Llanes and Bulldogs hold off Wiregrass

In a physical matchup, Zephyrhills downs the Bulls 47-40

Zephyrhills Senior Maya Llanes had some unfinished business on the basketball court with the Wiregrass Ranch Bulls.

Nearly a year ago, Lllanes and the Lady Bulldogs fell to the Bulls 55-49 in a very physical game. Tuesday night was a night of payback as Llanes scored 20 points leading Zephyrhills to a 47-40 win over the Bulls.

“There’s a lot of animosity between Zephyrhills and Wiregrass, so it was beat them to the ground,” Llanes said.  “We lost to them last year and we were determined that we weren’t going to lose again. This is our senior year and we are playing extra hard.”

Llanes and the Bulldogs played inspired defense keeping the Bulls from finishing a second-half comeback. Wiregrass made a rally in the fourth quarter closing the Zephyrhills lead to 39-37 with 3:05 left, but the Bulldogs pulled away going on a 8-3 run to close out the game.

Llanes scored 13 of her game-high 20 points in the second half. Mikayla Cintron finished with 11 points and Madison Driggers added 10.

Zephyrhills jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter, but couldn’t keep up the pace and the Bulls fought back in the final minute of the quarter and then outscored the Bulldogs, 9-6 in the second quarter. The Bulldogs held a 25-16 lead at halftime.

“For some reason, we have to learn how to win,” said head coach Chris Smith. “We come out strong and let teams get back in the game. That is going to hurt you against a superior team.

“We came out just the way we wanted to and then we got complacent. If we play like we can play and understand we can win, we’ll be tough to beat.”

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