BOYS BASKETBALL: Lemon Bay, North Port showing summer improvements

By Jordan Kroeger, SunCoast Sports

DAYTONA BEACH — Lemon Bay and North Port’s basketball teams recently attended a weeklong camp at Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, competing in a variety of events from full-on games to a 3-point shootout.

By the time the camp was over, players on both squads had made a name for themselves. And both coaches came away satisfied.

Both teams made it to the camp’s semifinals, with Lemon Bay falling to Seffner Christian while Daytona Beach Mainland ousted North Port. It was a grueling camp every day for the teams with stations in the mornings followed by a 3-on-3 tournament, a two-minute late game situation tournament and then three games per day.

“Both of us got eliminated on the last day on opposite ends of the bracket. We were hoping we could maybe get to the final and meet but we both got knocked out in the same round,” said Lemon Bay coach Sean Huber, whose team went 9-3.

Still, it was a successful camp in the eyes of both coaches.

In fact, it’s been a pretty successful summer for North Port, which has been to numerous camps throughout the state. The Bobcats went 6-0 at the Charlotte Shootout and 3-3 at Florida Gulf Coast’s camp, with all three losses coming by just two points.

North Port has posted an 18-5 record overall for the summer and would have made it to the championship game at Embry-Riddle if Mainland hadn’t hit a buzzer-beater to win the semifinal. After losing the tournament opener, the Bobcats reeled off nine wins in a row by 15-20 points per game before losing to Mainland.

“The biggest thing is, I have seen them buy into what we’re teaching them,” North Port coach Ryan Power said of his team’s summer. “They see what the big picture is and they understand if they play hard, they play defense and share the ball on the offensive end, they’re seeing what the results can be heading into the season.”

Lemon Bay’s Cade Huber and North Port’s Bryan O’Boyle were standouts at the camp as both made the camp’s all-star team. Huber led the area in assists last season with 3.9 per game while O’Boyle finished tied for fifth in scoring with 12.3 per night.

Coach Huber expects his son’s numbers to rise next season from what he’s seen this summer.

“He’s really asserting himself from a leadership standpoint out on the floor and everybody played better when he was in,” Huber said. “It didn’t matter who was in — first group, second group, third group — everybody played better when he was in. I really just think it’s because he’s the puppet master, for a lack of a better term.”

Power said O’Boyle has been phenomenal all summer.

“He had a couple of games where he scored about 25 and the best thing about him putting these points up is he’s just doing it in our offense,” Power said. “We’re not having to draw up plays or rely on him to create shots off the dribble. He’s just finding opening spots on the floor and our guys are doing a great job of getting the ball to him.”

North Port’s trio of Ben Via, Josh Hogue and Aaron Dismukes also made it all the way to the championship of the 3-on-3 tournament.

Other highlights for Lemon Bay included Hayden Wolff making the camp’s all-defensive team and Keegan Wyman finishing fourth in the 3-point shootout. The trio of Tyler Caron, Huber and Wyman made it to the semifinals of the 3-on-3 tournament, losing on a half court buzzer beater.

Huber said Wolff and Caron were dominant down low for the Manta Rays at the camp.

“Really, when it’s all said and done, nobody can handle Tyler and Hayden,” Huber said. “That’s the bottom line at the camp. They were just dominant. They played so well together. The two of them are just a handful. They’re a lot bigger than they used to be. They’re a lot stronger than they used to be. They put the ball in the basket. They can step out and make shots, so they’ve become very difficult to guard.”

Huber believes his squad has just started to scratch the surface of what they can become this season, evident by its game against Gulliver Prep. Wyman hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with less than 15 seconds left in that game against a team that featured the sons of former NBA players Juwan Howard and Jamal Mashburn as well as former NFL player Sean Taylor.

“I don’t want to say we exceeded our expectations but I think our expectations going into next season are pretty high,” Huber said. “It’s one thing to say it and it’s another thing to do it and you go into that situation where you have no scouting reports on people and you’re just going out and playing. I started a different group of five every game just so everybody understood that everybody’s going to play so everybody got playing time. …

“We played like I thought we should play. The pictures that I’ve had in my head since these guys were in sixth grade to when they became seniors is starting to be realized. I think that was the coolest part for me coming home and their confidence is high.”

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