Red Devils fall to 5A Nature Coast Tech

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By Steve Jarboe

They were big, they were tall and they made free throws. This was the picture one got as the Nature Coast Sharks took the court Dec. 7, against the Williston Red Devils.

Led by the 6' 8” University of Massachusetts signee Tyler Bergantino, the Sharks showed why they are undefeated following their 69-58 win over the Red Devils.

 “He is one of the best players we will see all season,” said Red Devils Head Coach Steve Faulkner following the game. “He is big, athletic, and  the young man can certainly play basketball,” Faulkner said.

It was obvious Bergantino's teammates also  knew this as he controlled the boards against the smaller Red Devils and his teammates continued to get the ball to him throughout the game.

The Sharks were not limited to Bergantino, as another Shark Blake Lowman will be attending Florida Southern to play basketball.

The Red Devils, after falling behind 5-0 rallied back in a cold shooting first quarter to tie the game at 9-9 as the first quarter ended.

As the second quarter continued to be played at a slow pace, the Red Devils held a 21-20 lead with just over one minute left in the second quarter. 

Two quick baskets by the Sharks lifted them to a 24-21 half time lead.

As the third quarter got underway, the Sharks took full advantage of their height advantage under the basket and made a run on a normally quick and defensive minded Red Devil team that showed no spark as they have in previous third quarters of games played earlier this season. 

The Sharks jumped out to their biggest lead of the night at 37-28 as the Red Devils committed four straight turnovers on four straight possessions. The Red Devils also continued to miss shot after shot as the Sharks put half court pressure on the Red Devils. 

The Red Devils were shooting a poor 38 percent from the foul line before the game, and did very little to improve on their free throw shooting tonight.  

With the game under control in the fourth quarter, Bergantino was pulled out of the game. 

The biggest spark of the entire second half then came from the Red Devils. Junior Tre Wilson took the ball the length of the court and slam dunked a dunk shot one handed that would have put a smile on Michael Jordan's face. Wilson brought the otherwise disgruntled Red Devil fans to their feet.

The Sharks went on to win the game 69-58 as Bergantino led all players in scoring with 20 points. Lowman added 15 points for the Sharks.

 Wilson with his overwhelming dunk shot led the Red Devils with 16 points. Deterion Ross had a cold shooting night and ended with 14 points and Brandon Preston added 8 points.