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    By Anthony Salveggi, Times Correspondent
    Saturday, February 9, 2013

    LARGO — In last year's district final between St. Petersburg Catholic and Shorecrest, the Chargers' abundance of 3-point baskets was the difference.

    On Saturday night, however, the Barons stifled Shorecrest's top offensive weapon and took control of a close game to defeat Shorecrest 58-48 for the Class 3A, District 9 championship.

    Ryan Green scored the first basket of the second half to give the Barons a lead they would not relinquish. Green's basket was part of a 12-2 run to open the half.

    The Barons started the fourth period strong as well, opening with a 7-0 run that pushed them to a 12-point advantage.

    Shorecrest eventually cut the lead to seven, but a layup and foul shot by Pat Artise put SPC in front 52-42 with less than two minutes remaining.

    Shorecrest tried to get back in the game by shooting 3-pointers. However, the clock worked against the Chargers as their players passed the ball around the perimeter for an open look, where few could be found.

    After hitting 14 3-pointers in the semifinal, Shorecrest cooled off Saturday, making just six.

    "I thought in the second half we did a great job of getting to their shooters," SPC coach Mike Moran said. "We started cheating on the corners."

    Moran also noted how happy he was to get the win for his graduating seniors, including Green and Kevin O'Donnell.

    Green led all scorers with 21 points.


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    By Andy Warrener, Times Correspondent
    Saturday, February 9, 2013

    KISSIMMEE — As expected, wrestling powerhouse Brandon won the Class 3A, Region 2 team title, scoring 294 points Saturday, but second-place Osceola Kissimmee (212) and others showed the competition is creeping up.

    Palm Harbor University was third (165), while Durant (48.5) and Riverview (46) grabbed top-10 spots at seventh and ninth, respectively.

    "This is probably the best year for this region, as far as the level of talent involved, in the last 30 years," said Eagles coach Russ Cozart, who qualified 13 wrestlers for next week's state meet in Lakeland and crowned six individual champions Saturday.

    Capping the meet was a heavyweight rematch between Brandon's Darren Lester and Plant City's Lance Dounges. Lester pulled an upset last week at district after being down 5-1. In the region final at 285 pounds, Lester got the third-period pin again.

    "This time, when he threw me into a lateral, I knew how to counter it," Lester said.

    The 120-pound final was a rematch of last year's 3A state final at 113, when Brandon's James Flint beat Palm Harbor University's Jared Prince 3-2. This year's region final was 3-2 in favor of Prince, who used a foot grab both last week and Saturday. "I saw it, he was leaning in on his left leg so I went for it," Prince said.

    Brandon senior Kyle Norstrem scored major decisions against each of his region opponents, including a 17-2 final against junior Tucker Hardwick of Palm Harbor U.

    "This sport is all about controlling your opponent," he said. "When an opponent gets that look in their eyes, like they don't want to be on the mat anymore, you know you've got him."

    A-3: Robinson tops Gulf

    TAMPA — Robinson crowned two region champions and qualified six for state to beat runnerup Gulf 165-128 at the A-3 meet hosted by Berkeley Prep.

    Robinson's Kionte Crocker (138 pounds) and Luis Pegero (170) won their weight class finals, though coach Tommy Montero was hoping for more.

    "Those young guys now have the confidence to perform at a high level having come here to wrestle," Montero said. "Their future is exciting, and it shows them how difficult it is to wrestle on a day like today. You have to be tough both mentally and physically."

    Heavyweight champion Noah Huntley of Admiral Farragut battled through exhaustion in his final. Tied 2-2 with less than a minute remaining in the final round, the sophomore scored a thrilling pin over senior Michael Quintero of Bradenton Southeast.

    "I just kept thinking that I didn't put in all this work and training to lose that match," Huntley said. "When he tried to throw me I just rolled his head and arm the way my coaches taught me."

    Gulf's lone champion was Spencer Baxter (160), but the Bucs will send five to state.

    "We could have eight go and I would have been upset it wasn't 10," Gulf coach Travis DeWalt said. "There is room for improvement, but we have a good chance of coming home with some winners at state so I'm happy."

    Tampa Bay area schools rounded out much of the top 10. Wesley Chapel and Indian Rocks Christian finished fifth and sixth, respectively, each with four heading to state. Wesley Chapel had region champs in Tony Ruggio (120) and Jon Galvin (126).

    Tampa Bay Christian (eighth) boasts two champions (Cullen Telfer, 106 and Anthony Artalona, 113). Host Berkeley Prep (ninth) will send two to state, including 152-pound champ Eric Massey.

    2A-3: Jesuit crowned two region champions and qualified four for state in finishing second to Fort Myers Riverdale (142.5 to 127.5) at the meet hosted by Charlotte.

    Adam Lewis (126 pounds) and Max Gallagly (170) scored championship finals victories while Anthony Zucco (106 pounds) settled for second. Austin Underwood (220) claimed third.

    Armwood's Donoven Hough (113) scored a 14-4 major decision to win his class. King's Jacob Wasserman and Joseph Affronti III will go to Lakeland as well.

    Times correspondent David Rice contributed to this report.


    DANIEL WALLACE   |   TimesDANIEL WALLACE | Times

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    By Michael Hinman, Times Correspondent
    Saturday, February 9, 2013

    SEFFNER — Tampa Prep's Adonis Rwabigwi scored 21 to lead the Terrapins to their eighth consecutive district title, 63-33 over host Seffner Christian in the Class 3A, District 8 final Saturday.

    Tampa Prep jumped ahead early on a scrappy Crusaders team that made it to the finals by getting past Brooks-DeBartolo, and then it coasted to its 25th win. The Terrapins advance to a region quarterfinal against Lakeland Christian, which has lost only two games this year as well.

    While coach Joe Fenlon says his Terrapins love to play together, a lot of credit has to go to the 6-foot-8 Rwanda native Rwabigwi, who is heading to Furman next year.

    "Adonis had a good game, and he needed that good game," Fenlon said. "He's been getting a lot of looks in the lane and usually gets banged a lot. He was really playing aggressive tonight and went to the rim hard. And when Adonis is going to the rim hard with the size he is, people tend to get out of his way."

    The Crusaders held the ball for more than a minute before even attempting the game's first basket. But that put the Terps into a defensive stance, disrupting passes and blocking shots.

    "It's hard to get high school kids to play with defensive intensity every game, and we set a precedent with our kids," Fenlon said. "One of our goals every game is to keep our opponents under 60 points, and the kids pride themselves on that. When they look at the scoreboard, they keep working."

    Juwan Durham had 14 points for the Terrapins while Josh Heath added eight.

    Barrett Swartz had 14 points while Kent Hegarty chipped in 11 for Seffner Christian (14-13).


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  • 02/09/13--21:30: Who owns season tickets?
  • Times staff
    Sunday, February 10, 2013

    The Tampa Bay Times last week asked around to businesses, politicians and others to gain a sense of who holds season tickets to the Tampa Bay Rays. Here are the results.

    CITY OF ST. PETERSBURG

    City-owned tickets from Tropicana Field contract: 16 suite tickets, 10 field seats.

    Mayor Bill Foster: Partial season package of two tickets, section 316.

    Council members Bill Dudley, Wengay Newton, Leslie Curran, Jeff Danner: None.

    Council member Charlie Gerdes: His law firm has a weekend package. Also in group that shares four tickets behind home plate.

    Council member Jim Kennedy: Four tickets in section 108.

    Council member Karl Nurse: Two weekend tickets for his business on the lower level, first base side.

    Council member Steve Kornell: "I'm not going to comment on my leisure activities."

    Rick Mussett, senior administrator for development, and city Administrator Tish Elston: Part of group with four tickets in lower bowl.

    St. Petersburg City Attorney John Wolfe: None.

    Former Mayor Rick Baker: Did not respond.

    Pinellas County officials

    No county commissioners have season tickets.

    Clearwater officials

    Mayor George Cretekos: None.

    Former Mayor Frank Hibbard: None.

    Hillsborough officials

    County Commission Chairman Ken Hagan: None.

    Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn: None.

    Tampa Bay legislators

    State Sen. Jack Latvala: In group that shares four tickets in lower bowl on third base side.

    These legislators do not have tickets: Rep. Richard Corcoran, Rep. Janet Cruz, Rep. Dwight Dudley, Rep. Mike Fasano, Sen. Bill Galvano, Rep. Ed Hooper, Sen. Arthenia Joyner, Sen. John Legg, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, Rep. Kathleen Peters, Rep. Jake Raburn, U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney, Rep. Darryl Rouson, U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross, Sen. Wilton Simpson, Rep. Jimmie Smith, U.S. Rep. Bill Young, Rep. Carl Zimmerman.

    All other Tampa Bay legislators could not be reached.

    ABC Coalition

    (Studied stadium issue four years ago and angered St. Pete officials by raising possibility of Hillsborough sites.)

    Craig Sher, former CEO of Sembler company: Two tickets, lower bowl.

    Alan Bomstein, president of Clearwater's Creative Contractors: Two personal tickets, two corporate tickets and two others as part of a group, all in Section 111.

    Chuck Sykes, president of Tampa's Sykes Enterprises, chairman of the Tampa Bay Partnership and co-chair of chamber task force on stadium financing: Four corporate tickets in home plate club.

