Plant City

Plant City easily defeated Nature Coast 75-39 en route to the ‘B’ bracket championship.

BROOKSVILLE — The holiday high school basketball tournaments were in full swing throughout the state of Florida and the local Nature Coast Christmas tournament was on tap with plenty of local flavor.

Host Nature Coast Technical School had a field of 16 teams take part in the holiday tourney, which also included New Port Richey Gulf, Tampa Freedom, Wesley Chapel, Sumner, Plant City, Land O’ Lakes Sunlake, Bushnell South Sumter, Tampa Jefferson, Brooks Debartolo, Trinity Mitchell, St. Petersburg Northside Christian, Tampa Alonso, Slam Academy and Land O’ Lakes.

The field of 16 teams was broken up into a ‘A’ and ‘B’ brackets with two separate championship games taking place. In the ‘A’ championship game, Brooks Debartolo defeated Alonso 61-56 in a tightly contested tilt.

George Kimble from Brooks Debartolo was named the ‘A’ bracket MVP, with fellow teammates Jacob Sinkala and Trae Martin named to the all-tournament team. Also named to the all-tournament team were Trent Scott and Tripp Burdgess from Alonso.

In the opposite ‘B’ championship game between host Nature Coast and Plant City, the intrigue of a tight game was gone at halftime with the Raiders comfortably up 43-17 by intermission. Plant City ended up defeating Nature Coast 75-39 en route to the ‘B’ bracket championship.

The ‘B’ bracket MVP was Plant City’s Ezereke Dawson, and teammates DJ Haynes and Andrew Walden were named to the all-tournament team. From Nature Coast on the all-tournament team were Justin Balkenman and Kaden Long.

Among others named to the all-tournament team were Mitchell’s Alec Hilliard, Slam Academy’s Donte Forrester, South Sumter’s Doug Sharp, Freedom’s Josh Germain and Jordan Higdon, Wesley Chapel’s Jordan Houlihan, Sunlake’s David Barr, Northside Christian’s Keaton Jordan, Gulf’s Kaysoun Rivers, Jefferson’s Laz Ford, Sumner’s Tyrell Smith, Land O’ Lakes’ Nate Santana and Fivay’s Eric Howard and Deondre St. Clair.

Andy Villamarzo can be reached at and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.