Bulldawgs fall to Killeen, 69-66, in District 12-6A opener

By TJ MAXWELL
Cove Leader-Press

The Copperas Cove Bulldawgs led 50-49 heading into the fourth quarter of their district contest against the Kangaroos in the second game of a varsity double-header Tuesday night at Bulldawg Gymnasium.
Both teams battled back and forth before a pair of trips to the free-throw line by Cove seniors Quinton Ford and Tyrese Taylor knotted the game at 64-all with 1:55 left in the game.
The Roos then finished on a 5-2 run to secure the road win. The Roos shot 5 for 8 free throws down the stretch for the 69-66 win.
“All in all, I thought the guys played solid,” said Copperas Cove boys’ head basketball coach Travis Boyce Jr. “I just feel like there were a few plays we left out there towards the end that we’ve got to finish.
“It was hard trying to find a rhythm. In the second half, I got guys in there that I felt played well together, got after it and had the intensity level that I needed them to have.”
It looked like Cove may run away with the game in the early goings as a basket by Taylor,a traditional three-point play by junior Jerome Gaillard and another Gaillard basket had the Dawgs up 7-2.
A pair of perfect trips to the charity stripe by Ford and a steal for a dunk by senior Maurice Toney made it a 14-6 Cove lead before Killeen began to chip away at the Cove lead.
A three-pointer by senior Terrance Mackenzie and a pair of baskets by senior Cortez Ivie helped the Roos narrow the lead to one, 16-15, at the end of one.
The Roos then scored six unanswered points as part of a 16-7 run that gave Killeen a 31-23 lead.
Baskets by Ford and junior Ahmad Pierce along with a free throw by Gaillard helped the Dawgs cut the deficit to five, 33-28, at the break.
The Dawgs outscored the Roos in the third quarter but could only get within one, 50-49, heading into the final frame. 
Ford led the Dawgs with 24 points and eight rebounds while Gaillard had 13, Tony had 12 points and Taylor had 11 points and 11 boards. Pierce (4) and sophomore Jon McDowell (2) closed out the Cove scoring.
Ivie led the Roos with 20 points followed by senior Jackson Taylor with 17 and junior Mike House with 11.
The Dawgs are currently playing in the Austin LBJ tournament before returning home for a district clash with Waco Tuesday at 8 p.m.
“We’ve just got to stay encouraged,” said Boyce. “That’s just one of 16 so we have 15 more district ball games. We’re going to continue to get better and that’s our plan. 
“We have a tournament at Austin LBJ this weekend where we can get five or six more games under our belt, get some experience and be ready to play Waco next Tuesday.”

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