    Russ Kimball, general manager of Clearwater's Sheraton Sand Key Resort: None.

    Barbara Heck, former president of St. Petersburg's Council of Neighborhood Associations: None.

    Charlie Harris, coalition attorney and managing partner for St. Petersburg's Trenam Kemker law firm: Four corporate tickets in lower bowl.

    Business groups

    Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce: None. President Bob Rohrlack: None. Chairman Gregory Celestan, of Celestar Corporation: Did not respond.

    St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce: Receives numerous tickets from the Rays for free for recruiting businesses to town. President Chris Steinocher: None. Attorney Dave Punzak, chamber chairman: In group that holds four tickets in section 115.

    Tampa Bay Partnership: None. President Stuart Rogel: None.

    Businesses

    Tampa's Debartolo Development: No suite for Rays but has them for Lightning and Bucs.

    St. Petersburg developer Echelon, which proposed a stadium in Carillon Business Park: Four corporate tickets in section 110.

    Jabil: Four field-level seats.

    Duke Energy: Did not respond.

    Tampa Electric: None.

    Clearwater's Tech Data: 12-16 corporate seats on third base side.

    Bloomin' Brands: CEO Liz Smith, four personal tickets.

    Fifth Third Bank (Tampa Bay): Season tickets, wouldn't say how many.

    Cornerstone Community Bank: Four tickets.

    Bank of Tampa, which recently branched into St. Petersburg: None.

    Bank of America: Suite.

    Hospitals

    Bayfront Medical Center: None.

    Tampa General: None.

    Sponsors

    (These packages are part of broader agreements for joint marketing and services.)

    Times Publishing Co.: A suite with 16 tickets and four seats in the Whitney Bank Club.

    St. Anthony's Hospital: Eight full season tickets, plus hundreds of individual tickets for special promotions. Uses Trop for corporate events.

    Kane's Furniture: 12 tickets spread throughout the stadium.

    Others

    Mark Ferguson, owner of Ferg's sports bar: Four season tickets in Section 301. Also buys 50 tickets to four other games for marketing.

    Ed Armstrong, Clearwater lawyer who advises the Rays: His law firm, Johnson, Pope, Ruppel & Burns, has four tickets in Section 112.

    Robert Byelick, chairman of the Clutch Hitters, a St. Petersburg group that promotes baseball: Shares four tickets in section 111 with two law partners at Abbey Adams Byelick & Mueller,

    Bill Edwards, former owner of St. Petersburg mortgage company who is involved in many St. Petersburg civic ventures: Did not respond.

    Former Gov. Charlie Crist was out of the country and could not be reached.


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    By Tim Whitfield, Times Correspondent
    Sunday, February 10, 2013

    Tips: February is a tough month; the fish seem to move in and out from winter to spring patterns. The trick is to catch them as they transition back and forth and try to fish the days preceding the fronts. Days with southerly winds and overcast skies are the best.

    Targets: Redfish, trout and sheepshead are easy targets during peak tidal movement the day before a front. Offerings varying from live shrimp to soft plastics are sure-fire baits. After the front passes the blue skies and UV rays are intense for anglers and fish. My choice under these conditions is usually redfish. They tend to be the least affected by high pressure. Deep water reds seem to be the most willing targets. Live bait reigns supreme on these days.

    Tim Whitfield can be reached at tim@swiftfishcharters.com or (813) 714-0889.


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    Times wires
    Sunday, February 10, 2013

    PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Brandt Snedeker didn't have to take a back seat to anyone at Pebble Beach.

    A runnerup to Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson each of the last two weeks, Snedeker finished off a record performance Sunday with 7-under 65 for a two-shot victory over Chris Kirk in the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

    Snedeker holed a 10-foot birdie on the 17th hole and then tapped in for par to finish at 19-under 267. That broke the tournament record held by Mickelson (2007) and Mark O'Meara (1997), who each had 20-under 268 when Poppy Hills was in the rotation.

    The hottest player in golf, Snedeker finally has a trophy to show for it.

    "Feels great to finish one," he said. "The last two weeks, playing great but running into two Hall of Famers, really motivated me to go out and prove that I can handle the lead."

    In five starts this year, he had a win, two second-place finishes and a third. He never had much of a chance against Woods at Torrey Pines or Mickelson at the Phoenix Open, who each had big leads going into the final round.

    Snedeker was tied with James Hahn, a 31-year-old rookie, and seized control with an eagle and three birdies on the opening seven holes. Snedeker responded to his only bogey, at No. 9, with birdie putts on the next two holes.

    Snedeker goes to No. 4 in the world, the highest ranking of his career and second to Woods among Americans.

    "Kind of crazy to think what's happened," he said.

    Hahn shot 2-under 70 and tied for third with Jimmy Walker (66) and Kevin Stadler (65).

    The only disappointment for Snedeker was having to settle for par on the final hole and watching his amateur, Toby Wilt, graze the edge of the cup with his final putt. That means he had to share first in the pro-am with Michael Letzig and John Erickson.

    Mickelson, the defending champion, hit two more balls in the ocean on the 18th hole. He closed with 72 and tied for 60th.

    Tampa resident Ryuji Imada shot a final-round 71 to finish at 4-under 282, tied for 40th.

    Champions: Rocco Mediate birdied the 18th hole and finished with a 1-under 71 to win the Allianz Championship in Boca Raton. He finished at 17-under 199 and became the 16th player to have a winning debut on the Champions Tour. Mediate's 4-foot birdie came after Tom Pernice Jr. (70) missed a 5-footer at No. 18 that could have forced a playoff. "I'm ecstatic," Mediate said. "This means as much to me as anything I've done."


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    By Marc Topkin, Times Staff Writer
    Sunday, February 10, 2013

    ST. PETERSBURG — Robinson Chirinos was never so happy to get smacked in the mask by a baseball.

    The haunting symptoms from the concussion he sustained six months earlier finally gone, the medical people finally relaxing the restrictions and special handling and clearing him for game action, all that was left was for Chirinos to actually get back behind the plate.

    He had run and thrown and swung the bat, he had caught pitchers in the bullpen, he had blocked balls in the dirt. But it wouldn't be until he got hit by a foul tip — which is what caused this whole horrible ordeal that March afternoon — that he'd know for sure.

    "I was a little scared," he admitted.

    In his second game with the Rays' instructional league team in September, he took one in the mask. All good. Then again the next day. No problem. He went back to his native Venezuela for a couple months of winter ball, and it was just like normal.

    "I was like, 'All right, when I get hit, let's see what happens,' " Chirinos said. "The best part was it was nothing. I got hit a lot of times. And I felt good."

    • • •

    When the Rays open spring training this week in Port Charlotte, Chirinos, 28, may be the happiest of the 60-plus players to be there, eager, to put it mildly, to resume his once-promising career after essentially losing an entire year.

    "I'm ready to go," he said. "Everything is fine. I'm back to where I was before."

    Acquired from the Cubs in the January 2011 Matt Garza trade, Chirinos played a month for the Rays that summer, the high point an Aug. 4 celebration when he had a tying single in the 11th and a walkoff hit in the 12th.

    He came to spring training last year with a shot, albeit long, for the backup catcher's job, but that all changed on March 11.

    There were two outs in the ninth inning of a game against the Pirates when the Josh Lueke fastball grazed a bat and slammed into Chirinos' mask. He shrugged it off like catchers do, told assistant athletic trainer Paul Harker he was fine and finished the inning.

    "We get hit all the time," Chirinos said. "You get hit, you get dizzy for a little bit and you come back. And it was the same."

    Chirinos went back to the dugout as the Rays rallied in the bottom of the ninth, but something suddenly felt very wrong.

    "I felt okay at first, but five minutes later it was getting worse and worse," he said. "By the time I got to the clubhouse I was throwing up."

    Head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield administered the MLB-mandated concussion tests, but the evidence was obvious. He called for an ambulance and Chirinos, still in uniform, left the clubhouse strapped to a board on his way to a hospital.

    • • •

    The first couple of months were terrible.

    Chirinos would spend most of his days in the sheltered environment of a Port Charlotte apartment, but he couldn't tolerate much beyond simple — and somewhat halting — conversation without getting dizzy or nauseated. He couldn't drive. He didn't eat much.

    His wife, Haidy, and then-4-year-old son David came from Venezuela, but there was only so much they could do for him.

    Stimulus was one problem, concentration another.

    "I would sit on the couch and talk to my wife," he said. "It was hard. I would read like three lines and I was getting dizzy. TV was good for a few minutes and then I would turn it down. Same with the computer. Even my phone — sometimes my family would text me a lot but I was calling them back because I couldn't read too much."

    The Rays had him come to the complex for evaluation and light exercise during down time, when the other players weren't there or out on the field, so they could keep the training room quiet and the lights down.

    The nights weren't much better. Chirinos couldn't sleep for more than two-three hours, depriving his brain of the much-needed rest to heal. It wasn't clear to the medical staff whether that was symptomatic of the concussion or the anxiety racing through him as he wondered about his health and career.

    "It was hard knowing I was going to go to bed and know the next day I would be feeling bad again," Chirinos said.

