Top Plays of the Year

Clay Today Sports
Posted 6/20/18

Mineo stuffs Matanzas for Panther titleORANGE PARK – Ridgeview High junior goalkeeper Adam Mineo earned his salary Friday night with three successful stops of shots by Matanzas as the Panthers …

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Top Plays of the Year


Mineo stuffs Matanzas for Panther title

ORANGE PARK – Ridgeview High junior goalkeeper Adam Mineo earned his salary Friday night with three successful stops of shots by Matanzas as the Panthers won the district 4-3A title in a 3-1 shootout at Ridgeview High School. The title was a first for Panther coach Paul Tomaro as Ridgeview returns to the region playoffs after a five year hiatus. Matanzas fell to 13-7 overall after beating defending 3A champion Ponte Vedra in a shootout two nights prior. Ridgeview beat Menendez 6-1 off two goals from Miguel Ortiz.

“It was a tough, rough game obviously with a 0-0 score at the end of regulation time,” said Tomaro, who guided the

Panthers through an 11-1-2 record with a lone loss to 4A-Oakleaf, the district 4-4A champions. “Adam only had three or four shots on him during the entire game. He had to come through in the shootout and he did.”

With both teams sharing 10 shots on goal for the night with neither amassing any type of legit scoring threat during regular time and during a “Golden Goal” overtime period before the shootout, Tomaro liked his chances with his strong front players.

In the shootout, Ortiz, Andy Prestridge and Dante DeSantis all landed shots past Matanzas’ goalie Brandt Herron. Charlie Barrett missed the fourth shot, but Mineo’s efforts made the miss irrelevant.

Lady Spartans’ roll stopped

in district final

ORANGE PARK – St. Johns Country Day School’s girls basketball team lost lead scorer Kendall Sage before their district tournament to a broken hand and head coach Yolanda Bronston asked a simple question?

“Are we a team?” said Bronston, who later guided the Lady Spartans to a semifinal district 2-3A berth that wound up a fourth quarter comeback victory that put the team into the district final.

In the district semifinal against St. Francis Catholic, the Lady Spartans were driven by freshman guard Maggie Kent who led an inspired effort to St. Johns’ 49-34 win after the third quarter ended with the Spartans up by just one point, 30-29.

After St. Johns forward Kinley Hall converted an offensive rebound for two points, Kent got a steal at midcourt and landed a key three-pointer as St. Johns pushed their lead to 37-31 with 4:35 left in the game and a shot at a region playoff game on the line.

With 2:38 left in the game, though, St. Johns stalled somewhat and St. Francis hit a three-pointer to close the scoring a bit forcing Bronston to call a time out.

“I told them that a lot can happen with 1:51 left on the clock and if they played sloppy and St. Francis’ shooters got hot, it would be a different ending,” said Bronston.

St. Johns responded with Kent ending the game with another steal and a layup to finish the game at 49-34.

A day after their exciting finish, St. Johns would lose to Trinity Christian Academy of Deltona in the district final 67-30 before losing in their region opener to North Florida Christian.

Spartans go 7-for-7

DELAND - St. Johns Country Day School scored within the first minutes of the first half and second half to back up a much-bigger defensive front from Miami Country Day School, but the relentless Spartan attack proved fatal as St. Johns powered to a 6-0 Class 1A championship win Wednesday night at Spec Martin Stadium in Deland.

“We knew they would be physical and we had to adjust in that first half and the second half I challenged the seniors to play their very best game in their very last 40 minutes on the field for St. Johns,” said St. Johns coach Mike Pickett, who now has seven consecutive Class 1A titles to add to his 10 overall titles since

arriving at the St. Johns Country Day School campus 20 years ago.

St. Johns opened up against the much-bigger, much taller Miami team but wasted little time in getting the ball downfield and in front of the goal. With a long throw in from Payton Walton that found forward Alisa Detlefsen camped in front ot the goal, outside forward Kamy Loustau picked up the deflected Detlefsen header and buried the ball into the net for the first goal of the night with 36 minutes until halftime.

“We have scored more goals off our set pieces this year; corner kicks and free kicks,” said Pickett. “Against Miami, we scouted their taller defenders and saw that they were not very aggressive in the air. Alisa is not very tall, but the timing is the key.”

OHS Perez outduels MHS Pena

OAKLEAF - Oakleaf High’s Lexi Perez knew what she needed to hold off a strong bench press  from Middleburg High’s Jay Pena and delivered with a 205 pound best lift on her first try at the weight to win the 154 pound district title at the District 5-2A championship meet at Oakleaf High School on Friday.

“Lexi won on her first lift (clean and jerk) at 185 then wanted to try for her best at 205,” said Oakleaf High assistant coach Dana Arthur. “She is such a competitor out there. She’s improved a ton.”

Pena, with an impressive 20 pound gap on Perez after she powered through a 175 pound bench press, clean and jerked just 155 to finish second to Perez with her 330 total off Perez’ 355 total.

At last year’s state meet, at 154, Perez finished 16th with just a 300 pound total off a 130 bench and 170 clean and jerk with Pena fifth at 325 off a 175 bench press and a 150 clean and jerk.

“There’s power in the bench press and there’s technique in the clean and jerk,” said Middleburg coach Perry Hopper. “Jay is young and learning.”

At last year’s region 3-2A meet, Pena finished second at 310 with Perez third at 295 in the 154 pound division.

Hughes takes out Highland Prep’s Castillo

KISSIMMEE - An explosive 47 second pin by Fleming Island High’s Briar Jackson set the tone for a gold grab for area wrestlers with four grappersl coming home with the big hardware March 3 at the FHSAA State Wrestling Championships held in Kissimmee’s Silver Spur Arena.

In Class 1A, Clay High junior Peyton Hughes, the faces were familiar on his way to gold, but the results favored his long, strong style as Hughes first had to dispatch of Lake Highland Prep’s Noah Castillo, a two-time defending state champion with a one win, one loss mark with Hughes this year. Hughes faced off against Castillo in the semifinal round and had to have a third period flurry to pull out a 12-10 win. Hughes beat Castillo 6-4 at the state duals semifinal clash in January.

“Probably beating Castillo a second time was harder than winning the state title,” said Hughes, 38-2. “He’s so fast and explosive, but I was able to watch him wrestle his quarter and saw some things. We went from 5-5 into the third period to the 12-10 final.”

After dispatching of Castillo, Hughes had to reset his game plan for a more methodical attack from Tampa Prep senior Troy Nation (41-4) who beat Hughes 11-3 at the Clay Rotary Invitational in February. Hughes won 5-2 for a state gold medal at 138 pounds over Nation.


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