The Wiregrass Ranch Bulls boy’s basketball coach, Jeremy Calzone, has been tired of hearing about how his team can't beat Hillsborough county teams, and now maybe this will quiet down some of the non-believers, as Wiregrass defeated the Freedom Patriots 84-59 on Tuesday night.
In the first half no one would have predicted a Wiregrass blowout, as the teams remained neck-and-neck at the end of the first half with Freedom leading 33-30.
Calzone contributed his team’s taking off in the second half to doing the things they didn’t in the first half, like controlling the tempo, defending, and rebounding.
"In the first half, we went 0-3 on those things, and in the second half we were able to do all of those things," said Calzone.
Wiregrass' Rico Kerney went off at the start of the second half, and never looked bac as the Bulls outscored Freedom 27-8 in the third quarter. Kerney had a game-high 27 points.
"Rico has blossomed into a big time player," said Calzone. "He took what he learned last year and ran with it."
The Bulls had three scorers in double-digits, including Larrentz Manora with 14 points on four 3-pointers and two shots made at the free throw line, and Chris Parra who had 12 points, including two 3-pointers.
As for Freedom, they too had three scorers in double-digits, but it wouldn’t be enough. The Patriots had too many turnovers that resulted in Wiregrass points - often on 3-pointers - in the third quarter.
"Once we picked up the tempo, we felt we could make them match out energy, or fall behind," said Calzone. "For the first time this season we kept the peddle down."