At the end of last week, school students were looking to leave campus behind for 2018 and ready to focus on the holidays.
What did many of its athletes do?
They sharpened their games in tournaments, and had big success.
St. Cloud hosted the Bulldog Showdown and went 3-0 en route to the championship shirts. The Bulldogs (10-2) ran a win streak to five games, dispatching Pitt Meadows, Canada (62-26), Orlando Christian Prep (70-35) and Olympia (60-46).
“We played well and got better,” Coach and Tournament Organizer Chad Ansbaugh said, noting he took the name from a similar boys tournament that departed boys hoops Coach Tim McMullen ran almost annually. “We were 16-for-32 from the three-point line against OCP. We’re getting to be tough to guard because anyone can hit shots outside or inside.
“It was a struggle to put it on the tournament, we had two teams cancel the week of, I was able to get City of Life to play one game and watch Haines City (the two-time District 9A-7 champions in with Osceola and Gateway) play two games, but they said they’d come if they didn’t have to play us.”
St. Cloud gets back at it in the College of Central Florida Holiday Shootout this weekend in Ocala, playing Cape Coral on Friday and Madison County on Saturday.
City of Life (6-3) made the most of its appearance, taking down Covenant Prep Christian, 73-43. Senior guard Debra Buggs posted 25 points to reach the 1,000-point career mark with the Warriors. Sister Reyna Buggs added 11 points and 10 assists and junior Janelisse Marty poured in a career-high 15 points.
Also around the county:
Osceola’s girls (5-4) will play this weekend in the Florida Prospects Holiday Tournament at Lake Highland Prep. City of Life joins them in the Silver Bracket.
… Celebration’s boys team (7-3) won twice in last weekend’s DeLand Holiday tournament, including defeating the host Bulldogs, 55-51, Saturday, and received a forfeit win in the final to bring home the trophy …
Osceola (4-5) played in, but struggled, in the City of Palms Invitational in Fort Myers. The Kowboys trailed just 18-10 at the half against Imhotep Charter (Philadelphia), the tournament runner-up, Thursday but fell 67-30. The let a one-point lead after three quarters slip away to Vashon (St. Louis, Mo.), 85-76. Osceola will play in the Battle at the Villages, where they were third place last year on their way to being regional runners-up, this weekend, opening against Fort Lauderdale Stranahan.
Harmony and Liberty will participate this weekend in the Jim Clark Classic at Bishop Moore. Chargers swingman Jaylen Williams will be one of the best players in the event …
In wrestling, Celebration went to Valdosta (Ga.) and placed 13th in the Wildcat Invitational, where Ke’Shawn Peterson won the 145-pound class, Alfonso Serrano was second and Dylan Dozier was sixth …
At the weekend’s Harmony Christmas Duals, Longhorns’ 126-pounder Dylan Jones was named the tournament’s Outstanding Lightweight after going 9-0 with eight pins. He is now 18-0 on the year. Aiden Poe (106), Alvaro Morzan (120) and Juan Gomez (195) each went 8-1.