GULF HIGH SCHOOL

Boys Basketball History

This page is under construction. Contributions are welcome via email to Jeff Miller. This page was last revised on Feb. 28, 2013.


1922-1923

On Oct. 5, 1922, the "Gulf High School Notes" column in the New Port Richey Press reported, "We have no equipment at present but we hope that some plan will be devised in the near future for securing basketball outfits, as we wish to organize two teams, one for girls and one for boys. However, apparently no basketball was played in the 1922-23 school year.


1923-1924

On Sept. 21, 1923, the New Port Richey Press reported: "The girls of the high school have been busy the past week holding frequent candy sales, the proceeds of which will be used for the purchase of a basket ball and goals. A start will be made in basket ball this year on a sand court, but the school hopes to have either a hardsurfaced court or an outdoor plank floor to play on before the end of the season."

On Nov. 9, 1923, Gulf High Life reported: "The basketballs have arrived but the standards have not been put up yet, but we hope to have them up before long. We are also anxious to have the court hard-surfaced. ... The boys' and girls' athletic association are planning a program, which is to be given next month, for the purpose of raising sufficient funds to hard-surface the basketball court.

On Jan. 11, 1924, the boys basketball team played St. Petersburg High School on the town court at 8 p.m. Gulf lost 14-12. This is Gulf's earliest known basketball game played against another school.

On Mar. 7, 1924, the New Port Richey Press reported, "The high school has had a very successful season in basketball this year, considering this to be the first year of organized athletics. Out of the six games played Gulf high won four and lost two."

The team played Tarpon Springs High School and George Washington and Woodrow Wilson of Tampa.


1924-1925

On Oct. 17, 1924, Gulf Hi-Life reported: "The net proceeds that the Gulf High School received last week from the Box Social, for the benefit of the Boys Athletic Club, was $85.00 and this will be used to a great advantage in helping with this work. A basket ball for the boys, and a volley ball for the school has been ordered, and is expected to arrive this week. Practicing will begin immediately."

On Nov. 21, 1924, Gulf Hi-Life reported: "Last Wednesday some of the High School boys were dismissed from school to work on the Basket Ball court, as it was in a bad condition. Friday night, Nov. 14th the boys of Gulf High played a Basket Ball game with Odessa, Gulf High winning by a score of 20 to 6."

On Dec. 5, 1924, Gulf Hi-Life reported: "The Gulf High Basket Ball team played a game with the town team of New Port Richey, on the town court Thursday. Gulf High won by a score of 34 to 4."

On Jan. 16, 1925, the New Port Richey Press reported: "Our Boys Basket Ball team is improving, we practice twice a week and take Physical Culture twice. ... Our next game is scheduled January 16, with Largo. The game will be played in New Port Richey, at 3:30 o'clock. We hope everybody will come out and root for our team."


1926-1927

On Sept. 3, 1926, the New Port Richey Press reported that Gerald Young and Roscoe Baker were manager and captain of the basketball team respectively.

On Jan. 7, 1927, the New Port Richey Press reported there will be a basketball game against Dade City Friday night, both boys and girls teams.


1927-1928

On Mar. 16, 1928, the New Port Richey Press reported: "The boy's and girl's teams journeyed to Brooksville Friday afternoon to play Basket Ball. We girls lost 14-12. The boys won 41 to 6. So ended the Basketball season."


1929-1930

On Nov. 1, 1929, Gulf Hi Life reported, "James Grey caused considerable commotion Thursday at basket ball practice; appearing in such shocking apparel as to cause the heart of the most serene girl to flutter."

On Dec. 18, 1929, the St. Petersburg Evening Independent reported:

The first inter-scholastic basket ball matches were played on the remodelled open-air court of the Gulf High school Friday night between that school and Brooksville. A large crowd witnessed the games. The girls’ game was lost to Brooksville, 14 to 16. The high point scorer of both teams was Miss Ruth Draft, Gulf High, with 12 points, the next being Miss Burns, Brooksville, with 10. The Gulf High boys won, 14 to 9. Hatton and Kolb were the star cagers, almost equalled by Good and Cook, Brooksville. After the games refreshments were served the players and substitutes at the school and then all repaired to the Knights of Pythias hall, where a dance was given in honor of the visitors by the girls of the Gulf High, the music being furnished by the recently formed high school orchestra. Last week, at Brandon, the Gulf High boys won, 19 to 1, and the girls, 17 to 1. The next match will be played at New Port Richey, girls and boys both, with Zephyrhills high school.

On Feb. 7, 1930, the New Port Richey Press referred to the GHS basketball team as the "Cootees" and the "Cooteeites." On Feb. 21, 1936, the same newspaper reported that the Gulf High Cooties won two basketball games this week, against Tampa College High on Tuesday night and Zephyrhills High on Wednesday night. [A 1928 graduate recalls the Cooties nickname was in use that year also.]

