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North Port Athletic Rewind

Good things ahead for Bobcat boys basketball

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North Port’s boys basketball team has gotten off to an impressive start this season, already notching wins against rival Port Charlotte and district opponent Gulf Coast.

The Bobcats, now 2-1, are looking to improve on last season’s strong performance. The squad, which features eight seniors this year, focused on forming bonds and building chemistry during the offseason.

“The coaches have been preaching about playing as a team and communicating,” senior point guard Brandon Graff said.

It appears that practice has paid off. The Bobcats also conducted workouts and played more than 20 exhibition games throughout the summer.

“I believe we are finding success early in the season due to the hard work this offseason,” head coach Ryan Power said.

The Bobcats certainly got the year off to an exciting start by beating their rival, Port Charlotte, in a 55-52 thriller. It marks the first time North Port has topped the Pirates in boys basketball since the 2013-2014 season.

“We were on a losing streak with them, and it was nice to snap that,” Graff said.

The Bobcats followed that up with a 69-54 victory over Gulf Coast in their first district matchup of the year. North Port took an early lead, going up by nine in the first quarter, and never looked back.

The first loss of the season, 63-58, was against Riverdale High School in Fort Myers. Despite the recent defeat, Bobcat fans still have a lot to be excited about this year.

Power is optimistic that the team could make a postseason run if it continues its hard work.

“I expect the team to use each day of practice and regular season game to develop winning habits and gain team chemistry,” he said. “If we are able to meet this expectation, then we will be playing our best basketball in February once it’s time for district playoffs.”

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