CCLP/TJ MAXWELL - Cove senior Keturah Taylor buries a three-pointer during the No. 14 Lady Dawgs’ 57-54 loss to the No. 9 Killeen Lady Roos on Tuesday. The Lady Dawgs travel to Belton tonight to face the Lady Tigers.


No. 14 Cove edged by No. 9 Killeen in epic 12-6A clash
Cove Leader-Press
A big time showdown between two of the top teams in District 12-6A on paper lived up to the hype on Tuesday as it took a three-point play by Killeen senior guard Tia Hartson with 15 seconds left to propel the No. 9 Killeen Lady Roos past the No. 14 Copperas Cove Lady Dawgs, 57-54, at Bulldawg Gymnasium Tuesday night.
“It played out like we knew,” said Cove head coach Eldridge McAdams. “It was a going to be dogfight. At the end we had some open looks and they just didn’t go in.”
Neither team could take a clear advantage with Cove taking their largest lead of the game of seven points with 4:08 left in the first quarter. Killeen’s largest lead of the game came on a 6-0 spurt to begin the contest in a tight game that saw five lead changes and nine ties, including three in the final 3:11 of the contest.
The Lady Dawgs (20-9, 3-4 in District 12-6A) took a 46-40 lead into the final frame after a strong defensive outing in the third period held the Lady Roos to just seven points in the quarter. However, turnovers by the Lady Dawgs aided the Lady Roos in a 10-2 run to take the 50-48 lead with 5:08 remaining in the contest.
A couple more empty possessions for the Lady Dawgs allowed the Roos to maintain the lead until senior Alex Wilson penetrated the lane for a layup and the 50-50 tie with 3:11 left.
After both teams exchange trips to the free throw line with Hartson connected on both for Killeen before junior Chyanne Chapman repeated the feat at the other end for Cove and a 52-52 tie with 2:18 left.
The 20th turnover of the contest for the Lady Dawgs was the most costly as it prevented a chance to take the lead and allowed Killeen junior Shianne Johnson to give Killeen the 54-52 lead with 1:44 remaining.
A putback by Cove’s Chapman once again knotted the game at 54-54 with 1:16 left, but after Cove missed a pair of point-blank shots, Hartson got the hoop and harm on a fast break off the assist by Johnson with 15 seconds left to secure the win 57-54.
After Killeen jumped out to a 6-0 lead to begin the contest, the Lady Dawgs rallied with a 13-0 run to earn their largest lead of the contest.
Killeen seniors Ke’Aunna Johnson and Carmen Williams began the contest with a pair of second chance points and another basket by Johnson extended that lead to 6-0 before back-to-back buckets by Cove senior Keturah Taylor launched the Lady Dawg’ outburst with a pair of buckets. A traditional three-point play by Chapman paired with back-to-back darts from long range by senior Kaycie Gatewood pushed Cove to the 13-6 advantage.
Killeen (25-4, 7-0) responded with a pair of buckets by Johnson and Williams but another three-pointer, this one by senior Pria Johnson, kept Cove in front by six.
Again, Killeen cut the lead to two, but a hoop and harm by Cove junior Kayla McCloud pushed the lead to five, 19-14, with 53 seconds left in the first.
Killeen’s Johnson converted a Cove turnover to make it a one-possession game after eight minutes of action.
Cold shooting by the Lady Dawgs, paired with a hot run by Killeen flopped the lead and momentum towards the Lady Roos for a 35-31 Killeen lead.
The Lady Dawgs answered the Lady Roos’ run with an 15-5 run of their own that began with a pair of putbacks by Chapman and senior Daisha Hunter and a three-pointer by Taylor to give Cove back the lead, 38-35, and ended with another three by Taylor and an assist from Taylor to Chapman for the 46-40 lead after three.
“We had our chances to win it,” said McAdams. “20 turnovers are still not good, especially against a team like that. Some of them were what they were making us do but some of them were definitely unforced where we were throwing the ball away.”
K. Johnson finished with a game-high 17 points to lead the Lady Roos and wrangled six boards. S. Johnson added 12 points and Williams chipped in, while junior post Jacen Moore had nine points and eight boards.
Leading the Lady Dawgs’ charge was junior Chyanne Chapman with 15 points and nine rebounds, followed by Taylor with 14 points and three assists. 10 of Chapman’s 15 points came in the second half. Gatewood chipped in seven points. The Lady Dawgs shot 40 percent from the field and were 64 percent from the charity stripe.
The Lady Dawgs look to respond tonight when they travel to Belton in an attempt to avenge their first-round 50-44 loss to Belton.
“Going in to Belton, I know it’s going to be a dogfight,” said McAdams. “We’ve just got to regroup and, like I tell the girls, ‘It’s what we do after a loss.’ We try to rebound after a loss. That was one we definitely would have liked to have. It would have been a relief but we’re okay. We’re are still right in the thick of things.”
McAdams knows this is an important one because in this district where nearly half of the teams have graced the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches’ or Texas Girls’ Coaches Association’s Top 25, every game is vital to their playoff chances.
“You can’t sleep on anybody in this district,” he said. “There are no sleepers in this district at all. The records may say one thing but the heart and fight say something else.”
The Lady Dawgs currently sit in a tie for the final playoff spot with Shoemaker and hold the tiebreak advantage with a head-to-head victory. Killeen (7-0) leads 12-6A with Midway (4-2), Belton (4-3), Copperas Cove (3-4), Shoemaker (3-4), Ellison (2-5) and Harker Heights (1-6) rounding out the standings.
Bulldawgs 61, Kangaroos 51
The Bulldawgs boys’ basketball team earned their first district win of the year with a 61-51 road win over the Killeen Kangaroos to keep their hopes alive for a playoff berth. The Bulldawgs currently sit in fifth place with a 1-4 record. No. 9 Shoemaker (5-0), Midway (4-1), Harker Heights (4-1) and Ellison (3-2) currently hold down the four playoff spots with Cove (1-4), Killeen (1-5) and Belton (0-6) rounding out the standings.
Cove looks to earn their second district win tonight when they host the Belton Tigers, who are winless in district.


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