On Feb. 18, 1930, the St. Petersburg Evening Independent reported, “The Gulf high school boys’ basketball team vanquished the until then undefeated St. Leo’s quintet by two points Friday night, after the fiercest and fastest game seen in these parts for many a moon.”


1930-1931

On Jan. 16, 1931, the Tarpon Springs Leader reported that the boys and girls basketball teams from Gulf would be playing the boys and girls teams from Tarpon Springs High School tonight in Tarpon Springs.


1933-1934

On Feb. 16, 1934, Gulf High School News (a section of the New Port Richey Press) reported: "The local boys won their hard fought game to the score of 13-4. Those playing were: Wilson Fowler, Fred Kolb, James Grey, Howard Knowles, Wilford Mitchell, Bill Sonderburg and Martin Vickers. The second annual Gulf coast high school basketball tournament will start this (Friday) afternoon on the Dade City court at two o'clock. There are 10 high school teams which are competing. The participating schools are Zephyrhills, New Port Richey, Brooksville, Webster, Bushnell, Wildwood, Inverness, Crystal River, Dunnellon and Pasco."


1935-1936

On Jan. 24, 1936, the New Port Richey Press reported: "The Gulf High basketball team, undefeated so far this season by any team within the Gulf Coast Association, faces formidable opposition tonight (Friday) when it meets the strong St. Leo team here on the home court. The game will begin at 7:30, on account of the dance that is to be given later for the benefit of the team. In the first game of the season, Gulf High had no trouble downing Brooksville by a score of 25-11. In the next game, which was played at Zephyrhills, the Cooties pierced the Zephyrhills defense almost at will, the final score being 32-6. There have been no star performers in these two games, every man on the team turning in a good steady performance. Bareford and Anderson are at present leading the rest of the squad in number of points scored, each of these boys having scored as many or more points than the entire teams of the opposition."

On Feb. 21, 1936, the New Port Richey Press reported: "The Gulf High Cooties wound up their home schedule for the season by winning handily from Tampa College High on Tuesday night and from Zephyrhills Wednesday night. Tuesday night Tampa College went down on the short end of a 32-23 score, and Zephyrhills lost a double-header, with the Gulf High girls winning 17-12, while the boys followed up with a decisive 40-24 victory. In the Tampa College game, Roig was leading scorer for the losers with 6 points, while Bareford led the Cooties with 14. Wednesday night J. Mott led the Breezers from the Hills with 8 points, with Anderson scoring 20 points for Gulf High. Gulf High has two more games scheduled, one with Tarpon Springs Friday night (tonight) and the last game of the season with Dade City the 26th. Both of these games will be played away from home. Gulf High is No. 4 seeded team in the Gulf Coast conference tournament, which will be held in Wildwood Feb. 28 and 29. Drawing a bye in the first round, the Cooties will play the winner of the Dade City-Zephyrhills game in the quarter-finals."


1936-1937

According to the recollections of Jim Clark, "in 1937 Gulf had only two sports, basketball and baseball."


1937-1938

On Feb. 18, 1938, the New Port Richey Press reported, "The Gulf high basketball team, bolstered by the fast and accurate shooting of Pete Frierson, turned in a victory over the Dade City Pirates last Friday in the county seat by the score of 27-19, in a hard-fought game. Frierson topped the scorers with 15 points, while Bareford came along with 8 points to make the position of New Port Richey secure."


1939-1940

The 1940 yearbook shows head coach Oliver Daugherty and players Manley Lashua, Francis Taylor, David Luikart, Joe Littel, Harmon Stevenson, Worth Littel, David Clark, Clifford Carnegie, Napoleon Falany.


1941-1942

The 1942 yearbook reported that the basketball team did not play the entire schedule because the school bus became unavailable for transporting the players and because of the tire shortage, the players found it difficult to get to the games. The yearbook also reported that players were handicapped by practicing on Gulf's dirt court, and that the baskets at Tarpon Springs were about a foot higher than the ones on the clay court at Gulf.


1942-1943

There was no basketball in 1942-1943, because of gasoline rationing.


1943-1944

On Jan. 14, 1944, the New Port Richey Press reported that "Gulf high school has finally organized a team that will do credit to the school, according to A. H. Stevens, who is head coach as well as principal of the local school. Basketball being completely forgotten last year, has resulted in Coach Stevens developing a team centered around two players with previous experience. James Butler and Harland Kingsley, having formerly played with the 'Bucs,' will undoubtedly see action again this year."

However, a subsequent newspaper article (see below) suggests there was no basketball in 1943-1944.


1944-1945

Apparently there was no basketball in 1944-1945.


1945-1946

On Jan. 11, 1946, the New Port Richey Press reported: "After a lay-off from basketball for the past two years, the Gulf High School Buccaneers opened their current basketball campaign by dropping the opener to the alumni team last Friday night, 26-20. James Butler and Coach A. H. Stevens led the alumni attack by scoring 11 and nine points respectively."

