By Bryan Levine, SunCoast Sports
** ALL INFORMATION AS OF MONDAY MORNING**
Through the first portion of the season, Port Charlotte has proven to be the best team in the area, winning each of its eight games. Sean Price has made himself an early candidate to repeat as The Sun’s all-area player of the year, while teammate Shemar Fleurissant is emerging as the No. 2 threat for the Pirates.
In Englewood, the Manta Rays are proving their not the same team as last year. They have Keegan Wyman and Jake Comer, who are capable of scoring 30 points all on 3-pointers. Then down low, a combination of Tyler Caron and Hayden Wolff have been a threat on offense and defense.
The North Port Bobcats have been similar to Lemon Bay in having a host of different players leading them every night. Even though Zach Babut has been the early MVP for the Bobcats, they’ve had Ben Via and Gene Oliver scoring in chunks as well.
For the Tarpons, they’ve managed to overcome some slow starts, and are taking care of business when it matters most, with a 4-1 in the district. With the injury to Mackengie Simon, Will Batts will be relied on even more, and Ahmad Johnson will have to continue his early-season emergence.
Season record: 8-0 (5-0 in District 7A-10)
Last week: 2-0
Season record: 7-2 (2-0 in District 8A-12)
Last week: 1-0
Season record: 5-4 (4-1 in District 7A-10)
Last week: 1-2
Season record: 5-4 (3-3 in District 7A-10)
Last week: 2-1
With a 22-point performance last Tuesday, Port Charlotte’s Sean Price eclipsed 1,000 points for his career. He became the sixth Pirate in school history – fifth under coach Bill Specht – to reach that mark. Price still has a ways to go before reaching Leighton Bowie’s school record of 1,821.
North Port Junior Bryan O’Boyle had his cast removed last week after suffering a compound fracture in his wrist. O’Boyle was big for the Bobcats as a sophomore, scoring a team-best 17 points per game, and adding four rebounds and a pair of assists per game. He’s expected to return in 2-3 weeks.
In last week’s game against North Port, Charlotte’s Mackengie Simon fell to the ground and came down on his left arm. The diagnosis was a dislocated elbow, and it’s feared he will miss the entire season. This is unfortunate news for both Simon and the Tarpons, as he was averaging 11.6 points and 8.2 rebounds per game this season.
By winning its first two games of the week last week, Lemon Bay improved its winning streak to five games, after scattering just six wins throughout the season last year. In those five games, they had a different leading scorer in four of them. Jake Comer was the only Manta Ray to lead them twice in that streak.
No sophomore slump
Charlotte’s Ahmad Johnson, Port Charlotte’s Shemar Fleurissant and Lemon Bay’s Hayden Wolff all have two things in common. All three of them have made a big impact on their team this season, and all three of them are just sophomores. Johnson leads the Tarpons with 11.8 points per game, Wolff is the Manta Rays’ top rebounder with 6.5 per game, and Fleurissant just had a team-high 23 points to lead the Pirates in a win over Lemon Bay.
Player School GP PPG
Sean Price Port Charlotte 8 22.8
Keegan Wyman Lemon Bay 9 15.8
Shemar Fleurissant Port Charlotte 8 15.1
Jake Comer Lemon Bay 9 14.5
Ahmad Johnson Charlotte 9 11.8
Mackengie Simon Charlotte 8 11.6
Zach Babut North Port 9 11.6
Tyler Caron Lemon Bay 9 10.5
Gene Oliver North Port 9 9.8
Ben Via North Port 9 9.8
Player School GP RPG
Sean Price Port Charlotte 8 10.2
Mackengie Simon Charlotte 8 8.2
Will Batts Charlotte 9 7.5
Brandon Gainey Port Charlotte 8 6.6
Hayden Wolff Lemon Bay 9 6.5
Shemar Fleurissant Port Charlotte 8 6.4
Tyler Caron Lemon Bay 9 6.2
Zach Babut North Port 9 4.6
Bryson Thieme North Port 9 4.4