Improved 'Canes on pace for 10 wins
During the winter break, the Bishop McLaughlin boys basketball team hosted the BMCHS Christmas Tournament, going 2-1 with wins against Lakeland Santa Fe (54-49) and Zephyrhills (52-42). One of the highlights of the shootout was Hurricanes sophomore Will Potosky inching closer to the 500-point plateau. Potosky is averaging 11.7 points and 7.5 rebounds per game and has been the leading scorer for the Hurricanes the past two seasons. "(Potosky) did a good job of finishing underneath the basket throughout," coach Evan Gerking said. "In terms of our season, we're in a tough district. We play Tampa Prep, Brooks-DeBartolo, Seffner Christian and Carrollwood, so we have one of the tougher districts to get out of in Class 3A." So far this season, Bishop McLaughlin (5-7) is 0-4 in Class 3A-District 8, which features annual state championship contender Tampa Prep and the-always-tough Brooks-DeBartolo and Seffner Christian. The team has vastly improved from last season's 4-20 record and is on pace for a 10-win season. This is the Hurricanes' first season under the direction of Gerking.AATL girls lose starter to broken hand Though the Wildcats were able to prevail as the No. 1 team in the Academy of the Holy Names Holiday Tournament, Academy at the Lakes did not come out of the tourney without a key injury. Starting freshman guard Luz Santiago broke her hand in the Wildcats' first-round victory over Wiregrass Ranch, according to coach Karim Nohra. The injury will likely keep Santiago out until mid or late February and is a big blow to AATL's already thin lineup. The Wildcats will now look to seventh-grader Taylor Polasky to contribute more. Polasky scored 21 points in the latter two games of the AHN tournament. Academy at the Lakes is 14-0 and has a good opportunity to finish the regular season undefeated, even with many district matchups ahead. The Wildcats' starting lineup will need to stay out of foul trouble, as the bench is reduced to two players who've had limited playing time throughout the season. "(Polasky) played a heck of a game (against Wiregrass Ranch)," Nohra said. "I thought she did a heck of a job for us, dribbling and handling the ball for us. She did some nice things and helped us out tremendously." Wesley Chapel performs well at Alonso Tournament After taking care of business within Pasco County before the winter break with back-to-back wins against River Ridge (73-47) and Ridgewood (65-48), Wesley Chapel went to the Alonso Holiday Tournament with an 11-game winning streak. That streak was snapped by Armwood, which defeated the Wildcats 76-69 in the first round of the tournament. Wesley Chapel rebounded to win the latter two games in the tournament, defeating Robinson 64-51 and Gaither 84-52. Wesley Chapel (13-3) has one of the top scorers and rebounders in the state, Erik Thomas, who is averaging 32.3 points and 18.4 rebounds. The return of fellow big man Marcus Hayne has been huge for Wesley Chapel, as the 6-foot-5 center is averaging 12.2 points and 7.8 rebounds. The Wildcats' two biggest games of the season will be non-district matchups against Mitchell on Jan. 25 and rival Wiregrass Ranch on Feb. 1.
Correspondent Andy Villamarzo covers Pasco County prep basketball and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.