Linville drops 35 in Bulldogs home finale

Talented sophomore scores 25 in the second half to lead Zephyrhills to 84-67 win

Sophomore Preston Linville scored a career-high 35 points to lead Zephyrhills to an 84-67 win over visiting Mitchell Thursday night at the Dog House.

Linville scored 25 of his 35 in the second half to help pace the Bulldogs on a 16-0 run in the third quarter that started as a 39-39 tie. In fast a furious run, the Bulldogs were up 55-39. At the end of the third quarter, Zephyrhills held a commanding 57-45 advantage and went on to the decisive victory.

“Preston was really impressive tonight,” said Head Coach Mike Novak. “He did a great job on the boards. He really went after the ball.”

The win propelled the Bulldogs to a 17-5 record on the season with one game remaining in the regular season.

Zephyrhills will enter the Class 5A-District 6 tournament at Wesley Chapel next week as the top seed and will open tournament play Wednesday. The will face the winner of Tuesday night’s matchup between River Ridge and Cypress Creek.

“It is huge. We needed that,” Novak said. “We gave a game away this week and the guys didn’t sleep well after that. They bounced back today and showed a lot of character. You need that going into districts.

Joining Linville in double figures were Jimmy McAuley and Kevin Pagan with 11 points each.

“We played a good team and we’re going to have to be on our A game to beat whoever we have to beat to get to the District Championship,” Pagan said. “The last few years we were runner up and last year we fell short. This is our senior year and our last shot. We have to win it all.”

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