BROOKSVILLE – The Zephyrhills Bulldogs defeated the Countryside Cougars 59-64 to advance in the winner’s bracket in The Nature Coast Holiday Shootout.

Neither team could get their legs in the opening quarter with the Bulldogs eking out a slim 9-7 advantage after the opening 8 minutes.

The second session was a completely different story. Tyreese Wigfall led Zephyrhills in the second period scoring with 9 as the Bulldogs found their running game and put up 22 in the second to take a 11-point 31-20 lead at the half.

The Cougars found their stride after halftime keeping pace with Zephyrhills. Alex Vitucci had 10 in the third that included two from 3-point range. Max Thorpe had the other score from beyond the bonus line.

Trailing by 13 going into the final period Countryside made up ground sinking four 3-pointers in the final period but it was not enough to catch Zephyrhills.

Vitucchi was the high scorer for Countryside with 22 points. Mikey Shane was the only other Cougar in double figures with 20.

Derico Quilles led the Bulldogs with 15 and Kevin Pagan had 14 points on the night. The Bulldogs will go on to play Land O’ Lakes Saturday afternoon at 3:30 in the second round.