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ThePrepZone.com Sports Report with Mike Ridaught on “The Tailgate” (WRUF Gainesville)

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Mike Ridaught joined Jeff Cardozo & Pat Dooley on The Tailgate (WRUF-98.1 FM & 850 AM) on Thursday, January 16, for ThePrepZone.com Sports Report presented by SunState Federal Credit Union.

Here is a recap of the interview:

Gainesville High School’s Alissa Humphrey just signed with Jacksonville University today. While former Hurricane Katie Chronister begins her final season with the Gators, this will be Humphrey’s final season with GHS.

Katie Chronister graduated from Gainesville High School in 2016. She was the Florida Gatorade Player of the Year & the Florida Dairy Famers POY her senior year. Chronister led GHS to its first-ever softball state title that year. Gainesville beat Lake Region for the Class 6A state title in 2016. She would finish her career with a with a 70-18 pitching record and 725 strikeouts. In fact, she compiled a 48-4 record in the circle during her junior (0.56 ERA) and senior (0.53 ERA) seasons. She also finished with a .486 batting average with 132 hits throughout her career, 21 doubles, 11 triples and five home runs. So she could hit and pitch.

By comparison, Alissa Humphrey has been All-State every year since her freshman year. She is currently the No. 73 ranked recruit for the Class of 2020. Here are her stats since her freshman year:

2017 (Freshman year) – Record of 21-3 with a 1.75 ERA and 198K in 144 innings pitched. She batted .393 with 29 RBI (2nd on the team)

2018 (Sophomore) – Record of 20-16 with a 1.01 ERA and 343 strikeouts in only 173 innings pitched. She had a team-best .429 average and drove in 18 runs (2nd on the team)

2019 (Junior) – Record of 19-5 with a 0.29 ERA, 12 shutouts, and a total of 325 strikeouts in 169 innings pitched. Humphrey batted .325 and led the team with 20 RBI. She also hit three homeruns.

Chronister finished her career with 725 strikeouts. Humphrey will shatter the school’s strikeout record. The new JU signee has 866 Ks in her career with a whole senior season to go. She’s only walked 93 batters and has a nine to one strikeout to walk ratio.

The new FHSAA basketball playoff rankings are out for girls Basketball. With only two weeks left in the regular season where do things stand for the locals?

As we discussed last week, the girls district tournaments start on Feb. 3rd so that’s only two weeks from Monday. If you remember, the district seedings are going to be based on a points system by MaxPreps. You aren’t required to play all of your district opponents so the positive side to that is it allows you to play a tougher overall schedule which will help not only with district seeding but also for at-large teams who do not win their district tournament.

Last week my top three teams in the Gainesville area were Hawthorne, P.K. Yonge, and Trenton, and in that order. Nothing has changed. I still think Hawthorne is the best team. They beat Class 6A Orange Park Fleming Island last night 60-49. Last Thursday, they beat another 6A team – Lake City Columbia, which is currently 15-4 overall, by 33 points – on the road! The Hawthorne girls are 18-1. In two weeks, they will host P.K. Yonge for a little matinee action to determine who the best team is in Alachua County. That will be on Friday, January 31st, at 12:30 in the afternoon. I know they did this last year (P.K. Yonge won that one handily), and they let the kids out of school to watch the game. I would imagine Hawthorne will do the same.

P.K. Yonge (4A) & Hawthorne (1A) both made the Final Four last year in their respective classes. P.K. Yonge got off to a slow start this year but that’s because they had been battling injuries. Junior Mya McGraw, who is averaging 16 points and 10 rebounds per game, was out the first six weeks of the season with a broken foot. Last Friday and Saturday they hosted the Blue Wave Classic and they beat larger classification schools Ocala Vanguard and Ocala West Port. Vanguard is 5A and they beat them by 25 and West Port is a 7A school. Both of those teams have winning records too so I believe P.K. Yonge may be turning a corner. They play at Class 6A Tallahassee Leon tomorrow so again, Willie Powers is scheduling tough competition to help them get ready for a run in late February.
Trenton, which is the defending 1A state champion, has won four in a row since the loss at P.K. Yonge on January the 3rd. It will be much tougher to repeat as state champions this year. Lafayette (Mayo) and Madison County are in their region (Region 3), while Hawthorne and Wildwood, which is really good this year, are in Region 4. The good thing about Trenton is that their top five scorers are all underclassmen.

