St. Petersburg Times Online: Sports
TampaBay.com
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather
tampabay.com

printer version

Gators' playoff struggles continue

Countryside center Jeff Bronson keeps Land O'Lakes winless in the post-season.

By JOHN C. COTEY

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 23, 2001


LAND O'LAKES -- Baseball officially began for Land O'Lakes at 8:59 p.m. on Thursday. That's when starting pitcher and shortstop Jeff Baisley's desperation half-court heave fell short as catcher Brian Baisley and pitcher David Starkey looked on helplessly. The Gators' basketball season was laid to rest by Countryside, 54-51, in the Class 5A, Region 3 playoffs at Land O'Lakes.

The Gators finished with a school-record 28 wins (against three losses), but advance no farther than they did last year ... or the year before ... or the year before.

"It's a letdown," forward Brian Baisley said.

Though it wasn't as bad as last year's 70-50 loss to Plant, the Gators' inability to contain Countryside's 6-foot-7 center Jeff Bronson (19 points), along with an uncharacteristically inconsistent effort on offense, left the same bitter taste.

"I thought they outhustled us, outplayed us and outcoached us," Gators coach Dave Puhalski said. "It was my fault. I'll take the rap for this."

Land O'Lakes had an uphill fight thanks to a terrible start punctuated by two buzzer-beating jump shots to close out the first and second quarters by the Cougars.

Even so, the Gators only trailed 26-22 at halftime. Then Bronson took over.

His four blocked shots and inside presence had already altered the Gators' offense from patient to launching three-pointers, and on offense, Bronson was too much for the Land O'Lakes post players. His rebound, basket and free throw capped a 7-0 run to start the second half. A dunk and a layup later, Bronson had extended the Cougars' lead to 37-24.

When foul trouble sent him to the bench, the Gators rallied to close the third quarter and start the fourth. Land O'Lakes reeled off a 19-8 run as Brian Baisley scored inside to put the Gators ahead 48-47 with 3:49 left.

But Countryside held the Gators without a point for the next 3:43, taking a 51-48 lead on Anthony Cavalone's free throws with 31.3 seconds left.

Land O'Lakes got two great chances the next trip down the floor -- wide-open three-pointers by its best shooters -- but both attempts hit the front of the rim.

Two more free throws by Countryside made it 53-48, and even though Brian Baisley hit a three-pointer with six seconds left, the Gators fell in defeat.

Back to Sports
Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Contact the Times | Privacy Policy
Standard of Accuracy | Terms, Conditions & Copyright
 

From the Times sports desk

Motorsports
  • Lasting tribute
  • Emotions flow from Earnhardt memorial
  • Fox unable to celebrate high 500 ratings
  • Web petitions seek immortalizing No. 3
  • Racing briefs

  • Devil Rays
  • Healthier body produces Castilla's heathy outlook
  • Vaughn intent on playing in the outfield
  • Infielder released after arrest for DUI

  • Lightning
  • Tortorella vows to change power play's power dive

  • Baseball
  • Baseball briefs
  • Yanks pitchers breeze in 1st hitting session

  • NFL
  • Prospects preparing for combine
  • 'Franchise' Dolphin: Pro Bowl end Taylor

  • College basketball
  • AD says Robinson will return to coach Seminoles next season
  • Women's college basketball around the state
  • UNC's rebound comes at Seminoles' expense

  • Boxing
  • A straight shot in a crooked business

  • Et cetera
  • Honeymoon is over; Gasparilla is here
  • Sports briefs

  • Preps
  • Eagles in contention after strong first day
  • Brandon positioned with first-round lead
  • Ruling gives Devils title
  • Knights hold off Cobras
  • Lake Weir too quick for Hernando
  • Bears, Ryan blank Pirates
  • Gators' playoff struggles continue
  • Gaither's gift: a berth in final
  • Warriors falter, battle back in OT
  • Dunnellon takes care of Pasco
  • Cowboys fire from line to push past Riverview
  • Kathleen hits Hawks early
  • Indians hang tough, fall short
  • Impatience puts Bulls in 4A final
  • Jesuit earns another berth in final
  • Packers' rally hard to forget
  • Countryside sights in on top-10 state finish
  • Cougars swat Land O'Lakes
  • Girls basketball regional final
  • Edwards' big plays rescue Marauders in final minute
  • McMillens lead IRC into semifinals


  • From the wire

    From the state sports wire
  • Jacksonville's Spicer placed on IR after leg surgery
  • FIU-Western Kentucky game postponed because of Jeanne
  • Brown anxious to face old team for first time
  • Dolphins' desperate defense readies for Roethlisberger
  • Former Sarasota lineman sheds tough-guy image with Michigan
  • Rothstein rejoins Heat as assistant
  • No. 16 Florida has history on its side against Kentucky
  • FSU and Clemson QBs both off to slow starts