+ Pirates, Mustangs fall in district semis
The Braden River and Lakewood Ranch High boys basketball teams saw their seasons come to a disappointing end in the Class 4A-District 10 semifinals Feb. 10.
After dismantling Seminole Osceola 67-28 in the quarterfinals Feb. 9, the No. 2 seeded Pirates faced No. 3 seeded Palmetto in the semifinals. Braden River controlled the game early on before the Tigers overcame a seven point fourth quarter deficit to defeat the host Pirates 58-56. Senior Casey Bobelis led the way for Braden River with 26 points.
Lakewood Ranch also advanced to the semifinals with a 73-67 come-from-behind victory over Bayshore in the quarterfinals. But the Mustangs had a difficult task in defending top-seeded St. Pete Lakewood. The Spartans downed the Mustangs 72-47. Danny Zarrella led the way for Lakewood Ranch with 14 points, and Jake Carlton followed with 12 points.
+ Little Leagues ready for spring ball
Braden River Little League will ring in the spring baseball season with its Opening Day Family Fun Day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Feb. 20, at Braden River Park, 5201 51st St. E., Bradenton.
Highlighting Family Fun Day will be the Opening Day ceremonies and the Home Run Derby.
The event also will feature children’s attractions, including bounce houses, face painting and a dunk tank, a car show by Braden Street Rods, the Southern Manatee Fire Department, music, food and more. Additionally, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office will be doing Ident-a-Kids.
Manatee East Little League also will kickoff the spring little league season with an Opening Day Ceremony from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Feb. 20, at Lakewood Ranch Park, 5500 Lakewood Ranch Blvd.
During the ceremony, each of the teams will be introduced, and the first pitch will be thrown. Later that afternoon, the teams will scrimmage one another.
The event, open to the community, also will feature a Pittsburgh Pirates pitching machine, bounce houses, a dunk tank, contests and raffles, food and more. Additionally, members of the Pittsburgh Pirates will be on hand to sign autographs and give away prizes.
+ Golfers tee off for children
The Manatee County 4-H Foundation is asking local golfers to lend their heads, hearts, hands and health in support of the 19th annual Clover Classic Golf Tournament Feb. 27.
The annual fundraiser, which benefits 4-H youth programs in Manatee County, will begin with a shotgun start at 8 a.m. at The Preserve Golf Club at Tara, 7310 Tara Preserve Lane.
Registration for the event is $100 and includes a green fee, cart, lunch and door prizes. All golfers also will have a chance to qualify for hole-in-one, closest pin and longest drive prizes.
For more info or to register, call 722-4524.
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Instructor jazzes up routine
The East County’s Sue Encke, a jazzercise instructor, recently attended the annual Jazzercise Live event in Washington, D.C., along with more than 1,500 other customers and instructors from across the world.
Tiny Hands supports students
The Tiny Hands Foundation, with the help of more than 200 volunteers, will fill 1,500 backpacks with school supplies for children in need from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 2, at the Boys and Girls Club of Sarasota, 3100 Fruitville Road, Sarasota.
Fund begins wreath sales
The Taylor Emmons Scholarship Fund, established in honor of former Out-of-Door Academy student Taylor Emmons, is at it again.