On Jan. 25, 1946, the New Port Richey Press reported, “Coach J. J. Blake announced that his high school Buccaneers will play the Dade City Pirates on the local basketball court this Friday afternoon at 2:30. All the games have been arranged for the afternoons due to the poor lighting conditions of the local court. Principal A. H. Stevens has approached the City Council regarding the improvement of the light situation, but as yet no action has been taken.”

The 1946 yearbook reported, "Gulf High has not had a basketball team in two years but this year the Buccaneers fielded a team. The boys were green and inexperienced but showed great spirit against their opponents." The yearbook shows Coach Johnnie Blake, and players Archie Boyd, Capt. Marvin Burney, Jerry Newell, Walter Fraddosio, John Phillips, Johnnie Butler, Jack Vannette, Joseph Weiskopf, James Lochelt, Marvin Lochelt, Oscar Pedrazas, David Dewitt, Carl Brady, Rupert Bethel, James Drinkard.


1946-1947

On Feb. 25, 1947, Gulf lost to Tarpon Springs 113-13. The game apparently apparently established a statewide record in high school basketball.


1953-1954

Coach: John Semago. The team consisted of Jerry Zimpleman, Ken Thompson, Bill West, Jim Williams, Dick Wiersma, Tom Scott, Kenneth Carey, Robert Newsome, Ray Lanphar, Eddie Stemple, Frymon Smith, Frank Edwards, and Kerry Whitenack.


1954-1955

Coach: Al Lagano. Top players were Frank Edwards, Jerry Zempleman, Ken Carey, Jon Dorminy, Jim Lanning, Marvin Pitman, Lorie Goodman, Robert Newsome.

The team lost to Crystal River 40-29 and defeated Zephyrhills 48-45 and 46-38. Home games were played at Sims Park.


1958-1959

Gulf played Zephyrhills, Inverness, Tarpon Springs, Crystal River, Admiral Farragut, Dade City, Bushnell, and Brooksville (some teams twice). The 1959 yearbook shows the starting five: Donnie Webb, Gene Little, Herman Spinks, Walton McMickle, and Jon Gay.


1960-1961

Coach: Ed. Syron. A preview of the season listed top returning vets from last year as Donnie Webb, Bobby Sibo, Paul Lepisto, and Dan Sibley. Freshmen Tim Slater, a transfer from Pittsburgh, should see much action.


1961-1962

A newspaper picture of the team has: "Coach Ed. Syron's Gulf High cagers completed their season's schedule the past week with a mediocre 9-17 record. Although the Bucs were inconsistent much of the time, they showed flashes of brilliance on occasion. Prospects for next year are bright, with a talented group of sophomores moving up and the return of Mike Park, all Tampa Bay Conference forward, along with Bob and Jim Edwards, and Tim Slater, among others. Park averaged better than 17 points per game to set a new school record during the past season. Pictured above are members of the varsity squad. They are, left to right, bottom row: Tim Slater, Bob Edwards, Bill Colbert, Mike Fike, Tom Kolean, Mike Park, Bill Oxendine. Top row: Bobby Green, Jim Hawkins, Billy Bennett, Phil Chesnut, Richard Parizek, Jim Edwards, John Grey, and Coach Ed Syron."


1962-1963

The 1963 team (larger picture); Al Eyers and Mike Park.

The team record was 21-4, the best in school history. The team tied for first place in the Tampa Bay Conference with Hernando High School at the end of the regular season. Both teams had 6-1 records. Gulf went on to win the TBC championship tournament by defeating Brandon 69-55.

The team ended the season in February 1963 with a loss to Apopka in the state tournament in Gainesville after 13 consecutive wins.

The season included a 61-24 win over the Pinecrest Pilots at the Tarpon Springs Junior High gym.

The team consisted of Alvin (Al) Eyers, James (Jim) Hawkins, Tim Durden, Mike Park, Jim Dreher, Jim Pannell, William Slater, John Fraddosio, John Short, Terry Woodcock, Jim Prack, Jim Hawkins, Frank Robson, and Doug King. Head coach: Tommy Weightman.


1963-1964

The team had a 4-3 conference record under Coach Tom Weightman.

On Jan. 16, 1964, the New Port Richey Press reported that the team upped its TBC record to 2-1 and its overall record to 7-4 with a 72-37 win over Turkey Creek.


1964-1965

Starters: Pete Little, Dennis Kolean, Doug King, Jeff Beach, Tim Durden.


1967-1968

In February 1968 the team scored 104 points in defeating Hernando High School.

The team record was 16-8 record, the best since 1963. The yearbook reported that the team scored more than 90 points in six games, "with one record-setting game of 104, to make this the highest scoring season in Gulf's history. And with seven returning lettermen, Coach Tom Weightman has good reason to look forward to an even better season next year."