Tomorrow night at Santa Fe College it will be Eastside vs. GHS in the first of a 2-game series between the ‘Canes and the ‘Rams (Boys Basketball)

Eastside will enter that game with a 4-game winning streak. It took overtime, but they did beat Buchholz on Tuesday night. They also beat Santa Fe on the road by 16 last Friday and they beat North Marion on the road by 10 a little over a week ago. The Rams have three players are now averaging in double figures, led by KJ Bradley, last year’s Gainesville Sun co-player of the year who is averaging almost 17 per game. They play a Gainesville team tomorrow night that has been struggling a bit – even though it’s been against pretty good competition. The Hurricanes lost to Palatka on Tuesday night at home. Palatka is who put Eastside out of the playoffs last year. GHS did beat Buchholz on the road last Friday, so they bounced back from the losses to Leesburg and at Columbia (Lake City) in overtime.

As far as other teams in the area, this past Tuesday Santa Fe (Alachua) beat P.K. Yonge, 43-42, on an offensive put-back by 6-foot-9 junior Ernest Ross with 22 seconds to play. Both teams are right around .500. P.K. Yonge is at Trinity Catholic (Ocala) tomorrow night for a big district game. Santa Fe will be at home against Bishop Snyder (Jacksonville) tonight. I still think Santa Fe can make the 4A playoffs and I think P.K. Yonge can make the 3A playoffs – if they can win their district tournament, which right now they are the highest seeded team in 3A-District 3.

Hawthorne is still rolling. They’ve now won 14 in a row and the Hornets are 15-1 overall. They beat P.K. Yonge by eight last Friday. They get a good test on Monday against North Florida Educational Institute of Jacksonville, which is ranked 6th in the state in Class 2A by MaxPreps. Hawthorne is hosting the 1st annual MLK Basketball Showcase on Monday. The Hawthorne boys will play Monday night at 7. P.K. Yonge will play The Villages at 5:30 p.m. The Eastside boys will play at 4 p.m. against Central Florida Christian Academy, which is ranked fourth in the state in 2A.

Also, Forest High School in Ocala is hosting their MLK tournament on Saturday – a total of seven games on Saturday beginning with Buchholz and Dunnellon at 11 a.m. We end the day with St. Francis Catholic and Vanguard (Ocala) at 6:30 p.m., followed by host Forest and Wildwood in what should be a great game at 8 p.m. We’ll be broadcasting those last two games on Saturday, plus tomorrow night’s Providence (Jacksonville) at The Rock game.

**Tune in to our weekly radio interviews talking high school sports on ThePrepZone.com Sports Report presented by SunState Federal Credit Union on WRUF-98.1 FM & 850 AM in Gainesville every Thursday at 4 p.m. on “The Tailgate” with Jeff Cardozo & Gainesville Sun columnist Pat Dooley.**

Find out what’s going on daily in high school sports with ThePrepZone.com Sports Report Presented by SunState Federal Credit Union. The 1-minute high school sports vignette is produced by Mike Ridaught and airs ‘live’ every weekday morning between 7:50-7:55 a.m. on “I am Country 106.9 FM” in Gainesville. The reports are archived for 30 days here.

If you live in the Tri-County area (Gilchrist, Levy & Dixie County), tune in to ThePrepZone.com Nature Coast Sports Report presented by SunState Federal Credit Union on Country Legends Radio. The 2-minute high school sports vignette is produced by Ridaught and airs every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 7:28 a.m. and repeating at 5:28 p.m. on 93.1 FM & 940 AM in Chiefland/Trenton & 96.3 FM & 1240 AM in Cross City.  Listen Live Here.

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