Tarpon Springs Spongers' playoff win adds to historic season

12:08 AM, Feb 18, 2014   |    comments
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What were you doing in 1947? The Tarpon Springs High School boys basketball team had just won a playoff game.

Since then ... nada.

The Spongers went 69 years between playoff victories until this past week when Jerry Woodka's team beat Hernando in the Class 5A regional quarterfinals.

"We felt like if we worked hard like we did in the summer we could get it," said junior point guard Trai Halton.

In a town better known for docks than dunks, the Spongers are trying to make more history. They set multiple school records this season and can claim a second playoff win in a single season for the first time since 1945 when they face Nature Coast on Tuesday night.

After all they've accomplished this season, why stop now?

"We're making history," said senior Carlos Taylor. "We're all doing it together. It's really been a fun experience. We're just one big family."

Before the season began, Wooka wrote "DISTRICT CHAMPS" on a basketball and hung it from the ceiling in the locker room. Tarpon Springs claimed a district title this year for the first time since 1978. Now, a ball with "REGIONALS" written on it hangs in place of the old ball. The Spongers are focused on a state title run.

"I think we can do it," said Taylor. "I think we can go pretty far."

The Spongers (26-3) travel to Nature Coast to play on Tuesday. If they win, Tarpon Springs could host a regional championship game on February 22.

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