CCLP/TJ MAXWELL - Cove junior Neyland Block defends Lake Travis junior Ben Hoellwarth during the Dawgs’ 65-54 loss to the Cavs on Tuesday.Cove junior Tyrese Cooley drives to the hole in front of Lake Travis senior Justin Cardus.CCLP/TJ MAXWELL - Cove sophomore Quinton Ford drives the lane for two points in fron of Lake Travis sophomore D.J. Thorpe during the Bulldawgs’ 65-54 loss to the Cavaliers Tuesday in Austin.


Slow start, coupled with sharp shooting by Lake Travis Cavaliers, cost Bulldawgs in 65-54 loss
Cove Leader-Press
AUSTIN – The Lake Travis Cavaliers drained nearly every shot they put up while the rim was not so friendly to the Copperas Cove Bulldawgs in their 65-54 loss Tuesday afternoon at Lake Travis
The Cavs hit eight three-pointers and the Dawgs missed a dozen shots on the way to a 45-18 Lake Travis lead after the first 22 minutes of action.
“We couldn’t guard them for a while there,” said Copperas Cove head basketball coach Billy White Jr. “It seemed like they hit everything they put up. There were a few corner threes that they knocked down. On the flip side of that, we couldn’t put the ball in the bucket. We had a few chip-ins early but we couldn’t convert on them and that’s been a problem over the last couple of games where we hadn’t been able to convert on those chip-ins.
“(Their lead) ballooned after their third or fourth three and it was an uphill battle from there. We have to make sure we get stops and, multiple stops and consecutive stops.”
A traditional three-point play by senior Tyrese Cooley kick started an 11-0 run in the final two minutes of the third quarter for a 45-29 Lake Travis lead heading into the fourth quarter.
A dunk off a steal by Cove sophomore Quinton Ford, two inbound play connections from junior Justus Honea to junior Frank Alvarado and a dish from Neyland Block to Jyhlil Rice accounted for the other eight points in the run.
The Dawgs nearly doubled their first three quarter output in the fourth quarter alone, scoring 25 points in the final eight minutes of action after mustering just 29 points through 18 minutes of play.
“Once we started making some stops, we were able to get some buckets,” said White. “There was a definite correlation with that. When we defended them and stopped them from getting buckets, we were able to get out in transition and put the ball in the bucket.”
The Dawgs (9-7, 0-1 in Dstrict 8-6A) outscored the Cavs 36-20 over the final 10 minutes of play. Unfortunately for the Dawgs, the Cavs were able to put up 20 points of their own in the fourth to hold off the Cove rally.
After increasing the lead to 19, 52-35, on a three-pointer by Lake Travis sophomore Bennett Mohn and a dunk by sophomore Garrett Wilson, the Dawgs closed on a 21-14 run.
Alvarado made his 14th of his game-high 16 points on a 14-foot jumper to start the run. Junior Jacob Carter added seven quick points to give Cove a lift off the bench. He connected on 4 for 5 free throws and buried a three to help the Dawgs trim the lead back to 14, 61-47, with 2:26 remaining. A pair of drives to the bucket by Rice and a three by Honea closed out the game with a 7-2 Cove run.
A traditional three-point play by Honea and a bucket by Alvarado on the assist by Rice gave Cove a 5-3 lead to open the contest but back-to-back threes by junior Luke Hamilton flipped the lead to Lake Travis, 9-5. A jumper by Alvarado pulled Cove back within two, 9-7, but the Cavs finished the quarter on an 8-0 run on a drive by sophomore Ryan Bormann, a putback by sophomore Brett Baty and a three by Wilson.
The Cavs (12-5, 1-0) increased their lead to 14, 23-9, with a 6-0 run to begin the second quarter. A step-back three and a driving layup by Ford and a bucket by junior Jonathan Wolverton within 11, 27-16.
The Cavs finished the half on a 5-0 run to double Cove’s output at the break, 32-16. Shots by sophomore DJ Thorpe and Bormann accounted for the Cavs’ scoring.
A 15-2 Lake Travis run to begin the third quarter put the game out of reach for the Dawgs. The Cavs almost didn’t miss while the Dawgs missed several point-blank shots.
“It’s starting to become an epidemic,” White said of the cold shooting. “I talk to our team about not making those chip-in shots. I said, ‘These are shots we’ve taken hundreds of times in practice
A drive by Baty, a pair of three-pointers by Bormann, and a three-pointer and a drive by Hamilton pushed the Cavalier lead to 45-18.
White didn’t like the loss but was glad they were able to battle without it going against the district record. He was also proud of the fight shown by his team, especially some of his bench players.
“It is vital,” White said. “That was another thing that we were proud of today. We were able to get some other guys in there and they played some quality minutes. I’m very proud of those guys that went in and competed with that uphill battle. They did what they needed to do to get us back in it.
“Hopefully, (they learned) quite a bit because there are some guys we are going to need to rely on down the stretch going into the most important part of our season. If we can plug two or three guys in here or there, it will work wonders for our teams. With the district schedule you have foul trouble that comes into play. When you have guys that have quality time it really helps.”
Ford added 12 points to Alvarado’s 16 for the Dawgs. Carter added seven points off the bench followed by Rice (6), Honea (6), Cooley (5), and Wolverton (2).
Wilson led the Cavaliers with 13 points followed by Bormann (12), Hamilton (12), Baty (8), Mohn (6), Thorpe (5), senior Justin Cardus (4) and junior Mark Lackey (2). 

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