A nailbiter in the Doghouse

Bulldogs fall 46-44 to Winthrop College Prep Academy

Zephyrhills shot a dismal 12-for-23 from the free throw line contributing greatly to a 46-44 loss to Winthrop College Prep Academy Friday night at home.

In a game where they trailed throughout except until late in the fourth quarter, foul shooting and shots inside that would not fall led to the Bulldogs second loss of the season dropping them to 13-2 overall.

“Foul shooting was the difference in the game obviously,” said a disappoint Bulldogs’ Coach Mike Novak. “You have to make free throws. Both teams played hard. They made some mistakes. We made a lot of mistakes. They are a tough, well-coach team. We weren’t at our best.”

The Bulldogs were led by Jimmy McCauley’s 15 points followed by 12 from Kevin Pagan.

The Bulldogs led 2-0 early in the game and never saw the lead again. They were able erase a six-point deficit in the fourth quarter when they tied the score 38-38 with 3:24 remaining in the game. The tie was short-live when Winthrop’s Fero Christian canned a three-pointer to put the Spartans up 41-38.

With just over two minutes to play, Senior Kevin Pagan pulled the Bulldogs within a point 41-40 with a layup. Winthrop broke Zephyrhills’ trap defense and at up some time before adding another three to make it 44-40.

Coach Novak took a timeout with 1:25 to play to set up a play. McCauley was fouled made the first free throw, but missed the second to close the gap at and make it a one possession game at 44-41. The Spartans answered a pair of free throw with 40 seconds to play to grab a 45-41 lead.

On the Bulldogs’ next possession, Linville had a clean look at the basket for three but it wouldn’t fall. Winthrop got the rebound, but McCauley got a steal and was fouled. He missed the front end of a one-and-one with 22 seconds left and Winthrop got the ball back and the Bulldogs were forced to foul with 16 seconds remaining down by four, 45-41. The Spartans made the first free throw, but missed the second.

The Bulldogs got the ball with 16.7 seconds left and Pagan was fouled on a three-point attempt and made all three free throw to pull the Bulldogs within a point at 45-44 with 7.5 seconds remaining. The Bulldogs fouled with 5.6 seconds left. Winthrop made one of the free throws to make it 46-44. Zephyrhills pulled down the rebound but a steal by the Spartan sealed the game.

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