Spruce Creek basketball team young but fighting
BY ANDREAS BUTLER
The Spruce Creek Hawks boy’s basketball is only 8-11 but the team has been battling hard all season.
The Hawks have a young squad with four freshman and four sophomores on their roster.
“Our young guys have played a lot which will help us in the long run. We are improving every game and our future looks bright. On the flip side, we haven’t been able to finish games and haven’t shot the ball well. In many games we only shot about 35 percent.” responded Head coach, Joe Giddens.
Despite their losses, Creek has some big wins over tough programs in the competitive district. They have beaten Oviedo Hagarty, Longwood Lyman and Altamonte Springs Lake Brantley.
“Hagarty was the third ranked team in the state when we beat them and Lake Brantley was ranked earlier in the season. Hagarty made it to the state championship last season. Our district is tough and it is very wide open. DeLand and Seminole are also in our district and they have been playing well,” commented Giddens.
Giddens knows what it takes to win. The Daytona native and was a standout football and basketball player at Mainland High School. Giddens won state championships with the Buccaneers in 1995 with NBA star Vince Carter and in 1996 with TT Toliver.
“Being a local coach has been a great experience. I can relate to the kids. Some of the kids we have now, I went to school with their parents and they know what we accomplished. I have Vince Carter come and talk to our kids sometimes. I also have an assistant in Chase Tramont who won a title at Mainland in 1998. We try to show our kids how the game is played and what it takes to get it done,” answered Giddens.
Seniors in guard Alex Mastre and center Mike Colubiale lead the Spruce Creek attack but Senior forward Malcolm Fletcher has been the X-factor.
“Alex and Mike both have very played well but we have been in a lot of games because of Fletcher who brings us energy, He makes tremendous plays on both ends of the court. He does it all and is only 6-feet tall and rebounds very well,” said Giddens.
Sophomore point guard Kyle Clarke, freshman forward Niko Green and freshman guard Keyshawn Johnson have also given the team a boost.
“Kyle has played well for us this year. Niko and Keyshawn are very good players who played in middle school last season. Niko played for Campbell who won a championship last season. Both Niko and Keyshawn are starters,” added Giddens.
Spruce Creek is a program that has been hit by star players transferring. This season they lost Brandon Thompson to Mainland and a year before they lost Dalton Barnes to Father Lopez.
“You don’t recover, you just move on. Coach David Howard who was here before me told me that this stuff happens and to be ready for it. You care about your kids and you keep caring for them. I always have a good word for them and about them to others, expressed Giddens.”
Still the Hawks are hoping that things come together as they head into district tournament with hopes of making a playoff run within the next few weeks.
“We just have to give the effort. We play 110 percent the doors will be opened. We play with effort and heart anything is possible,” said Giddens.
Football: Rodriguez leaves Seabreeze
Seabreeze High School star running back Trevaughn Rodriguez transferred to Mainland.
Rodriguez lives in the Mainland zone and wants to spend more time with his daughter.
In 2012 Rodriguez ran for 925 yards and 12 touchdowns for the Sandcrabs.
Rodriguez is one of the area’s top recruits with offers from Wake Forrest, Boston College, Temple and Memphis.
Trinity get’s new AD; coach leaving
News-Journal Prep’s coordinator Buddy Shacklette retired after 22 years and took over as the Athletic Director at Deltona Trinity Christian Academy on Tuesday.
Head football coach Allen Johnson will resign at the end of the school year. In 2012, Trinity went 7-4 and made it to the second round of the Class 2A playoffs.
Johnson led the program for its entire nine-year existence which included several post season appearances and a trip to the Final Four. He plans on staying in the area.
Prep Sports Seven basketball rankings
Girls: 1. Father Lopez (19-4), 2. Atlantic (13-6), 3. DeLand (19-2), 4. Flagler Palm Coast (18-5), 5. Trinity (17-6), 6. Seabreeze (9-8), 7. Warner (7-7).
Boys: 1. Father Lopez (18-2), 2. DeLand (14-5), 3. New Smyrna (17-3), 4. Mainland (13-7), 5. Calvary (14-5), 6. FPC (10-11), 7. Halifax (10-7). Others: Spruce Creek (8-11), Atlantic (8-9).