By Steve Lee
Tuesday was a memorable night for the Zephyrhills girls’ basketball team and not just because it was Senior Night. The Bulldogs dominated Hudson in a 66-19 win.
“It’s important,” Zephyrhills coach Chris Smith said of getting a victory on Senior Night. “If you lose on a celebratory night it could ruin your season.”
The Bulldogs improved to 7-5 overall and 7-3 in Class 6A, District 8. Winless Hudson is at the other end of the spectrum at 0-15 including an 0-10 mark in the district.
Holding on to a slim lead at 13-12 after Hudson’s Kaitlyn McCarty banked in a 3-point shot, Zephyrhills went on a 19-0 run that turned the game around. The Bulldogs outscored the Cobras by a 21-8 margin in the second quarter. That run continued throughout the game and wound up at 53-7 by the time the final buzzer sounded.
Afterward, celebrating the significant win with their teammates were seniors Paige Johnson, Chelsea Jones, Etrinity Stewart, Zariah Burns and the Potwin sisters, Juliana and Janeice. Janeice hit a baseline 3-pointer in the waning seconds to account for the final margin.
“I just shot,” she said. “I was hoping it was going to go in.”
Taija McCullough, a sophomore guard, scored a game-high 21 points to lead the Bulldogs. Johnson added 12 and Jones just missed scoring in double figures with 9 points. Freshman Maya Llanes added 7 off the bench.