1968-1969

The 1969 basketball team; outstanding players Jerry Dodd, Steve Luikart, Tom Huey

On Jan. 23, 1969, the New Port Richey Press reported that the Gulf basketball team defeated Admiral Farragut 107-54 on Tuesday, breaking a school record for most points scored in a game.

On Feb. 20, 1969, the New Port Richey Press reported that the Gulf Buccaneers won the first annual Sunshine Conference Basketball Tournament Saturday, defeating the Hernando Leopards 79-76 at the Clearwater Catholic gym.

Gulf came in second place in the district, defeating St. Petersburg 67-65 in overtime and Tarpon Springs 66-61. The team lost to Gibbs in the district final, 83-69.

Gulf's conference record was 10-0; the overall record was 18-4. Coach: Ron Fritchley. The team co-captains were Steve Luikart and Tom Huey.


1969-1970

Coach: Ron Fritchley.


1970-1971

The team won the Sunshine conference championship and tournament. Eldon Reich believes the team was 10 and 1 in conference and 20 and 4 overall. At least three athletes went on to play college ball, Reich, Glenn Dupont, and Ralph Foster.


1971-1972

On Dec. 22, 1971, Vic Mallett scored 50 points in a game against Tarpon Springs.


1972-1973

Head basketball coach: Joe Bever.


1973-1974

Coach: Funkhouser.


1976-1977

Coach: Michael L. McPheron. [Before coming to Gulf High, McPheron was drafted by the Chicago Bulls of the NBA but decided instead to accept a teaching post at Gulf Junior High to escape the midwestern winters. He later coached at Seminole High School in Pinellas County. He died of cancer at age 52 on Nov. 18, 1999.]


1977-1978

Coach: Mike McPheron. Record: 13-13.


1978-1979

Coach: Hugh Lindsley. Record: 5-23.


1979-1980

Coach: Hugh Lindsley. Record: 5-22.


1980-1981

Coach: Dennis Bunnell. Record: 2-22.


1981-1982

Coach: Ron Robinson. Record: 2-22.


1982-1983

Coach: Ron Robinson. Record: 9-20. The team defeated Land O’ Lakes 113-52, the most points scored in a game by a Gulf team ever and the largest margin of victory by a Gulf team ever.


1983-1984

Coach: Ron Robinson. Record: 16-12.


1984-1985

Coach: Greg Bollinger. Record: 12-16.


1985-1986

Coach: Greg Bollinger. Record: 15-12.


1986-1987

Coach: Greg Bollinger. Record: 9-16.


1987-1988

Coach: Greg Bollinger. Record: 10-17.


1988-1989

Coach: Greg Bollinger. Record: 10-17.


1989-1990

Coach: Greg Bollinger. Record: 12-17.


1990-1991

Coach: Greg Bollinger. Record: 16-10.


1991-1992

Coach: Greg Bollinger. Record: 16-10.


1992-1993

Coach: Greg Bollinger. Record: 2-21.


1993-1994

Coach: Greg Bollinger. Record: 7-19.


1994-1995

Coach: Greg Bollinger. Record: 7-17.


1995-1996

Team record: 6-23. Head Coach: Steve Feldman (1st season).


1996-1997

Team record: 10-18. Coach: Steve Feldman.


1997-1998

Team record: 14-15. Coach: Steve Feldman. This year saw the first trip to Chicago to play in the ECC/Chicagoland Holiday Tournament. Coach Feldman was selected the Tampa Tribune Coach of the Year. Stefano Trompeo walks-on at Univ. of Florida. [In December 1998, Coach Feldman retired Stefano Trompeo’s number 14 jersey. Trompeo was named the permanent head coach of women’s basketball at New York University in March 2009.]


1998-1999

Team record: 9-18. Coach: Steve Feldman.


1999-2000

Team record: 10-19. Coach: Steve Feldman.


2000-2001

Team record: 14-13. Coach: Steve Feldman. Nate Goad signed with Florida College.


2001-2002

The 2002 basketball team; Joe Phillips.

The team had a 23-7 record under coach Steve Feldman, who was named SAC Coach of the Year. Joe Phillips was named the SAC County Player of the Year and was a third team All-State selection. The Bucs were in the State Tournament for first time since 1963. The team ended its season on Feb. 21, 2002, losing a regional quarterfinal game against Lecanto. The team had more wins than any team in school history, although the 1963 team, which had a 21-4 record, had a higher winning percentage.


2002-2003

Team record: 14-13. Coach: Steve Feldman. Joe Phillips was a second team All-State selection and took 25 school records with him. He signed with PHCC.


2003-2004

Team record: 14-13. Coach: Steve Feldman.


2004-2005

Team record: 15-12. Coach: Steve Feldman. The team was back in State Tournament for only the third time in school history, and also took its second trip to Chicago to play in the Corus Bank Christmas Tournament.