    Eventually they found the right medicine to get him to sleep. Visits to the sports concussion center at the University of Pittsburgh went well, specialist Dr. Michael Collins quelling Chirinos' frustration at the lack of progress and convincing him he would get better. Vision therapy helped. So did a call from Baltimore's Brian Roberts, who had gone through similar issues.

    The fog, which lasted longer than usual, finally began to lift. By mid August, Rays minor-league medical coordinator Joe Benge started to slowly incorporate baseball activities into their sessions. A month later, Chirinos was ready to get back behind the plate.

    • • •

    As horrible as the experience has been, Chirinos found some good, spending extensive time reading the Bible and immersing himself in faith, remaining remarkably positive.

    When fans and teammates asked during January's Venezuelan league how he was, Chirinos said it was no longer a question. "I was like, 'I really appreciate you guys worrying about me, but I feel like that was 2012, that is in the past,' " he said. "And I thank God it's over with."

    The Rays are eager to welcome him back. "He's full go," executive vice president Andrew Friedman said. "He got behind the plate a number of times this winter and felt good. We're excited to watch him play in camp and get him back on track to getting up here and helping us win games."

    That couldn't sound better to Chirinos.

    "I tell my family that I feel like God brought me here to the Rays for a big purpose," he said. "I know I belong here and I'm going to be here and I'm going to help the team win games and hopefully win that World Series that everybody wants.

    "I have a good feeling that it's going to be a great year."

    Marc Topkin can be reached at topkin@tampabay.com.


    JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times (2011)JAMES BORCHUCK | Times (2011)

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    Times wires
    Sunday, February 10, 2013

    SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame watched a video of great boxing knockouts knowing their game against Louisville would probably be bruising.

    It turned out to be the longest game in Big East regular-season history.

    "I talked about it being a 15-rounder and taking punches and being put on the mat," coach Mike Brey said. "At the fourth or fifth timeout, I said, 'Has there ever been a 20-rounder?' "

    If so, it couldn't have been any more thrilling than the No. 25 Fighting Irish's five-overtime victory over the No. 11 Cardinals late Saturday, a 104-101 decision in which the teams traded great plays and missed shots.

    Afterward, even Louisville coach Rick Pitino forgot how long the game was, referring to it as a four-overtime game.

    The previous conference regular-season record was a four-overtime game that happened 11 years ago to the day and also involved Notre Dame. The Irish beat Georgetown 116-111 in four OTs on Feb. 9, 2002.

    Jack Cooley, who fouled out in regulation, said the Irish players scoffed at Brey when he talked about a 15-round boxing match.

    "We're like, 15-round matches, that doesn't happen. And then we played five overtimes. So that's how it went," he said.

    There was no knockout punch Saturday night, just some body blows.

    Eric Atkins scored on a layup with 1:19 left in the fifth overtime, and Atkins and Pat Connaugton added free throws in the final 19 seconds as the Fighting Irish overcame an eight-point deficit in regulation.

    Louisville's Russ Smith had a chance to tie it at the end of the fifth overtime, but his 3-point attempt missed before Notre Dame students flooded the court to celebrate. The Irish (19-5, 7-6 Big East) and Cardinals (19-5, 7-4) played into overtime for the sixth time in the past eight meetings.

    "It's always overtime," said Chane Behanan, who led the Cardinals with a career-high 30 points and 15 rebounds. "The strongest will survive. They were a great team (Saturday) and made a lot of big shots."

    Pitino, who didn't take questions after the game, credited the Irish. "They made some just incredible shots," he said. "I can't fault our defense. We were on them."


    Associated PressAssociated Press

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  • 02/10/13--18:37: USF women rout Providence
  • Times wires
    Sunday, February 10, 2013

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Inga Orekhova had 21 points and Alisia Jenkins 16 points and 12 rebounds to lead USF to an 82-54 rout of Providence on Sunday afternoon in a game that had been delayed a day because of a winter storm.

    The Bulls (16-6, 5-4 Big East) showed few ill effects from the delay, blowing the game open with a 30-8 second-half run and shooting 61 percent after halftime.

    "I told them, 'You're a very good basketball team. The layoff doesn't matter,' " coach Jose Fernandez said.

    Courtney Williams scored all of her 15 in the second half, and Akila McDonald had a career-high 11 rebounds to help USF to its fourth win in five games.

    Fernandez said the Bulls did a bit of "sleep walking" while taking a 28-23 halftime lead. "The second half was a different story," he said.

    Symone Roberts had 13 points for the Friars (7-16, 2-8).

    NO. 19 FSU 93, MIAMI 78: Leonor Rodriguez led six players in double figures with 21 points as the visiting Seminoles (19-4, 9-3 ACC) swept the season series. The Hurricanes (16-7, 7-6) had a two-game winning streak snapped.

    UF 65, AUBURN 57: Christin Mercer had 12 points and nine rebounds for the Gators (15-9, 4-6 SEC), who beat the Tigers (13-11, 2-9) on the road for the first time since Feb. 29, 2004.

    Top 25

    NO. 3 UCONN 91, DEPAUL 44: Stefanie Dolson had 23 points to lead the host Huskies (22-1, 9-1 Big East) over the late-arriving Blue Demons, who ran into blizzard-related travel delays and reached the arena 75 minutes before the opening tip.

    NO. 4 STANFORD 69, ARIZ. ST. 45: Chiney Ogwumike had 26 points and 14 rebounds for the host Cardinal (22-2, 11-1 Pac-12), which won its eighth straight.

    NO. 6 CAL 91, ARIZONA 86: Talia Caldwell had a career-high 20 points and added 12 rebounds for the host Golden Bears (21-2, 11-1 Pac-12), who won their ninth straight game.

    NO. 8 PENN ST. 71, MICH. ST. 56: Alex Bentley had 24 points and Maggie Lucas 19 for the Lions (20-3, 10-1 Big Ten), who won their 18th straight home game and built a two-game conference lead.

    LSU 62, NO. 9 GEORGIA 54: Theresa Plaisance had 13 points, nine rebounds and three blocks for the host Tigers, who snapped a two-game skid with an upset of the Bulldogs (20-4, 8-3 SEC).

    NO. 10 KENTUCKY 75, VANDY 53: A'dia Mathies scored a season-high 28 to lead the Wildcats (21-3, 9-2 SEC) to their second straight road victory.

    NO. 12 TENN. 97, OLE MISS 68: Meighan Simmons had 24 points to lead five players in double figures for the host Vols (19-5, 10-1 SEC), who beat the Rebels for the 24th straight time.

    MICHIGAN 67, NO. 13 PURDUE 56: Kate Thompson had 22 points and hit six 3-pointers to give her a school-record 91 this season as the Wolverines handed the Boilermakers (18-5, 7-3 Big Ten) their first home defeat.

    NO. 14 TEXAS A&M 50, NO. 15 S.C. 48: Kelsey Bone had 15 points, including the winning basket with 8.7 seconds left, in her return to South Carolina with the Aggies (19-5, 9-1 SEC). Bone transferred from the Gamecocks (20-4, 8-3) after her freshman season.

    NO. 16 UNC 60, GA. TECH 58: Tierra Ruffin-Pratt had 14 points and hit two crucial late baskets after the visiting Tar Heels (22-3, 10-2 ACC) had blown a nine-point second-half lead.

    NO. 17 UCLA 80, WASH. ST. 65: Jasmine Dixon, Alyssia Brewer and Mariah Williams scored 14 each for the visiting Bruins (19-4, 10-2 Pac-12), who shot 85 percent (17-of-20) in the second half of their sixth straight win.

    NO. 18 DAYTON 68, FORDHAM 57: Amber Deane had 14 points for the visiting Flyers (21-1, 9-0 Atlantic 10), who are off to the best start in school history.

    NO. 20 DELAWARE 71, JMU 64: Elena Delle Donne had 20 points to become the Colonial Athletic Association's all-time leader with 2,677, and the visiting Blue Hens (20-3, 11-0) won their 15th straight game.

    NO. 21 COLORADO 84, OREGON 59: Chucky Jeffery had 15 points and 15 rebounds to lead the host Buffaloes (18-5, 7-5 Pac-12), who have one more conference win than all last season.

    NO. 23 OKLAHOMA 80, NO. 22 OKLA. ST. 61: Nicole Griffin had 21 points for the host Sooners (18-5, 8-3 Big 12), who shot 53 percent in the second half to turn the Bedlam rivalry game against the Cowgirls (16-6, 5-6) into a runaway.


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  • 02/10/13--18:47: Indiana gets back on track
  • Times wires
    Sunday, February 10, 2013

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — After a stunning loss, the Hoosiers were on a mission to reaffirm just how good they were.

    There was little questioning their ability Sunday.

    Victor Oladipo had a career-high 26 points, Cody Zeller added 24 and Christian Watford had 20 to lead No. 1 Indiana back from a demoralizing loss to a big road win, 81-68 over No. 10 Ohio State.

    "It was putting teams away, playing to win and not just playing for the time to run out," Zeller said of the lessons learned from an upset loss at Illinois on Thursday. "So, we made that adjustment pretty well."

    The Hoosiers (21-3, 9-3 Big Ten) dominated the second half while making some history.

    "We knew we let one get away from us," Watford said. "At that point you just have to move on to the next one."

