With the Christmas break over, winter sports in Osceola County are in full swing. Here’s a look around the county:
Boys’ basketball: City of Life Christian Academy continued its fine season with a 63-58 win over Liberty (2-5) to improve its record to 13-1 on the season.
Two Osceola schools were ranked in the top 16 for Central Florida by the Orlando Sentinel last week, as Osceola (5-4) checked in at 15, and Gateway (7-1) made an appearance at 16. Under first year head coach Steve Perez, the Kowboys have played an extremely difficult early schedule but handed Gateway their first loss of the season by a 58-54 count. St. Cloud was 6-8 on the year, led by Tyrell Frederick’s 14.3 points per game. Poinciana (4-2) had a big win over Harmony (3-6), 72-46 last week. Tohopekaliga, the third year school located on Boggy Creek Road, was looking for its first win of the season (0-5); while Celebration (0-2) has been limited to two games this season with Covid/Scheduling issues.
Girls’ basketball: Gateway took a three-game winning streak into this week’s games and was the first country girls’ team to reach double digit wins on the season with a 10-3 mark. Freshman Camila De pool-maisonet’s 13.4 ppg has led City of Life Christian Academy to a 5-2 record. Harmony (4-2) has been getting 11.4 points per game from senior Carlee Fitzgerald. Osceola (7-4) has won three straight games, including a 61-47 win last week over Lake Wales. Senior Eno Inyang continues to lead St. Cloud, averaging double figures in both points (18.8) and rebounds as the Lady Bulldogs are 9-4. Junior Ivanis Pimental, 12.7 ppg, has led Poinciana to a 5-3 mark. Celebration (4-4) has split its first eight games; while Liberty was 2-5 and Tohopekaliga was 1-6 in the early going.
Girls’ soccer: After losing a tough 1-0 decision to Central Florida standout Bishop Moore, Scott Marlega’s Harmony team checked in with a 5-3-1 record. After finishing with losing records in their first two seasons, Tohopekaliga was off to a 5-2-1 start behind junior Makenzie Baylis’ 13 goals. Sophomore sensation Nicole Ramirez-Para has already scored 17 times this season as Gateway is off to a 6-2-1 start. Sean Beck’s team lost 6-0 to Lake Highland Prep but came back with an 8-0 win over Celebration (4-7-1) as the Lady Bulldogs went to 4-5-4 on the season. A couple of underclassmen, junior Paola DiDamaso and sophomore Erin Ozyurek, lead the Lady Storm with four goals each this year. Poinciana was 4-4-1 in the first half of the season; while Osceola was 0-7-1 and Liberty was 0-7.
Boys’ soccer: In a marquee match-up of the county’s two undefeated teams, Celebration (7-0-4) and Osceola (6-0-1) battled to a scoreless draw last week. Mohammad Toumi and Nicola Romano have led the Storm attack this year with seven goals each, senior strikers Jesus Ramirez and Christian Aragon had led the Kowboys with nine and six goals respectively. Harmony (4-2-4) took a 3-1 decision over rival St. Cloud (4-4-0) last week. Bulldogs’ senior Fabrizio Lucia continues to impress with 14 goals and 14 assists. The striker has now scored 32 goals since his junior year. Junior Marlon Escobar has seven goals this season in leading Poinciana to a 8-5-1 mark. Gaetway (3-5), Liberty (1-5-1) and Tohopekaliga (1-6-2) have struggled in the first half.
Girls’ weightlifting: St. Cloud Head Coach Cory Aun has said many area teams have had numerous meets cancelled or postponed because of Covid.
“We’ve only had five competitions since the season started and in many of those we didn’t have our best lifters. I know a lot of teams have been faced with the same issues,” Aun said.
St. Cloud will attempt to defend its Orange Belt Conference Championship yesterday at Harmony (results next week). Aun noted that both host-Harmony and Tohopekaliga had solid teams and rival Osceola could be a surprise.
“We didn’t see them this year but I saw their numbers,” Aun added. “I fully expect them to bring a good team to the conference championships and be a challenge.”