2005-2006

Team record 17-10. Coach: Steve Feldman, the St. Petersburg Times Coach of the Year.


2006-2007

Team record 5-21. Coach: Steve Feldman. Anthony Jackson signed with VolState (TN). Josh Ward signed with Trinity College (FL). Kenny Fletcher signed with Patrick Henry College (VA). During the season, Coach Feldman posted his 150th victory at Gulf.


2007-2008

Team record: 10-16. Coach: Steve Feldman. Feldman left Gulf at the end of the 2007-08 school year, having coached boys basketball for 13 years at Gulf. He was the winningest coach in program history with 164 wins, and led the Buccaneers to their only two state tournament berths and guided them to their only district title.


2008-2009

Team record 5-20. Head coach: Paul Schulman.


2009-2010

Team record: 7-20. Head coach: Buck DeWitt.


2010-2011

Head coach: Buck DeWitt.


2011-2012

Team record: 10-14. Head coach: Jeff Shank.


BOYS BASKETBALL RECORDS

Note: This section was provided by Coach Feldman I have not received any official updates from the coaching staff recently. Unofficially, however, I understand that Kyle Scianna had 1063 regular season points, but over 1100 counting tip-offs. He also broke the record for most free throws made in a game with 22. I also understand that David Ramirez had 1271 points and broke the record for most points in a half, scoring 35 in the second half against Hudson. -jm

RETIRED JERSEYS

#14 Stefano Trompeo (1995-98)
# 3 Joe Phillips (1999-2003)

1000 POINT CLUB

Jerry Dodd (1967-70) 1531
Joe Phillips (1999-03) 1474
Anthony Jackson (2004-07) 1101
Stefano Trompeo (1995-1998) 1024
Mike Freeman (1981-84) 1012

TEAM RECORDS

FREE THROW PERCENT SEASON 73.8% 1997-98
FREE THROW PERCENT GAME 17 of 17 100% LAND O’ LAKES
1997-98
BEST START 16-2 2001-02
BEST RECORD (BY PERCENT) 21 WINS 4 LOSSES (.840) 1962-63
BEST RECORD (BY WINS) 23 WINS 7 LOSSES (77%) 2001-02
MOST POINTS IN A SEASON 1,982 IN 25 GAMES 1968-69
MOST POINTS IN A GAME 113 VS. LAND O' LAKES 1982-83
MOST POINTS IN A HALF 66 VS. LAND O' LAKES 1982-83
MOST POINTS IN A QUARTER 39 VS. BERKELEY PREP 1999
MOST POINTS BY TWO TEAMS 209: GULF 107, LAKELAND
EVANGEL CHRISTIAN 102
1987-88
MOST POINTS SCORED
AGAINST GULF
123: LAKELAND KATHLEEN 1971-72
LARGEST MARGIN OF VICTORY 61: GULF 113, LAND O' LAKES 52 1982-83

INDIVIDUAL RECORDS

POINTS IN A CAREER 1531
1474
JERRY DODD
JOE PHILLIPS
1967-70
1999-02
POINTS IN A SEASON 882 JERRY DODD 1969-70
POINTS BY A JUNIOR 491 MIKE FREEMAN 1982-83
POINTS BY A SOPHOMORE 430 JUSTIN GERONIMO 1996-97
POINTS BY A FRESHMAN 271 JUSTIN GERONIMO 1995-96
POINTS IN A GAME 69 JERRY DODD 1969-70
POINTS IN A HALF 30 JERRY DODD 1969-70
POINTS IN A QUARTER 23 JOE PHILLIPS
2002
HIGHEST SEASONAL AVERAGE 32.3 JERRY DODD 1969-70
CONSECUTIVE GAMES
IN DOUBLE FIGURES
41 JERRY DODD 1968-70
MOST FREE-THROWS
IN A SEASON
234-
312
JERRY DODD 1969-70
MOST FREE-THROWS
ATTEMPTED IN A GAME
26 VIC MALLETT 1971-72
MOST FREE-THROWS
MADE IN ONE GAME
18 DEAN HORIANOPOULOS 1985-86
BEST SEASONAL FREE-
THROW PERCENTAGE
90.4 JOE PHILLIPS 2000-01
MOST CONSECUTIVE
FREE-THROWS MADE
24 STEFANO TROMPEO 1995-96
REBOUNDS IN A CAREER 828 TOM HUEY 1967-69
REBOUNDS IN A SEASON 428 TOM HUEY 1967-69
REBOUNDS IN A GAME 27 CRAIG PRIDEMORE 2001-02
ASSISTS IN A CAREER 337 JOE PHILLIPS 1999-03
ASSISTS IN A SEASON 160 JOE PHILLIPS 2001-02
ASSISTS IN A GAME 13 DAVID BOCCHINO
JOE PHILLIPS
1995-99
2001-02
GAMES PLAYED IN A CAREER 118 JOE PHILLIPS 1999-03
GAMES STARTED IN A CAREER 104 JOE PHILLIPS 1999-03
MOST CONSECUTIVE STARTS 77 JOE PHILLIPS ...
BLOCKED SHOTS IN A CAREER 170 SCOTT HORNER 1987-90
BLOCKED SHOTS IN A SEASON 87 JEREMY FETZNER 1990-91
BLOCKED SHOTS IN A GAME 10 SCOTT HORNER 1988-89
STEALS IN A CAREER 306 ANTHONY JACKSON 2004-07
STEALS IN A SEASON 103 ANTHONY JACKSON 2004-05
STEALS IN A GAME 11 DEAN HORIANOPOULOS 1985-86
CHARGES TAKEN IN A CAREER 54 POPS APONTE 1998-00
CHARGES TAKEN IN A SEASON 40 POPS APONTE 1999-00
CAREER FIELD
GOAL PERCENTAGE
.644 BRENT COOPER 1984-87
SEASONAL FIELD
GOAL PERCENTAGE
.657 BRENT COOPER 1986-87
THREE POINT GOALS
IN A CAREER
266 JOE PHILLIPS 1999-03
THREE POINT GOALS
IN A SEASON
100 JOE PHILLIPS 2002-03
THREE POINT GOALS
IN A GAME
12 JOE PHILLIPS 2002
THREE POINT GOALS
IN A QUARTER
6 JOE PHILLIPS 2002
THREE POINT GOALS
IN A HALF
8 JOE PHILLIPS 2002


