After a slow start, Zephyrhills put the pedal to the medal to fly past visiting Wesley Chapel 75-55 Friday night at the Dog House.
Paced by Preston Linville’s 28-point performance, the Bulldogs were able to outgun the Wildcats turning an 18-8 deficit in the first quarter into 52-39 lead after the third quarter. Kevin Pagan added 18 points and eight rebounds for ZHS.
Zephyrhills started its rally in the second quarter outscoring Wesley Chapel 23-12 to take a 31-30 lead into the locker room at halftime. Linville led the way with eight points in the quarter followed by six from Jimmy McCauley.
Linville stepped up in the third with a three-point shooting lesson canning four from outside the arc. He finished the quarter with 14 points.
In the final quarter as the Bulldogs left the Wildcats behind, Linville was solid from the foul line canning six of eight from the charity stripe. McCauley finished the game with 15 points.
“The guys were amped up for the game and once they settled down and got a few stops, it changed the complexion of the game,” said Zephyrhills coach Mike Novak. “We had to get our feet underneath us.”
Zephyrhills is 2-0 on the season with a pair of district victories.
“It’s definitely important, but there is a lot of basketball left to play,” Novak said.