Sophomore Jade King scored a game high 28 points to help Zephyrhills hold on for a 48-47 win over Cypress Creek Wednesday night.
The win boosted the Bulldogs to a 2-0 record on the young 2022-23 season. Zephyrhills took 39-22 win in the season opener Tuesday over Fivay.
“We need to have trust in each other,” King said of her team coming together. “We have to help each other. We have a long way to go. We’re a family and we have to help each other if we’re going to be successful.”
King was a dominant force leading the Bulldogs in scoring every quarter picking 17 points in the first half leading Zephyrhills to a 27-17 halftime lead. The Coyotes chipped away at the Bulldogs’ lead down the stretch, but it wasn’t enough.
“It was fun watching them get the win,” Smith said, breathing a sigh of relief after the narrow win. “It was fun to see them make some improvements throughout the game. They could have buckled, but they really stepped up in the fourth quarter.”
The Lady Bulldogs are back in action after the Thanksgiving break when they host River Ridge Nov. 29.
Coach Chris Smith is rebuilding with a young squad loaded with underclassmen and with one senior in Ahmeisha Hicks. He is replacing star players Maya Llanes, Mikayla Cintron, Makenna Campbell and Madison Driggers, who accounted for more than 35 points per game and were dominant defensive players.
Smith did lose leadership, but he gained a team that will be full of leaders this season.
“”Everybody will contribute in that role one way or another,” Smith said. “Whether it’s vocally or leading by example, everybody will take some of that leadership responsibility.”