THE SKINNY: The Barons (22-7) played well all season -- until the second quarter of the district final against CCC. Immokalee (24-4) beat Largo by one point during the holidays.
Fort Meade at Northside Christian
THE SKINNY: At various times this season, Northside Christian, Indian Rocks Christian and Admiral Farragut each appeared to be the top team in District 10. In the district tournament, the Mustangs (20-8) proved to be the best, and they earned a No. 10 state ranking this week. In football, Fort Meade (13-10) brutalized Pinellas County. Is it time for payback?
THE SKINNY: The upstart Eagles (17-10) travel across Tampa Bay to play one of the area's most esteemed programs. Tampa Prep (24-6) has a typically strong squad and is No. 5 in the state poll. As usual, IRC's success will depend on sophomore guard Gabe McMillen and senior forward Caleb McMillen.
Canterbury at Bayshore Christian
THE SKINNY: Canterbury (14-15) beat No. 2 Sarasota Out-of-Door Academy in the district semifinal before getting upended by top-seeded Sarasota Christian in the title game 62-43. Holding down run-and-gun Bayshore Christian (30-3), No. 3 in the state poll, might be a near-impossible task. -- Compiled by Pete Young.