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Today's Sports

  • Lady Indians maintain winning...

    A solid run through its holiday tournament games, punctuated by a win over Providence, gave way to the Chiefland girls’ basketball team’s best week of the season, as it came back from break with convincing wins over Cedar Key and Bell.

    The victories set the Lady Indians on a three-game winning streak heading into their Jan. 9 home tilt against Fort White (played after press deadline). It also made them winners of four of their last five, and they hadn’t lost in regulation in seven games.

    On Jan. 2, in Cedar Key, the Lady Sharks knotted things up with CMHS at 19-19 with two minutes remaining in the half on a long 2 by Makalynn Bowling. Chiefland, though, responded with a long Colby Reed bucket and a bank shot from J’Mia McNeil to go up 24-19 for the break.

    The Lady Indians never surrendered their advantage for the remainder, as they clung narrowly to their lead in the third before establishing some breathing space in the final frame behind a combined 15 points from Sierra Norris and Courtney Hayes.

  • Adams’ late splurge not enough...

    The Chiefland boys’ basketball team saw a reversal of the fortunes it enjoyed in a 19-point win over Cedar Key over the Christmas break.

    When the teams welcomed one another back from break with a meeting on Jan. 2 on the island, the Indian press defense failed to leverage the level of turnovers and general turmoil it generated in that earlier win.

    Instead, the Sharks stretched out for a comfortable 18-point advantage by the third quarter, before fending off a late Chiefland rally for a 64-58 win.

    That rally was pinpointed by Austin Adams’ 13 fourth-quarter points, helping shrink the Indians’ deficit by 14 points. Chiefland combined for five 3-pointers in the final frame, including two apiece by Adams and Payne Parnell.

    But the Indians were just 4 for 17 from beyond the arc before the fourth quarter, and had modest help from the free throw line, where they were 7 for 15 for the game.

  • Expectations remain high inside...

    The Chiefland softball team, which advanced to four straight state championship games and won three Class 1A state titles over the past four years, would seem to be facing a major transition heading into the upcoming season.

    Six seniors from last year’s squad have since graduated, including five that are playing college ball. That tally adds to the three or four starters that had already moved on after contributing to three state championship clubs.

    Moreover, Wayne Weatherford, who was at the helm for all four state finals games, as well as a final four appearance in 2007, has hung up his coach’s cap.

    But it’s not all new territory for the Lady Indians, who begin their official practices Jan. 22. Chiefland’s new head man, Jimmy Anderson, is a familiar face for CMHS softball. In coaching youth and travel ball, he came up through the ranks with the program’s group of core players from the last two seasons.

  • Norris signs with Bulls

    Brian Norris Jr. was worried he was missing his window to play college ball.

    The running back wasn’t hearing much buzz from colleges his junior season, and he knew the clock was ticking.

    It all changed for Norris this past summer. He attended a camp at the University of South Florida, expecting to catch attention on the defensive side of the ball.

    The experience led to a scholarship offer from the Bulls, where Norris could end up at running back.

    Norris has graduated from CMHS and will start attending USF in Tampa next semester.

    On Dec. 20, the new early signing period deadline, Norris sent off his letter of intent to Coach Charlie Strong and USF, and the occasion was celebrated in the Chiefland Middle High School auditorium with Norris’ family and current and former coaches, teammates, friends and supporters.

    “Last year, I kind of started getting down on myself,” Norris said. “It was getting close to my senior year, I had to make something happen. And then everything started falling into place.”

  • Lady Indians cap exhaustive...

    The Chiefland girls’ basketball played 18 quarters of holiday tournament basketball on the road in three days, starting Dec. 19.

    After slogging through a pair of closely-fought overtime losses in Cedar Key, as well as a hard-fought win over Branford on the island, the Lady Indians capped their holiday slate with a one-off exhibition tilt against Providence School (Jacksonville) in the Trenton SAMCO Christmas Classic Dec. 21.

    They shook off the fatigue to score an impressive triumph over the Stallions, as Naja Martin (12 points), Colby Reed (11 points) and Sierra Norris (nine points) combined for 32 points to help CMHS fend off Providence for a 39-34 win.

    Chiefland connected on eight field goals in the second quarter to jump ahead 22-11 by the break. CMHS enjoyed a mix of buckets in the frame, including a mid-range pull-up basket and floater from Reed, multiple layups off drives from Norris, and a couple of put-backs from Martin. Courtney Hayes was also heavily involved as a key rebounder and defender for Chiefland, adding a steal and layup in the period.

  • Lady Indians get workout in...