    On Thursday, the Illini closed the game with a 13-2 run. Indiana turned the ball over late, then allowed an uncontested layup at the buzzer of a 74-72 loss.

    Less than three days later, the Hoosiers rebounded with a milestone win in hostile territory.

    The victory was Indiana's first against a top-10 conference opponent on the road since 1993 at Iowa, and its first road win against any team in the top 10 since beating Notre Dame in 2000.

    "From the very beginning after we lost, the biggest thing for our team was we were not going to spend a lot of our time worrying about bouncing back," coach Tom Crean said. "I'm proud of the way these guys responded from a very tough loss."

    The Hoosiers shot 53 percent, the highest against Ohio State (17-6, 7-4) this season.

    "Unfortunately we didn't guard them at the level we needed to," Buckeyes coach Thad Matta said.

    NO. 4 DUKE 62, BC 61: Mason Plumlee had 19 points and 10 rebounds and hit the winning free throw with 26 seconds left to help the visiting Blue Devils (21-2, 8-2 ACC) rally from early and late deficits. The Eagles led by five with 2:15 left and had a chance to win after Plumlee hit his free throw, but Olivier Hanlan's short jumper was wide and the rebound popped out of bounds as the buzzer sounded.

    CAL 77, NO. 7 ARIZONA 69: Allen Crabbe scored 19 of his 31 in the second half, Justin Cobbs hit a big shot in the closing seconds and the visiting Bears held their composure down the stretch to knock off the Wildcats (20-3, 8-3 Pac-12).

    NO. 9 SYRACUSE 77, ST. JOHN'S 58: James Southerland, who had missed six games because of questions about his academic eligibility, had 13 points to help the Orange (20-3, 8-2 Big East) win for the 37th straight time at the Carrier Dome.

    ILLINOIS 57, NO. 18 MINNESOTA 53: Tyler Griffey capped a terrific week with 16 points for the visiting Illini, who made 11 of 23 3-pointers to hand the Golden Gophers (17-7, 5-6 Big Ten) their sixth loss in eight games.


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    Times staff
    Sunday, February 10, 2013

    Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series

    SUNDAY'S RESULTS

    At St. Petersburg

    Half marathon

    MEN

    Overall finish, Name, City, Time

    1. Jon Phillips, Brooklyn, 1:14:23

    2. Andrew Chandler, St. Petersburg, 1:15:03

    3. John Davis, Melbourne, 1:17:25

    4. Nat Glackin, St. Petersburg, 1:17:37

    5. Shane Streufert, Viera, 1:18:04

    6. Steve Cyr, Shannon, 1:18:17

    7. Joe Torzok, Tampa, 1:18:54

    8. Samuel Morris, Orlando, 1:19:50

    9. Justin Page, Wesley Chapel, 1:19:52

    10. Shawn Weigl, Bradenton, 1:19:58

    13. Trey Howell, St. Petersburg, 1:21:10

    14. Jeff Lessie, Tampa, 1:21:26

    15. Pedro Meraz, Wesley Chapel, 1:21:55

    16. Myles Murphy, Miami Beach, 1:22:01

    17. Benjamin Terry, Wolverhampton, 1:22:21

    18. Matthew McFall, Bradenton, 1:22:28

    19. David Taliaferro, St. Petersburg, 1:22:37

    20. Rick Gausche, Tampa, 1:22:37

    21. Robert Hammond, Sarasota, 1:22:56

    22. Jake Hughes, Lithia, 1:24:17

    23. Bryan Dunker, Tampa, 1:24:24

    25. Dave Nevitt, Dartmouth 1:24:52

    26. Tim Nicholls, Pembroke Pines, 1:25:24

    27. Lee Morrison, Ocala, 1:26:06

    28. Scott Wallace, Tampa, 1:26:07

    29. Jim George, Brandon, Miss., 1:26:18

    30. Michael Persun, St. Petersburg, 1:26:57

    31. Kenneth Young, Tampa, 1:27:20

    32. Evan Olsen, Tampa, 1:27:28

    34. Michael Kwiatkowski, Carol Stream, Ill., 1:27:44

    35. Steven Verlander, Apopka, 1:27:56

    37. Charles Anstadt, Seminole, 1:28:04

    38. Michael Giampino, Venice, 1:28:09

    40. Michael Villeda, Land O'Lakes, 1:28:20

    41. Bret Jardine, Palm Harbor, 1:28:32

    42. Charles Schauer, Treasure Island, 1:28:37

    43. Bill Cottrell, Belleair, 1:28:42

    44. Breno R Junior, Porto Alegre, 1:28:44

    48. Brandon Duwe, Shawnee, Kan., 1:29:21

    49. Michael McKeon, Flagler Beach, 1:29:36

    50. Jeff Truncellito, St. Augustine, 1:29:56

    51. Robert Pepper, Dunedin, 1:30:40

    52. John Austin, St. Petersburg, 1:30:54

    54. Treavor Mosbaugh, Chicago, 1:31:25

    55. Kevin Sparkman, Tampa, 1:31:25

    56. Barry Spencer, Alpharetta, Ga., 1:31:31

    57. David Moran, Dade City, 1:31:31

    58. Jerry Mallams, Spring Hill, 1:31:32

    59. Samuel Hansell, Lebanon, Pa., 1:31:32

    60. Derk Hair, Port Richey, 1:31:42

    61. Valentino Alvarado, Tampa, 1:31:45

    62. Jean Gendebien, New Port Richey, 1:31:48

    63. Ryan Kaelin, Trinity, 1:31:51

    65. William Robinson, Bradenton, 1:32

    66. Joseph Gilberto, Tampa, 1:32:07

    67. Charles Roose, Wesley Chapel, 1:32:10

    75. Michael Shelley, St. Petersburg, 1:32:32

    77. Scott Shelton, Naples, 1:32:38

    78. Doug White, Tampa, 1:32:38

    79. Lauro Luna, Tampa, 1:32:49

    80. Rob Rhinesmith, Valrico, 1:32:52

    82. Timothy Guidry, Tampa, 1:33:06

    83. Brian Darrow, St. Petersburg, 1:33:08

    84. Steve Mandel, Tampa, 1:33:08

    87. Nick Nance, St. Petersburg, 1:33:19

    88. Flynn Fidgeon, Vero Beach, 1:33:29

    89. Kenneth Jones, Tampa, 1:33:31

    90. Joel Bower, Riverview, 1:33:34

    91. Cole Smith, Gainesville, 1:33:36

    92. Nicolus Paskiewicz, Seminole, 1:33:40

    93. Eric Rice, Tampa, 1:33:48

    94. Philip Brown, Alachua, 1:34:02

    95. Zach Sheridan, Wesley Chapel, 1:34:06

    96. Austin Dotson, Land O'Lakes, 1:34:08

    97. Vincent Vercamen, Dunedin, 1:34:08

    98. Richard Worms, Lutz, 1:34:10

    100. Chris Altimari, Tampa, 1:34:25

    101. Gilbert Dolores, St. Petersburg, 1:34:25

    102. Gino Sciortino, Palmetto, 1:34:27

    104. Scott King, Clermont, 1:34:30

    105. James Lynn, Sarasota, 1:34:32

    107. Kyle Lebouton, De Pere, Wis., 1:34:38

    109. Jc Villa, Tampa, 1:34:49

    110. Raymond Smith, St. Petersburg, 1:35:05

    111. David Whiteside, Indian Rocks Beach, 1:35:06

    112. Mark Schreimann, Tarpon Springs, 1:35:14

    113. Scott Ballance, Evans, Ga., 1:35:45

    114. Peter Kim, Glen Carbon, Ill., 1:35:51

    116. Thomas Elskamp, Sanford, 1:36

    117. Matthew Mandiak, Buffalo, N.Y., 1:36:04

    118. Jeff Ellis, Tampa, 1:36:08

    120. Gustavo Menezes, Tampa, 1:36:10

    121. Matthew Paulson, Tampa, 1:36:22

    122. Thomas Stack, La Center, Wash., 1:36:28

    124. Billy Martin, West Islip, N.Y., 1:36:32

    125. Keith Metcalfe, Windsor, 1:36:33

    126. Johnny Pettygrue, Lutz, 1:36:38

    127. Timothy Donovan, Gainesville, 1:36:39

    128. Mark Bocelli, Fort Myers, 1:36:46

    129. Trey Desenberg, Tallevast, 1:36:48

    WOMEN

    Overall finish, Name, City, Time

    11. Natasha Yaremczuk, Clermont, 1:20:03

    12. Lisa Bentley, Clermont, 1:21:02

    24. Heather Schulz, Orlando, 1:24:34

    33. Diana Sitar, Bradenton, 1:27:34

    36. Brennan Liming, Apex, N.C., 1:27:57

    39. Lisa K. Valentine, Tierra Verde, 1:28:19

    45. Julie Wankowski, Glen Ellyn, Ill., 1:28:58

    46. Resa Fukumoto, Scottsdale, Ariz., 1:29:01

    47. Kiera Delaurier, St. Petersburg, 1:29:09

    53. Holly Wooley, Palm Bay, 1:31:22

    64. Jennifer Smith, Novi, Mich., 1:31:59

    68. Andrea Hotham, Hudson, 1:32:10

    69. Claudia McCoy, Trinity, 1:32:17

    70. Mary Level Menton, Ocala, 1:32:22

    71. Jessica Crate, Melbourne, 1:32:24

    72. Rebeka Mesker, New Port Richey, 1:32:26

    73. Alexandra Sartori, St. Petersburg, 1:32:29

    74. Melanie Hynes, New Port Richey, 1:32:31

    76. Katie Shelley, St. Petersburg, 1:32:33

    81. Karen Keefe, Sorrento, 1:33:04

    85. Carol Hollenbeck, St. Pete Beach, 1:33:09

    86. Miriala Mondeja, Tampa, 1:33:12

    99. Elizabeth Wells, St. Petersburg, 1:34:23

    103. Anna Vaughn, Tampa, 1:34:29

    106. Leslie Beauchamp, St. Petersburg, 1:34:33

    108. Angie Ave, Orlando, 1:34:41

    115. Rae Ann Darling Reed, Bradenton, 1:35:53

    119. Lisa Sandusky, Tampa, 1:36:09

    123. Liz Gonzalez, Tampa, 1:36:32

    130. Megan Lopez, Johnsburg, Ill., 1:36:51

    139. Shannon Dempsey, Wesley Chapel, 1:37:41

    144. Connie Mendoza, St. Petersburg, 1:38:07

    145. Monica Carper, Tampa, 1:38:07

    146. Maria Lopez, Tampa, 1:38:09

    149. Michelle Thames, Tampa, 1:38:14

    162. Denise Skinner, Sarasota, 1:38:47

    165. Olesiya Pratt, Largo, 1:38:49

    166. Deb Rubinich, Charlotte, N.C., 1:38:50

    179. Breanna Gawrys, Beverly Hills, 1:39:16

    181. Bridget Bertino, San Diego, 1:39:21

    184. Kara Colnitis, Tampa, 1:39:28

    185. Elizabeth Hall, Maitland, 1:39:28

    187. Carrie Decort, Hollywood, 1:39:32

    194. Jesse Bono, Sarasota, 1:40:01

    195. Christina Crowe, St. Petersburg, 1:40:04

    197. Jill Stchur, Punta Gorda, 1:40:10

    200. Jennifer Tullio, Bradenton, 1:40:22

    207. Lori Kapalko, Wesley Chapel, 1:40:32

    209. Susan Meltzer, Melbourne, 1:40:35

    211. Amy Verlander, Apopka, 1:40:39

    214. Alison Morello, Tampa, 1:40:42

    215. Amy Knowles, St. Petersburg, 1:40:45

    216. Amy Thomas, Tierra Verde, 1:40:54

    218. Tina Vornheder, Palm Harbor, 1:41

    219. Heather Bilotta, Tampa, 1:41:04

    225. Corinne Meaney, Snoqualmie, Wash., 1:41:25

    226. Sarah Finnegan, Tampa, 1:41:25

    227. Mary Beth Foss, Bradenton, 1:41:27

    228. Lani Steffens, Lakeland, 1:41:29

    231. Cindy Hazel, Tampa, 1:41:32

    238. Sarah Gudmundson, Tampa, 1:41:41

    246. Megan Kiernan, Delray Beach, 1:41:56

    249. Terri Doheny, Clearwater, 1:42:02

    250. Holly Hartman, Tampa, 1:42:03

    252. Bethany Brown, Tampa, 1:42:07

    254. Tiffani Glowacki, Tampa, 1:42:08

    255. Erin Owen, Herndon, Va., 1:42:13

    258. Christie Morrison, Lakeland, 1:42:22

    261. Katherine Preble, Safety Harbor, 1:42:26

    263. Stephanie Planz Saladino, Dallas, 1:42:27

    266. Elizabeth Samuelson, St. Petersburg, 1:42:29

    267. Stephanie Dyer, St. Petersburg, 1:42:30

    274. Laura Carron, Tampa, 1:42:43

    276. Jennifer Casey, Arlington, Va., 1:42:44

    277. Jacki Holland, Tampa, 1:42:47

    280. Maggie Carmona, Miami Beach, 1:42:51

    287. Marisa Hafer, St. Petersburg, 1:43

    293. Astrid Gilbert, North Port, 1:43:14

    298. Shannon Wight, Sarasota, 1:43:20

    301. Katie Kiske, Nashville, 1:43:22

    303. Tara Flaherty, Tampa, 1:43:22

    308. Renee Jeffries, North Port, 1:43:28

    312. Dorsey Langan, Largo, 1:43:31

    314. Teneal Caw, Ambridge, Pa., 1:43:35

    318. Adrienne Gerzeny, Nokomis, 1:43:40

    319. Paulette Clanahan, Dade City, 1:43:41

    320. Gail Norman, Tampa, 1:43:41

    321. Lindsay Drake, Seminole, 1:43:43

    322. Ivy Bartlett, Lithia, 1:43:43

    324. Allison Ribner, St. Petersburg, 1:43:43

    326. Tiffany Connell, St. Petersburg, 1:43:45

    331. Stacy Headson, Appleton, Wis., 1:43:54

    332. Lorena Birri, Lakeland, 1:43:55

    335. Sharon Brown, Gainesville, 1:44:01

    337. Lauren Pokornicky, Reston, Va., 1:44:05

    338. Giliane Rifai, Tampa, 1:44:07

    341. Donna Elder, Forest, Va., 1:44:08

    343. Alisa Kapchinski, Sarasota, 1:44:11

    349. Marai Vales, St. Petersburg, 1:44:16

    350. Kim Olson, Naples, 1:44:16

    Mini marathon

    MEN

    Overall finish, Name, City, Time

    1. Stephen Wilcox, Deltona, 21:06

    3. Mark Whittaker, Tampa, 22:50

    4. Parker Sanderson, St. Petersburg, 23:02

    5. Charlie Olliff, St. Petersburg, 23:04

    6. William Riley, St. Petersburg, 23:34

    7. Ben Hartvigsen, Sarasota, 23:56

    9. Dale Faulkner, Grand Lake 24:11

    11. Daniel Vail, Hollis Center, Maine, 24:19

    13. Josh Bradley, St. Petersburg, 24:22

    16. Doug Clery, Tampa, 24:38

    17. James Morgan, Wesley Chapel, 24:40

    19. Jeffrey Teal, St. Petersburg, 25:10

    21. Garrett Gatlin, St. Petersburg, 25:30

    22. Dylan Murphy, St. Petersburg, 25:36

    25. Daniel Loney, St. Petersburg, 25:43

    26. James M. Desmond, St. Petersburg, 25:46

    27. Rick Brockett, Oldsmar, 25:49

    28. Daniel Gill, Lutz, 25:57

    29. Michael Nagy, Clearwater, 26:04

    30. Jeanso Delisca, Tampa, 26:07

    WOMEN

    Overall finish, Name, City, Time

    2. Lauren Deady, Tampa, 22:23

    8. Deirdre Byrne, Crystal River, 23:57

    10. Maribeth Radtke, Tampa, 24:17

    12. Kaleigh Biss, St. Petersburg, 24:21

    14. Patricia Farese, St. Petersburg, 24:26

    15. Jenny Seymour, Wesley Chapel, 24:26

    18. Marsha Wilson, Woodstock, Ga., 24:51

    20. Mary Nicholls, Pembroke Pines, 25:21

    23. Maria-Elise Cassara, Brigantine, N.J., 25:41

    24. Cortney Hirsch Webel, Tampa, 25:42

    32. Shelly Shutt, Oldsmar, 26:13

    35. Rebecca Ray, Palm Harbor, 26:22

    36. Kelly Degenhardt, Edgewood, Ky., 26:24

    37. Brenda Vail, Hollis Center, Maine 26:34

    38. Alexandra Stefanes, St. Petersburg, 26:37

    39. Deborah Siniawski, Lakeland, 26:38

    40. Karen Lucas, Largo, 26:41

    41. Lynda Roszel, Tampa, 26:59

    42. Debbie Defoe, St. Petersburg, 27:00

    44. Marissa Day, St. Petersburg, 27:11


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  • 02/10/13--19:50: Sports in brief
  • Times wires
    Sunday, February 10, 2013

    TENNIS

    NADAL STUNNED IN FINAL ON CLAY

    VINA DEL MAR, Chile — Rafael Nadal lost to Horacio Zeballos in Sunday's VTR Open final, settling for a runnerup finish in his first tournament after missing seven months with a left knee injury.

    Nadal aimed for his 37th singles title on clay. But Zeballos won 6-7 (2-7), 7-6 (8-6), 6-4 for his first title on any surface.

    It was only the fifth singles final Nadal, a seven-time French Open champ, has lost on clay. He and Juan Monaco lost the doubles final later to Paolo Lorenzi and Potito Starace.

    "This is the game of my life," Zeballos said. "Playing against the best player of all time, or one of the best in the history of tennis, it's a dream, unforgettable. I will never forget this moment."

    FED CUP: The United States was eliminated in the first round, losing 3-2 at Italy when Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci defeated Varvara Lepchenko and Liezel Huber 6-2, 6-2 in the decisive doubles match in Rimini.

