Bulldawgs finish 3-2 in Marble Falls Subway Classic

By TJ MAXWELL
Cove Leader-Press

MARBLE FALLS – The Copperas Cove Bulldawgs’ varsity basketball team fought back from a first-round loss to Hutto to play in the championship game of the 2018 Subway Classic basketball tournament held in Marble Falls over the weekend. 
The Dawgs opened the tournament with a 74-62 loss to the Hutto Hippos before reeling off three-straight wins to earn a rematch against the Hippos in the title game on Saturday.
Copperas Cove took a 31-25 lead in the first half but 49 points in the second half by the Hippos proved too much in the loss.
Senior Quinton Ford had 31 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Dawgs while senior Tyrese Taylor added 14 points and 14 rebounds.
The Dawgs roared back with a 72-27 win over Santa Gertrudis Academy, led by Isaiah Sobers’ 20 points and five three-pointers. Ford added 12 and Taylor chipped in 10.
On day two, the Dawgs downed Leander Tom Glenn 63-50 to earn a spot in the Gold Bracket semifinals against Liberty Hill on Friday evening.
The Dawgs jumped out to a 20-13 lead in the first quarter on their way to a lopsided 32-18 halftime lead. Ford had 20 points in the half to lead the Dawgs.
Tom Glenn battled back in the third quarter to cut the Cove lead to single digits, 41-32, midway through the third quarter. 
Cove responded with a 9-3 run to take a 14-point advantage, 55-41, into the final frame. 
A traditional three-point play by Ford extended the Cove lead to 17, 60-43, with 6:03 left. 
The Grizzlies would cut the lead back to 13 but that’s as close as they would get.
Ford had 33 points to lead all scorers and nine rebounds while Taylor added 19 points and 15 boards. 
The Dawgs then defeated Liberty Hill 72-56 to earn the rematch with Taylor leading the way with 28 points and 11 boards in the win.
In Saturday’s title game against the Hippos, the long-range shot by Hutto was the difference in the game. The Hippos hit nine three-pointers, including five in the lopsided third quarter.
Neither team could take the early advantage with four ties through the first 18 points. Three-consecutive field goals by the Dawgs gave them the slight advantage at 16-12 before five unanswered points by the Hippos gave them a 17-16 lead after one quarter.
A trio of three-pointers by Cove senior guard Maurice Toney, junior Jerome Gaillard and Sobers gave Cove a 25-19 lead with just over five minutes left in the period.
The Hippos finished the first half on a 11-3 run to take a 30-28 lead at the half. Hutto junior guard Micah Williams scored all 11 points for Hutto in the run. 
The Hippos then took control in the third quarter with a 16-1 run. Hutto junior Jean-Pierre Sanders scored 11 of Hutto’s 16 points in the run. 
A pair of three-pointers by Sobers pulled the Dawgs back within 11, 46-35, before Hutto senior Markiet Loggins Jr. answered with a three for a 49-35 Hutto lead on the way to a 55-42 lead after three quarters.
Free throws by Cove junior Ahmad Pierce and sophomore Jon McDowell and a pair of baskets by Taylor pulled the Dawgs back within single digits, 56-48, with 5:40 remaining.
Another three-pointer by Sobers pulled Cove within seven, 60-53, with 3:43 left but that’s a s close as they would get in the 69-59 loss.
Tyrese Taylor finished with 17 points and 18 rebounds to lead the Dawgs. Toney added 13 points and Isaiah Sobers had 12 points (all on three-pointers).
The Dawgs (5-5 overall) will host the Killeen Kangaroos tonight in the second game of a varsity double-header. The varsity girls open the show at 6:30 p.m. with the varsity boys to follow.

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