BROOKSVILLE — Tuesday night, Pete Lahey picked up his first win in his second stint as Hernando coach.
The 57-43 victory came over Zephyrhills, and the Leopards got a jump start from some unexpected sources.
The Leopards (1-1) lost the opener at Nature Coast on Monday and also lost senior leader Rianna Jenkins for the next month, according to Lahey. Without Jenkins, Hernando is relying on the scoring and rebounding talents of Jasmire Brown.
Brown (12 points, seven rebounds) got into foul trouble early, picking up three in the first quarter. With Brown on the bench, Hernando got leadership in the form of Brittany Flowers and Desirae Woods. Flowers, a transfer from Hernando Christian, seems to have picked up where she left off last season, scoring a team-high 18.
"The game at this level has a lot bigger girls," Flowers said. "You have to be more aggressive and work harder to get to the basket."
Woods was dominant on the inside once Brown was out of the game. Her game-high 26 rebounds gave Zephyrhills (0-1) fits. Thanks to Woods' 14 points, the Leopards led the way in second-chance points and overcame an early nine-point deficit.
"I was really impressed with how Desirae came out and took over on the boards," Lahey said.
The Bulldogs led 26-19 at the half after a quick start from guard Danielle Williams (19 points), but once she was tabbed with her third foul early in the third quarter, the team lost momentum.