    NFL

    Report: Dolphins okay stadium vote

    The Dolphins agreed to a referendum on a proposal to seek tax money for an upgrade of Dolphins Stadium, the Associated Press reported. A news conference with Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Dolphins chief executive officer Mike Dee to announce the vote was scheduled for today, the report said.

    BASKETBALL

    Crowd violence mars Greek championship

    At the Greek Cup final, fans stormed the court and tore seats apart, and police used stun grenades to contain them. The game in Athens was suspended for an hour before Panathinaikos beat archrival Olympiakos 81-78 in front of nearly empty stands. In the second quarter, Panathinaikos' Stefan Lasme head-butted Pero Antic. Olympiakos fans threw objects on the court, with one hitting Panathinaikos' Greek-American guard Mike Bramos, who was on the bench.

    SOCCER

    Nigeria tops in Africa

    Nigeria won its first African Cup of Nations title in nearly two decades, edging Burkina Faso 1-0. Stephen Keshi won his first major title as Nigeria's coach after he captained "The Super Eagles" to their last African crown, in 1994.

    ENGLAND: Ryan Giggs, 39, extended his streak of scoring in every season since the Premier League formed in 1992-93 with a first-half goal as host Manchester United beat Everton 2-0. Man U leads rival Manchester City by 12 points.

    ET CETERA

    COLLEGES: Miami named Hurlie Brown, an assistant on the defensive side for 20 years, as running backs coach.

    VONN SURGERY: The surgeon who operated on Lindsey Vonn's right knee, Bill Sterett, was "optimistic for a full recovery" after the Alpine skiing World Cup and Olympic champ tore two ligaments and broke a bone in a crash last week at the world championships.

    MORE WINTER SPORTS: France's Marion Rolland won the women's world downhill title in Schladming, Austria. … Two-time world champion Mao Asada won the women's title at figure skating's Four Continents event in Osaka, Japan.

    OBITUARY: Three-time world table tennis champion Zhuang Zedong, a key figure in the groundbreaking " pingpong diplomacy" between China and the United States, died Sunday at 72, Chinese media reported.

    Times wires


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  • 02/10/13--20:00: Shooting from the lip
  • By Tom Jones, Times Staff Writer
    Sunday, February 10, 2013

    Worst practice

    That's it. I've had enough. The next time college basketball fans rush the court, the officials should clear the court and give the opposing team 25 technical free throws.

    Something, anything, needs to be done to stop this ridiculous practice.

    Here should be the rule: if your team is not ranked and you upset the No. 1 team in the nation, it's okay to storm the court. Anything short of that is not good enough.

    Last month, for instance, then-No. 1 Duke lost to No. 20 North Carolina State on N.C. State's floor. I'd even argue that the Wolfpack, 13-2 then, should have won. Yet fans rushed the court, including a student in a wheelchair who was knocked over and almost trampled.

    Nine days later, after Duke had lost, Miami fans flooded the court after the then-No. 25 Hurricanes beat the Blue Devils by 27 points. Again, if you're ranked, should your fans be that overwhelmed when you beat anyone?

    Last week, TCU knocked off No. 2 Kansas and TCU fans celebrated at midcourt. Okay, you know what? I'm willing to let that one go. TCU had never in its long history beaten a top-five team, so upsetting the second-ranked team in the country was rush-the-court worthy.

    Notre Dame and Louisville played an incredible five-overtime thriller Saturday night, but that wasn't a good enough reason for Irish fans to run all over the court after Notre Dame's 104-101 victory. Heck, Notre Dame was ranked 25th and Louisville had already lost three times in the past month.

    So now we're rushing the court for beating the 11th-ranked team in the country?

    Heck, even ESPN's Dick Vitale, who loves the game as much as anyone, thinks it is time to knock off all this rushing-the-court jazz.

    "I think there is too much rushing the court,'' Vitale told me last week, before the Notre Dame-Louisville game. "There's a danger of somebody getting hurt. I understand Texas Christian doing it against Kansas, but some of these I cannot comprehend.''

    Best (and funniest line)

    CBS college basketball analyst Clark Kellogg had a hilarious, accurate and not-as-inappropriate-as-you-might-first-think line when describing Indiana's Victor Oladipo during Sunday's Indiana-Ohio State game.

    "He's like a baby's bottom,'' Kellogg said, "smooth and sometimes explosive.''

    I'm sure someone out there was offended, but come on, that's a great line.

    Best broadcast

    ESPN's Dan Shulman and Dick Vitale should be applauded for managing to keep their voices for Saturday night's five-overtime game between Notre Dame and Louisville, but they should be given a standing ovation for keeping up their enthusiasm for five overtimes. At the end, both looked like they had run a marathon, but at no point did their energy level drop.

    Nice work, fellas.

    Best reporting note

    ABC's Lisa Salters had a nice update during Sunday's Lakers-Heat broadcast on a special undershirt that Lakers center Dwight Howard wore to help with his injured right shoulder. Howard, Salters explained, had to get permission from the NBA to wear it. She described in detail what the therapeutic undershirt did, and while I didn't quite understand what the shirt did, Salters deserves a pat on the back for the report.

    I don't think I've mentioned it before, but Salters does a heck of a job on ABC's NBA coverage, particularly with in-game interviews.

    Worst fans

    This week, we have a tie between the punks of Notre Dame and the immature idiots at Duke.

    During Saturday night's epic five-overtime game at Notre Dame, Louisville's Gorgui Dieng, a native of Senegal, picked up his fourth foul and was taunted by fans with the chant of "USA, USA.'' Isn't it ironic that a school whose nickname is based on another country would pick on a kid not from the United States?

    Meantime, I'm sick of hearing about how clever and passionate Duke's "Cameron Crazies'' are. They are ignorant and disgusting, for the most part. Take last week. Less than a week after his grandmother died, North Carolina State guard Tyler Lewis was shooting free throws and students were heard chanting, "How's your grandma?''

    Bunch of idiots.

    Worst news

    Oh no. As if we didn't already have enough of Fox's Gus Johnson screaming and yelling. Now Fox is in the process of making him the voice for the network's soccer coverage.

    Johnson will begin calling matches on Fox Soccer Channel starting Wednesday with the Manchester United-Real Madrid Champions League match. The plan is that if Johnson does well, he will be Fox's lead announcer for the 2015 Women's World Cup and the 2018 men's World Cup.

    It's a great idea that Fox is trying to establish someone as the voice of soccer in this country. As Newsday's Neil Best points out, it's "past time for the sport to have a signature American voice." I just wish it was someone other than Johnson.

    True, I've never been a fan of his overdramatic calls that seem to draw attention more to himself than the game he is calling. But I also think he will struggle with the patience and steadiness it will require to call soccer where, often, there is only a goal or two. Soccer isn't football or basketball or mixed martial arts — sports where Johnson has the most experience. You might go 15 or 20 minutes in soccer without a reason to raise your voice. It will be interesting to see if Johnson can be effective with that kind of down time.

    Good (maybe) studio show

    I'm still trying to figure out if I like ABC/ESPN's NBA Countdown studio show with Magic Johnson, Bill Simmons, Michael Wilbon and Jalen Rose. It still feels odd that there is no defined host, yet the show moves along at a nice pace.

    Johnson is hit-or-miss, sometimes really perceptive and sometimes really scattered in his thoughts. When he's passionate about something, he's fun to listen to. When he's not passionate, he's a bore.

    Wilbon and Rose are good, and Simmons has become the most interesting voice. I don't always agree with him, but I enjoy listening to his opinions.

    For example, most analysts are trying to pin the Lakers' woes on Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard, but Simmons, at the very least, gave fans something different to chew on.

    "The guy getting a free pass from me this season is Steve Nash,'' Simmons said. "He might be washed up. He's 39 years old. Point guards and centers are like boxers, when they lose it they lose it. If he doesn't start playing better, the Lakers are not going to make the playoffs.''

    Saying Nash might be washed up? Simmons just might be right. But that's not the point. How many analysts out there would be so brazen to say something like that?

    Most overblown

    National signing day has become something of an obsession in this country. Websites are dedicated to it. Newspapers go crazy over it. ESPN dedicates hours upon hours and even turns over one of its networks (ESPNU) to it in early February.

    The funniest part is how fans take it so seriously. They either brag about what a great day their school had or want their coach fired if he is perceived to have a lousy day. All for a bunch of kids most fans have never even seen.

    Well, check this out:

    The Post and Courier newspaper in South Carolina did a study, looking at Rivals.com top 100 recruits from 2006-09. The study found that 42 percent of those prospects turned out to be busts. That means they failed to either appear in 40 college games or start 20 games or have one above-average season. That means about 58 percent turned out to be worthwhile players. Only 14.1 percent turned out to be stars — defined as an All-American or a first- or second-round NFL draft pick.

    Three things that popped into my head

    1. I don't know that I've ever seen a network as obsessed with a losing team as ESPN is with the 24-28 Lakers.

    2. I might be more excited about Rays pitcher and catchers reporting this week if I was more excited about the catchers who will be reporting.

    3. Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant might end up being the NBA MVP, but the Heat's LeBron James is the best basketball player on the planet.

    tom jones' two cents

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.