Bucs Survive Scare to Capture Tourney
and Top TBC Honors (1963)

This article appeared in the New Port Richey Press on Feb. 21, 1963.

After surviving a first round scare by Turkey Creek, the powerful Gulf Buccaneers rolled over Zephyrhills' defending champion Bulldogs and then pounded the host Brandon Eagles in the finals to win the '63 Tampa Bay Conference basketball tourney last weekend. Thus, the locals now are undisputed champs of the T.B.C. Their record is now 16-3 for the season.

Hernando, which ended regular season play with a 6-1 record, matching New Port Richey's slate, was bounced out of the tournament in second round action by Brandon, 60-42.

The Bucs came from behind last Thursday night to eke out a hard-earned win over the rugged Gobblers of Turkey Creek, 51-47.

Playing a deliberate ball-control style, the Gobblers held a slim 23-21 halftime lead, but the Bucs, led by Jim Hawkins and Al Eyers, raced to a 38-30 advantage at the end of three periods and went on to win. Hawkins bagged 16 points, followed by Eyers with 14 and Tim Burden with 9.

New Port Richey, led by Durden, Eyers and Mike Park, swamped last year's TBC champs, Zephyrhills, Friday night by a score of 74-56. The game was actually close for three periods, with Gulf leading only 50-45 going into the final stanza. Then the locals turned it on to win going away. Durden had 20 tallies, followed by Eyers and Park with 18 apiece. Jim Dreher chipped in with 12.

In final action Saturday night, the Buccaneers whipped the host Eagles 69-55, after trailing 13-9 after the first quarter, to win the championship. Gulf racked up 22 points in the second quarter to grab a 31-23 bulge at the half.

Then in the third quarter, high-scoring Eyers devastated the hoop for 12 tallies as Gulf widened the lead to 50-39.

Eyers finished the evening with 22 points, ably assisted by Tim Burden, who canned 19, and Jim Hawkins, with 17. These three also provided the Bucs with top-flight rebounding.

Little Mike Park, all-conference guard, contributed his usual superb floor game in the finals, as well as throughout the first two games of the tournament.

Gulf Coach Tommy Weightman said, "It was a team victory. My boys wanted to win and they went out and took it."

The Bucs wind up the finest basketball season in New Port Richey history this weekend when they meet the Tarpon Spongers tomorrow night at 8:00 in Tarpon Springs, followed by a Saturday evening tilt at Inverness against Citrus High.


Bucs Win District 5A To Make Record 21-3;
Face Apopka Tonight (1963)

This article appeared in the New Port Richey Press on Mar. 7, 1963.

The phenomenal ability of Coach Tommy Weightman's Gulf High Bucs to win the close ones held up last weekend at Bradenton, where the locals made their record 21-3 by taking the District 5A tourney with three fantastic victories.

Gulf nipped Punta Gorda's Charlotte Tarpons in the finals Saturday night, 48-47. The Bucs led all the way, with the score being deadlocked only once, 18-18 in the second quarter. New Port Richey held a slim 28- 27 halftime edge.

Coach Weightman used only five men in the nip and tuck affair, with big Al Eyers leading the point-makers with 15 (?), followed by Mike Park, 13, and Jim Hawkins, who added 10 tallies.

The Buccaneers won another squeaker in the semi-finals on Friday night when they topped host school Bradenton Southeast in overtime action, 78-72.