    By the end of its two-day, three-game run in the second Drummond Bank CKS Beach Ball Holiday Tournament Dec. 19 and Dec. 20, the Chiefland girls’ basketball squad was a tired bunch.

    The Lady Indians ended up playing 14 quarters in the two days, with two of their games going into overtime. Still, they ended up nearly capturing third place, and were on the cusp of competing in the championship game, if not for a tiebreaker technicality that left them playing in the third place consolation matchup.

    In that final game against Keystone Heights, a 33-30 overtime loss for Chiefland, the points were scarce in the early going, with CMHS leading just 4-2 at the end of the first quarter.

    As the buckets added up, the margin remained airtight, as the biggest lead by either team in the second half came on the heels of a dribble-drive by Sierra Norris that put the Lady Indians up 16-13.

  • Strong start not enough for CMHS...

    Chiefland boys’ basketball home matchup against Union County Dec. 19 was a game of ups and downs for the Indians.

    The squad looked as sharp as it has all year handling the Tiges’ press, but failed to convert enough to reap the rewards. Chiefland would see UCHS build up multiple 11 points leads, before chopping them down to more manageable five-point margins, eventually surrendering 63-52.

    Union County improved to 3-6 behind the win, a misleading record for the Tigers, as they share a district with Williston and 1A powerhouse Hawthorne, and have a couple of district losses by four and two points. It marked the third straight loss for the Indians, who later rebounded with a win over Cedar Key in Trenton’s Christmas tournament.

    Chiefland struggled at the foul line, at 13 for 29, and didn’t get any help from beyond the arc, where it went 1 for 9 as a team.

    Sophomore Jarrett Jerrels paced the Indians with 12 points, while fellow sophomore Jalen Rutledge joined him in double figures with 11 points. Junior Kirk Williams had a trio of buckets in the third quarter to help himself to eight points on the night.

  • Indians pull away from Sharks in...

    In their two meetings with Chiefland this season, the Cedar Key boys’ basketball team has run into an Indian shooter who was red hot from beyond the arc.

    In their first game, CMHS sophomore Ty Corbin lit up the gym with six 3s to help lift his squad past the Sharks in overtime. In the SAMCO Classic Christmas Tournament in the Dec. 21, it was Payne Parnell’s turn.

    Parnell, in his third outing since returning from a high ankle sprain that had him sidelined since the beginning of the season, connected on a quartet of 3-pointers, including three in the fourth quarter, to help ice Chiefland’s 63-44 win.

    “I felt like (my shot) was going to come back,” said Parnell, who scored a team-high 17 points. “We had the ball movement today against the press and had a lot better looks than we’ve had. We played together as a team.”

    Though the team’s share a district, the game doesn’t count towards the standings because it’s a holiday tournament game. They’ll meet again Jan. 2 in Cedar Key.

  • Football players, cheerleaders...

    Adam Gore, the head football coach at Chiefland Middle High School, was aware he had a young team this past season.

    But it wasn’t clear just how new it was until, after combing through the roster for first-year lettermen, he realized there wouldn’t be enough C letters on order to be handed out Dec. 15 at the CMHS Football and Cheer Banquet Dec. 15.

    “We had about 26 (first-year lettermen),” said Gore, who assured everyone would eventually receive their C’s. “We weren’t ready for that.”

    In the end, the cafeteria stage at Chiefland Elementary School was nearly too short to accommodate them as flooded the stage.

    The number of superlatives handed out to sophomores bodes well for the program’s future.

  • Eagles connect on free throw in...

    Bronson enjoyed a significant advantage at the free throw line in its intra-county and district clash with Cedar Key Dec. 12.

    And the Eagles made the most of those opportunities, going 23 for 32 at the foul line to prevail 54-42.

    Bronson improved to 2-2 in District 1A-7 with the win, and headed into the holiday break at 3-2-1 overall. CKS is 2-6 (1-2 in district play).

    Chiefland plays Cedar Key Thursday, Dec. 21, at 1:30 p.m. in a holiday tournament at Trenton. The Indians then play Friday in Trenton at 7:30 p.m., and the Sharks play at 4:30 p.m. that day in the tournament.

    Bronson is in a holiday tournament at Wildwood before Christmas, and then hosts the Eagle Holiday Classic Dec. 28 through Dec. 30.

    Against the Sharks, sophomore point guard Blake Homan led the way for Bronson with 16 points in the second half, and went 9 for 11 from the free throw line in finishing with a game-high 20 points. Senior Tra Francis poured in 15 points from the paint, while the Eagles had three more shooters with at least six points, including eight points from sophomore Micah Hubbard.