    Associated PressAssociated Press

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    By Damian Cristodero, Times Staff Writer
    Sunday, February 10, 2013

    NEW YORK — Alex Killorn's road to the NHL has not been typical, and it has been long but no less satisfying.

    It has been almost six years since the Lightning forward, called up Sunday from AHL Syra­cuse, was taken 77th overall in the 2007 draft, after which he spent four years at Harvard and parts of two seasons in the minors.

    "Education was important to me and my family," said Killorn, who graduated with a government degree, before the game.

    Killorn, 23, also called himself a "late bloomer," and said the time at school gave his body a chance to develop. Now 6 feet 1, 202 pounds, the Lightning hopes Killorn infuses size and strength into a lineup that features Marty St. Louis (5-7), Cory Conacher (5-8), Tom Pyatt (5-11) and, before he was reassigned to Syracuse, Dana Tyrell (5-11).

    "He's a big body that protects the puck extremely well," Lightning coach Guy Boucher said. "He skates, and he's got a great shot and is extremely smart."

    Conacher, who played with Killorn in Syracuse, compared him to Rangers 6-4, 216-pound LW Rick Nash, "a guy that's big and has so much skill and speed and a wicked shot. He's going to help this team and stick around in the league for a long time."

    If Sunday's game was an indication, Killorn, who had 16 goals and 38 points in 41 games for Syra­cuse, has a chance. He got his first point with a secondary assist on C Vinny Lecavalier's goal when his shot got the Rangers scrambling. He was on the power play and in front of the net, and he played on a line with Lecavalier and Teddy Purcell. He finished with two shots in 13:17 of ice time.

    Killorn's debut was seen by his parents, who delayed a trip to Puerto Rico; an aunt, an uncle and friends from Harvard and home in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

    "It's exciting to see it all happen like this," he said. Especially considering Killorn, when he was at Harvard and because of NCAA rules, paid his way to the Lightning's summer prospect camps.

    "It shows character," Boucher said. "You don't necessarily follow everybody's route, and you make your own way."

    "It was a lot of nervous energy at the beginning," Killorn said after the game. "I didn't want to make too many mistakes. But after that, I got a little more comfortable. It was a great experience; my first game, my first point."

    WAKEUP CALL: Killorn got the news he was being called up by Syracuse GM Julien BriseBois, who woke him from a pregame nap with this: "He asked me if I was ready to come help Tampa beat the Rangers," Killorn said.

    APOLOGIES: Conacher on Saturday created a stir when he posted on Twitter a simple "good luck" to former Syracuse teammate Brett Connolly. That started rumors Connolly was being called up to Tampa Bay or traded. But Conacher on Sunday said the tweet was an inside joke with his former Crunch roommate. "I retweeted and tried to ease the pain of some of the fans a little bit," Conacher said.

    ODDS AND ENDS: Killorn wore No. 17. … The Lightning went 0-for-2 on the power play, dropping it to 1-for-19 on the road. … F Nate Thompson was minus-4 in only 13:12 of ice time. … With LW Ryan Malone out (lower body), Pierre-Cedric Labrie was in. … D Brian Lee, who entered a team-worst minus-7, played after sitting Thursday and was minus-1. … D Marc-Andre Bergeron and D Brendan Mikkelson were scratched.


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    By Damian Cristodero, Times Staff Writer
    Sunday, February 10, 2013

    NEW YORK — The frustration over the Lightning's road woes is beginning to bubble to the surface.

    After Sunday night's 5-1 loss to the Ran­gers at Madison Square Garden that finished an 0-3 road trip and dropped Tampa Bay to 1-4 on the road, center Steven Stamkos called the record away from home "embarrassing" and "not acceptable."

    "We're known as a team that can't win on the road right now," he said. "It's embarrassing … especially (Sunday's) effort. We couldn't even make a pass out there.

    "We've got to find a way. I feel like we keep saying that every time. We're a lot better team than we're playing on the road."

    It was the fourth straight loss for the Lightning (6-5-0), which got more bad news when left wing Ryan Malone sustained a lower-body injury during the team's usual pregame kick-around with a soccer ball and missed the game.

    Other than Vinny Lecavalier's fifth goal of the season and Alex Killorn's assist in his NHL debut, nothing much went right.

    Tampa Bay was outshot 32-20, including only four shots in a third period that began with the Rangers up 3-1 and coach Guy Boucher called "as bad as we've played all year."

    "Total impatience," he said.

    "Not smart, trying to cheat and find ways that don't exist."

    But it didn't stop there.

    The Lightning fell behind 31 seconds into the game on a shot that deflected in off Carl Hagelin's arm. It was down 2-0 when Ryan Callahan scored on a breakaway after a turnover by defenseman Matt Carle.

    Tampa Bay was outshot 15-6 in the first. It had just two shots over the final 11:06, and it failed to convert on four odd-man rushes, including Lecavalier's breakaway in which the puck rolled off his stick as he tried to deke goalie Henrik Lundqvist.

    "We had our chance in the first period, and we didn't score. And after that, it was downhill," Stamkos said. "We dug ourselves in a hole by not playing properly."

    Then there was goalie Mathieu Garon, who was pulled 9:58 into the second after allowing three goals on 19 shots. That included Hagelin's second goal, which went through the legs of the badly offbalance goalie for a 3-0 lead.

    The bottom line with the Lightning since the start of last season: 30-15-2 at home (including 5-1-0 this season), 14-26-6 on the road.

    "I don't think anybody thinks about we're going to lose because we couldn't win last year on the road," Stamkos said. "It has nothing to do with that. It has to do with the guys in this room."

    "Hope plays, blind passes and trying to get breakaways and two-on-ones," Boucher said, "those things that show up when you play the right way and not when you cheat.

    "This one," he added, "was not good."

    Rangers 2 1 2 5
    Lightning 0 1 0 1

    First Period1, N.Y. Rangers, Hagelin 2 (Nash, Girardi), :31. 2, N.Y. Rangers, Callahan 3, 15:13. PenaltiesCrombeen, TB (high-sticking), 11:16; Thompson, TB (holding), 15:42.

    Second Period3, N.Y. Rangers, Hagelin 3 (Staal), 9:58. 4, Tampa Bay, Lecavalier 5 (Hedman, Killorn), 14:42. PenaltiesTa.Pyatt, NYR (high-sticking), 4:10; Killorn, TB (high-sticking), 12:04.

    Third Period5, N.Y. Rangers, Asham 1 (McDonagh), 12:22. 6, N.Y. Rangers, Nash 3 (Hagelin, Girardi), 19:51. PenaltiesKreider, NYR (hooking), 17:49. Shots on GoalTampa Bay 6-10-4—20. N.Y. Rangers 15-8-9—32. Power-play opportunitiesTampa Bay 0 of 2; N.Y. Rangers 0 of 3. GoaliesTampa Bay, Garon 1-2-0 (19 shots-16 saves), Lindback (9:58 second, 13-11). N.Y. Rangers, Lundqvist 5-5-0 (20-19). A17,200 (17,200).


    Associated PressAssociated Press

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    By Damian Cristodero, Times Staff Writer
    Monday, February 11, 2013

    NEW YORK — Vinny Lecavalier streaked toward the Rangers net on Sunday and the hopes of the Lightning went with him.

    Tampa Bay had fallen behind 31 seconds into the game at Madison Square Garden and this was a chance to equalize and shift the momentum. Instead, the puck jumped off the captain's stick as he tried to deke goaltender Henrik Lundqvist and the chance was lost.

    That is what it has been like for Tampa Bay during a four-game losing streak in which it has been outscored 14-6. Blown scoring chances have been the scourge.

    Not just any scoring chances, mind you, we're talking primo stuff, odd-man rushes that would seem to favor the team with the puck.

    But in a 5-1 loss to the Rangers, four odd-man rushes in the first period gained nothing. Convert just one and the complexion of the game changes.

    In a 2-1 loss to the Flyers on Feb. 5, three two-on-ones also netted zip.

    "It's weird to say," coach Guy Boucher said, "our downfall has been our offense."

    There is plenty of other blame to go around.

    Defensemen Matt Carle and Sami Salo committed bad turnovers that led to stinging goals during the just-finished 0-3 road trip. And during the four-game losing streak that dropped Tampa Bay to 6-5-0, goaltenders Anders Lindback and Mathieu Garon have combined for a 3.55 goals-against average and .876 save percentage.

    But on a team with Lecavalier, Steven Stamkos, Marty St. Louis, Teddy Purcell and Cory Conacher, the inability to finish scoring plays has been extraordinary.

    Consider this list of woe:

    St. Louis has zero goals in nine games, Purcell and Conacher zero in four, Stamkos zero in three, Lecavalier one in four.

    "It's surprising," Boucher said. "I'd love to say I'll help them put it in, but we're not going to put it in for them. They're doing the right thing. They're in the right place. They're shooting at the right time. It's just not going in."

    Against the Rangers, a two-on-one with St. Louis and Stamkos ended with St. Louis' backhand going off Lundqvist's stick shaft. Another ended with Stamkos' shot blocked. A well-executed two-on-one, with Lecavalier's perfect pass to a hard-skating Conacher, was thwarted by Lundqvist's right-leg save.