In this hair-raising battle, Eyers hit from the field to tie the score at 68-all with only two seconds remaining. Al added five more points in the overtime period to help get the Bucs into the finals. He finished the evening with a big 31 points. Hawkins had 16 points, Park, 13, Tim Durden, 10, and Jim Dreher rounded out the balanced attack with 8 tallies.

The Bucs opened the tourney Thursday with still another spine tingling victory, 54-49, over fired-up East Bay's Indians in a double overtime contest.

All-TBC ace guard Park showed the way, not unusually, by bagging 25 points. It was Mike's driving layup in the second overtime that put Gulf ahead to stay.

The state tourney gets underway for the victorious Buccaneers tonight at 8:00 in Gainesville at the University of Florida auditorium when Gulf meets rugged Apopka, last year's state champions in Class A competition.

If the locals get past Apopka, they meet the winner of the Perry- Dunedin Falcons game on Friday at 9 p.m.

Other clubs in the Class A finals are Pensacola Tech and Lauderdale Aquinas, who play at 9 a.m. this morning, and Deland and Plant City, who clash this afternoon at 1:00.

Finals are scheduled for Saturday at 7:30 p.m.


For the Best Bucs Team Ever --
One More Game Friday (1983)

This article appeared in the St. Petersburg Times on Jan. 20, 1983.

By TOM ZUCCO

NEW PORT RICHEY -- It wasn't quite the same as Babe Ruth smacking a home run to a spot he had pointed to in the stands, but it still is the kind of stuff legends are made of.

They were a high school basketball team without a gym.

Their coach had to drive them to every game, and on the nights when they didn't play, they practiced, among other places, on a concrete court at Sims Park in New Port Richey.

That court was next to the Pithlachascotee River, and sometimes when the winter wind came whipping across the water it got so cold and damp that they had to wear sweatsuits and sock hats to keep warm.

In the beginning of the season, nobody expected great things from the team. They had lost a couple of key players from the year before, among them Bob Edwards, who went on to coach basketball at Pasco High.

Yet somehow, they accomplished something no other boys basketball team at their high school had done before or since.

They won, and they won big.

They were the 1962-63 Gulf High boys basketball team, an 11-member group of teen-agers with crewcuts and high-topped Converse sneakers. They posted the best record in the school's history (21-4), won the old Tampa Bay Conference title, and chalked up 13 straight victories before losing to Apopka High in the state championship.

For a couple of precious minutes this Friday night, they'll take the court together again.

And this time, it'll be before a home crowd.

To mark the 20th anniversary of that championship season, nine of the players from the 1963 team will present two banners to Gulf High during a ceremony before the Bucs' 8 p.m. home game against archrival Hudson High.

In case you're wondering what happened to the players from that team, well, some of them didn't exactly drop out of sight.

For instance, Mike Park is now director of transportation for the Pasco County School District; Jim Dreher is a builder and a member of the Pasco County planning commission; team manager Mike Wick is vice president of North Funeral Homes and chairman of the Pasco County United Way; and Tom Weightman, who coached the team that year, is Pasco County School superintendent.

"They were an exceptional bunch of boys," Weightman said during an interview Wednesday. "It was hard times playing without a gym, but they adjusted to it.

Park was the floor leader and playmaker for the Bucs, and Al Eyers, a 6-foot-4 center-forward with an excellent jump shot, was the team's leading scorer and rebounder.

"Tim Durden was another very fine player, and we had a lot of others who played well," Weightman added. It's hard to single out any one player because we played very well as a team."

The Bucs also played well when it counted most.

"I remember in the district tournament, we won our first game in double overtime, our second in single overtime, and then we won the championship by one point, Weightman said. "As far as the records go, that was best team we ever had and when you win like that, well, it was a fun year to coach. I really enjoyed that season because they were all great to work with."

Friday should be a night to remember.

Tickets for the game and the ceremonies are $2 for adults and $1 for students.


School Dedicates Center to Two Teachers (1992)

This article appeared in the Tampa Tribune on May 18, 1992.

By NOAM M. M. NEUSNER

Joe Bever and Bob Hicks, say those who knew them, exemplified the true spirit of teaching.

"Mr. Hicks did more than teach; he brought his experiences into the classroom," said former Gulf High School student James Washington. "He spent more time out of the classroom teaching us than he did in the classroom. And I think that's the greatest gift any teacher can give his students."

The two teachers were remembered in a service Sunday, and with the naming of Gulf's gymnasium/theater in their honor. It's now called the Bever-Hicks Memorial Activity Center.

Bever died of cancer in March 1986. Hicks died of a heart attack in April 1991.

Speakers at Sunday's memorial said both men honored the school with their energy and intellect.

"Their dedication to teaching and guiding young lives was exceptional," said Kathy Norris, a Gulf High English and drama teacher. "All dedicated teachers count, and they should be remembered."

