These are the top five sports moments from 2018.
These two teams' first meeting could be argued as where it all started for Mainland coach Joe Giddens and co. The Buccaneers hosted area powerhouse Atlantic on Jan. 19. With 17 seconds remaining and the game tied at 56 in front of a packed gym, Mainland guard Taron Keith dribbled the ball up the court. With 10 seconds remaining, Johnny Brown set a screen for Keith, who was trapped by a pair of Sharks defenders. With 5 seconds remaining, Keith desperately flung the ball to teammate Deyonte Tucker, who quickly shuffled the ball to Brown, who stood alone under the basket. The ball left Brown’s left hand, kissed the backboard and sank through the hoop as the game clock expired. Mainland won 58-56. The Buccaneers took down the Sharks in their second meeting, as well, topping Atlantic 55-49 on Jan. 24 on the Sharks' home court. And on Dec. 14, the Buccaneers faced the Sharks for a third time, leading by as much as 14 in the fourth quarter. The Sharks stormed back and sent the game into overtime with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer at the end of regulation. The Sharks led by 3 with 3 seconds remaining in double overtime when Brown stole the inbounds pass and launched a 3-pointer to keep the Buccaneers, who won in triple overtime, alive.
Sandcrabs soccer a breath away from state title
Seabreeze's boys soccer team was 4 seconds away from a penalty kick shootout against American Heritage that would decide the winner of the Class 3A state championship. However, the Patriots’ Sebastian Vidarte ripped a ball from just inside the 18-yard box. The shot grazed the finger tips of Sandcrabs goal keeper Cameron Bowling. The Sandcrabs lost 1-0 on Feb. 24 at Spec Martin Stadium. However, it was still a year to remember for the Sandcrabs, who won 17 games and a regional title.
Seabreeze's Korfant qualifies for states
Sandcrabs swimmer Luke Korfant had never advanced to the state swim meet prior to 2018. Regardless, the senior finished the 100-yard freestyle in the Class 3A Region 2 meet on Nov. 3 with a time of 49.5 seconds to qualify. Korfant didn't make it out of the preliminary heat, but he was the first Sandcrabs swimmer in three years to advance to states. Victor Toth was the last to do so.
Mainland stopped just short of Final Four
Not much was expected of the Buccaneers before the 2017-18 season began — at least not for the fans. Mainland's boys basketball team completed the 2016-17 season with 13 losses and only five wins. Joe Giddens, who was on the Buccaneers' championship-winning team with best friend Vince Carter in 1995, was hired to replace then-head coach Landis McCoy. The Buccaneers responded with one of their most successful seasons in recent memory. They won 21 games and came up just short of advancing to the Class 7A Final Four. The Buccaneers lost to Hillsborough 53-49 on March 2 to close the season.
Is it even a rivalry?
For the longest time, Mainland-Seabreeze football was a storied rivalry. That hasn't been the case for almost a decade, however. The Buccaneers pounded the Sandcrabs 43-0 on Oct. 26 at Daytona Stadium. It was the second straight year the Buccaneers held the Sandcrabs scoreless, and it was Mainland's eighth straight win over its crosstown rival.