    "That's the reason we're not getting those W's, because we're not capitalizing on those chances," Conacher said. "You've just got to bear down, give it all you've got. You've got to make the right play, don't take a shot off, don't muff it in there because the goalie is going to make the save; die to get that goal in the net."

    Until that happens — perhaps tonight against the Canadiens at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, where the Lightning is 5-1 and has outscored opponents 32-16 — Boucher admitted the drought will eat at player confidence.

    "That's what's going on right now," he said. "It's starting to frustrate guys. It's getting into some of the guys' heads and they're trying to find other ways. That's what you don't want to do when you're slumping is figure out other ways that don't work. Then you skid lower."

    Boucher was referring to what he calls "hope plays" that try to create scoring opportunities outside the team's system. That not only affects the players, he said, but team's defensive posture.

    "It's a test of patience," he said. "We have to stick to it and keep games close so when those chances come back again it's a tight game. Now, we're missing those goals and we get frustrated and we open it up, and it hurts."

    "You've got to read the play," Stamkos said. "Hockey is a game of reaction. You have to take what they give you."

    Lately, the Lightning hasn't even been able to do that.

    Damian Cristodero can be reached at cristodero@tampabay.com.


    Getty ImagesGetty Images

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  • 02/11/13--14:21: Expect Rays to be good again
  • By Gary Shelton, Times Sports Columnist
    Monday, February 11, 2013

    Expect good. Expect fast. Expect talented.

    Expect a little more offense. Expect a lot more defense. Expect a pitching staff deep enough to almost make you forget about James Shields.

    Expect smart. Expect versatile. Expect 90 wins, again.

    In the end, expect the playoffs. Why wouldn't you?

    As an organization, this is where the Rays are. They have been good enough for long enough that no one seems to remember the alternative. After averaging 91.6 wins over the past five years, the question is no longer if they will be good. It is whether they will be good enough to reach the postseason or, as it is known around here, buy-a-ticket time.

    Even now, even as the Rays start over when pitchers and catchers show up, we all ask the same question. Where will this lead? We all want a peek at the final chapter, just to see if the hero makes it that far. An article on the Sports Illustrated website, for instance, suggests the Rays are the second-best team in the American League. An article in the Baltimore Sun, however, suggests the Rays will battle for last.

    So who is right? We'll see. First, there is stretching. And tossing. And a starting rotation trying to figure out how they will split up the 227 innings of work that Shields took with him to Kansas City.

    Expect that to be a recurring theme over the next few weeks.

    It is strange, but despite the success, there seems to be an undercurrent of skepticism with the Rays. After last year, when the team induced an American League record for teeth-gnashing, it's hard to do optimism. They were challenged by both the bat and the glove, and there were nights you would swear the batting order was on loan from Durham.

    And so they finished third. Having the best starting pitcher in the league didn't change that. Having the best closer didn't change that. Having B.J. Upton and Wade Davis and Jeff Keppinger and Shields didn't change that.

    So how can the Rays possibly match last season's 90 wins?

    Well, they can be healthier. To put it bluntly, the main reason the Rays didn't reach the playoffs last year can be found in the back of Evan Longoria's leg. If he can play even 122 games, the second lowest-total of his career, the Rays can be much more dangerous.

    Also, they can be more mature. Upton often lost focus, and he could be a vexing player to watch, but he's going to be harder to replace than most expect. Desmond Jennings has some work to do to measure up to Upton in centerfield.

    While they are at it, they can be more efficient. For years, the Rays' defense was their most underrated strength. Last year, it slipped so far you would swear they were using Bucs cornerbacks in the infield. Newcomer Yunel Escobar should help with that. Longoria's return will be welcome, too.

    Then there is newcomer Wil Myers, the crown jewel of the offseason, a prospect so highly regarded that you keep checking your watch to see if it's his time yet. The sooner Myers is ripe, the better.

    If history tells us anything, however, is that the wait for Myers might be longer than you want. The Rays have always been maddening in their patience with prospects, whether that was Price or Longoria or Jennings. Who knows where Myers spends the Fourth of July.

    Expect pitcher Matt Moore to be better. Expect the Rays to miss Keppinger more than they want to admit. Expect James Loney to hit better than .197 and strike out fewer than 182 times. Expect the catching to drive you crazy. Expect 160 lineups in 162 games.

    Yes, there are some ifs for the Rays, as there are for all teams. Still, the Rays have done this before. In 2010 they lost Carl Crawford and Rafael Soriano and Carlos Peña (the first time). Their bullpen was stripped.

    And they won 91.

    Here is something else. The AL East isn't the fierce beast it once was. The Yankees are old and on a budget. The Red Sox aren't rebuilt. For all the talk of how Toronto robbed the Marlins, don't forget that those players were in last place a season ago. The Orioles are very good, but they only finished three games better than the Rays last year.

    So what should you expect?

    Expect frustration. Expect heartache. Expect nights when the bats shrink the way they did.

    That's who the Rays are, too. They are not an easy-way team.

    In the end, however, expect them to be even more fun than the Hit Show.

    Again.

    Listen to Gary Shelton from 9 a.m. until noon on 98.7-FM the Fan.


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    By Antonya English, Times Staff Writer
    Monday, February 11, 2013

    GAINESVILLE — Florida's 2013-14 football roster is a solid reflection of the Gators' commitment to recruiting in the Tampa Bay area.

    At least 19 players from Hillsborough and Pinellas counties and the surrounding areas, including Pasco, will be a part of the upcoming season's team.

    Led by the area's most prominent player — Wharton's Vernon Hargreaves III — the Gators signed six players from the area among their 2013 class last week. It is the third consecutive year under coach Will Muschamp that the area has been a key part of Florida's recruiting efforts, and Muschamp said that's by design.

    "We have three coaches that recruit in that area, Derek Lewis, Brian White and D.J. Durkin," Muschamp said. "They have all done an outstanding job of mining that area and finding the best fit for the University of Florida."

    STILL TOP 10: Florida's loss at unranked Arkansas this past week led to a five-spot drop to No. 7 in this week's Associated Press men's basketball poll (No. 6 in the coaches poll). It was a rough week for Top 10 teams: No. 1 Indiana, No. 2 Florida, No. 3 Michigan, No. 5 Kansas and No. 7 Arizona all lost. But Florida's fall makes it clear that the SEC's struggles will hinder the Gators' strength of schedule, and they will have to continue to win to earn a favorable seed in the NCAA Tournament. The SEC's current RPI is No. 8.

    BOUNCING BACK: Billy Donovan removed Scottie Wilbekin from Saturday's starting lineup against Mississippi State because he didn't like the way the junior guard responded after he challenged him following his disappointing performance at Arkansas (5-of-15, four assists, three turnovers). But Donovan said he liked the way Wilbekin has bounced back since.

    "My biggest thing with Scottie is I have such a high opinion and a high regard for him as a player and how he can impact and affect our team, that as a coach I think it is my responsibility to hold him to that standard," Donovan said. "And I think Scottie is a guy that is very, very tough on himself. He's very demanding on himself. And I think he has an expectation of himself, how he needs to play and what he needs to do.

    "When you get into a situation where you're not living up to an individual standard or playing at the level you need to play at, that happens all the time with every single player. How you respond to it, to me, is much more important. … It wasn't a bad attitude. It wasn't him being disrespectful. He wasn't late. It wasn't a disciplinary action. It was just more of his lack of being who he is."

    Wilbekin said he got Donovan's message.

    "It was just a wakeup call for him to let me know how I needed to play, and how hard I need to play every day just to be when I'm at my best," he said.

    RECORD: Sophomore high jumper Taylor Burke broke the school record in the women's high jump at the Virginia Tech Elite Meet with her personal best of 1.86m/6-1.25. She broke Maria Galloni's record set at the 1992 SEC Championships, the same year the Gators won the NCAA Indoor Championship.

    Antonya English can be reached at english@tampabay.com. Follow her on Twitter @TBTimes_Gators.


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    By Damian Cristodero, Times Staff Writer
    Monday, February 11, 2013


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  • 02/11/13--17:37: Captain's Corner: Tuna time
  • Ed Walker, Times Correspondent
    Monday, February 11, 2013

    What's hot: Unseasonably warm offshore water temperatures have caused an early return of blackfin tuna. Recent trips have produced tuna 18-28 pounds.

    Where to look: The fish have been in 150 to 250 feet of water, 50 to 80 miles southwest of Clearwater. Most have been caught trolling over peaks and ledges. Later in spring tuna often crash the surface but not yet. For now, blind fishing has brought the most catches. Traditionally shrimp boats cull their catch at daybreak, drawing tuna. We have not seen any working shrimp boats in the past several trips but found fish.

    Tactics: Blind fishing can be done in several ways. The first is to troll open water and narrow your search as you get bites. The best lure is a cedar plug, in unpainted wood color. Small shiny feathered lures also work. We always put a cedar plug farthest from the boat in clean, bubble-free water; 100 yards or more back is not too far. Anchoring and chumming has also steadily produced tuna. A steady stream of chopped baitfish or shrimp heads brings the fish, particularly at daybreak and dusk. Medium-action spinning rods rigged with long fluorocarbon leaders are then used with live sardines or small pinfish.

    Ed Walker charters out of Tarpon Springs. He can be contacted at info@lighttacklecharters.com or at (727) 944-3474.


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