Bever, who was a math teacher and boys' basketball coach, was remembered by his wife, Jackie Bever-Martin, as a constant joke-teller and an independent personality.

Former New Port Richey Mayor Peter Altman recalled that Bever wanted to win at basketball, but always kept in mind the students' best interests.

"The indelible pose of Joe is of him talking to his students," said Carol Schreier, a Gulf High social studies teacher.

The naming of the school's activity center was not accidental. While Bever ran the basketball program in the gym, Hicks, the school's drama director, helped design the building to meet the needs of the theater.

Hicks, who also taught humanities at the school, was remembered by former students as "stern" but also "like a teddy bear." This distinction, Washington said, never confused students. Instead, it inspired respect.

"He didn't take anything from nobody," Washington said. "He taught from experience. He taught what he knew."

The building, now 14 years old, will bear the two men's names and a plaque honoring each of them.

"Naming the building after these two special people is not only a tribute to them, it is to teach our students - and those who did not know Bob or Joe - that some things are worth preserving," said Schreier.


Bucs Rally to Defeat Rams for Third Time (2002)

This article appeared in the St. Petersburg Times on Feb. 17, 2002.

By JAMAL THALJI

Gulf's 62-52 victory over Ridgewood in Saturday's Class 4A, District 8 final can be summed up thusly:

Unbelievable.

Rams coach Gary Anders didn't see this one coming. After his team was swept by the Bucs by a combined two points this season, he didn't believe his Rams would lose a third time, at home, holding a 13- point lead with 6:31 left in the first half.

Gulf coach Steve Feldman didn't see this one coming. Down by six at the half, his team outhustled and on the ropes, the Bucs stormed back in the second half, turning a seven-point deficit into a 10- point lead.

Afterward, Feldman could not take his eyes off the 4A-8 trophy - the school's first title in 39 years. Nor could he believe his team's effort in the second half as top-seeded Gulf outworked and outscored No. 2 Ridgewood 37-21, 18-9 in the fourth.

"These kids never fail to surprise me and amaze me," he said. "They just dug down very, very deep and decided how bad they wanted it. It just showed an incredible amount of guts, and that's the way they've been all year."

What a way to end a bewildering season. Ridgewood swept Wesley Chapel to win the Sunshine Athletic Conference title. But it could not earn the top seed in its own district tournament and was, in turn, swept by Gulf in three games - twice at home - a team swept by 3A-10 champ Wesley Chapel.

Gulf (23-6) hosts 4A-7 runner-up Lecanto (15-10) in Thursday's regional quarterfinals - the school's first playoff game in 39 years - while Ridgewood (25-6) will visit 4A-7 champion and No. 8 Leesburg (26-5).

Joe Phillips led the Bucs with 13 points, dropping two 3- pointers, going 5-of-5 from the free-throw line and scoring five in the fourth. Freshman Justin Sconiers came off the bench to score 11.

Nate Bradley scored 19 for the Rams, and Mike Argerenon 18. But Ridgewood was outshot at the line, going 6-of-14 to Gulf's 20-of-27.

"For the 25 times I've been really proud and happy for them this year," Anders said, "I had to tell them I was sincerely disappointed in them tonight. I really felt we had kids who came up short tonight.

"You're going to have a bad game, but I can't imagine not being full of vim and vigor for the district championship."


Panthers Edge Bucs (2002)

This article appeared in the St. Petersburg Times on Feb. 22, 2002.

By JAMAL THALJI

The feel-good story of the year has been replaced.

Gulf won its first district title and earned its first playoff berth in 39 years last week. That set the stage for the Bucs' quarterfinal playoff Thursday night in front of the biggest and most raucous home crowd in three decades.

But in the end it was Lecanto that did the celebrating after a 44-42 win against Gulf. The Panthers earned the program's first trip to the regional semifinals since 1998.

The Bucs' (23-7) tenacious defense and a late run couldn't make up for a lackadaisical offense and the Panthers' (16-10) overpowering inside game in a thriller that went down to the wire - and then some.

"That was a great crowd, a great atmosphere," Lecanto coach Chris Nichols said. "Those (Gulf) kids played tremendous defense. They didn't allow us to do what we wanted to do."

So the coaching staff came up with a simple solution: run "sideline." In other words, feed the ball down low to Dalton Meyers, who responded with 10 second-half points, 19 in all and the game-winning basket with 8.1 seconds left.

On the other end, Frank Diana's layup clanked off the rim, and Meyers fell to the floor, wrestling with Gulf's Lytsz Diometre for the rebound. After time expired, both teams took the court, awaiting the referee's ruling: possession went to the Panthers and the game was waved over.

"We left the door open," Bucs coach Steve Feldman said. "You leave the door open long enough, someone is going to climb right in."

Joe Phillips led Gulf with 17 points.

Lecanto will visit Port Orange Atlantic, a 54-41 winner against Ridgeview Orange Park, in Tuesday's semifinals.

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