Copperas Cove girls’, boys’ hoops each suffer another tough loss
By TJ MAXWELL
The season started strong for both the Copperas Cove girls’ and boys’ basketball teams but has since fallen off the pace for one of the top four playoff-qualifying spots in District 12-6A with a string of losses. The latest of which came in lopsided losses to the Ellison Eagles.
The Lady Dawgs fell at home in a 61-38 loss to the Lady Eagles to fall to 3-8 in district play in sixth place while the Bulldawgs fell 80-55 on the road against the Eagles to fall to 2-7 in district for seventh place.
The Lady Dawgs kept it close in the early goings of their loss to Ellison, trailing just 21-15 with just over a minute to play in the first half. However, the Lady Eagles outscored the Lady Dawgs 40-23 over the final 17-plus minutes of action to take the 61-38 win and move to 9-2 in 12-6A in a tie for first with Harker Heights (9-2).
The Lady Eagles scored six of the game’s first eight points before trips to the free throw line by junior Elianah Eady-Smith and senior Danielle McGriff made it a one-possession game 7-5.
The Lady Eagles then scored six unanswered on baskets by seniors Evelyn Lorenzo and Allison Owens for a 13-5 lead after one quarter.
Struggles from the free throw line by the Lady Dawgs helped the Lady Eagles pull even further ahead as Owens added another score and Lorenzo converted a three-point play for an 18-5 Ellison lead with 3:50 left in the half.
Cove sophomore Taylor Wilson broke the scoring drought with a basket and a traditional three-point play while McGriff hit 1 for 2 free throws to narrow the gap to nine, 20-11.
Two free throws by senior Jordan McGhee and a basket by sophomore Shakaira Zeigler pulled Cove within six, 21-15.
The Eagles closed the half with a three-pointer from sophomore Asia Zachary for a 24-15 Ellison lead at the halftime break.
Two quick baskets by Lorenzo and senior Kira Bass pushed Ellison’s lead to 13, 28-15, before a three-pointer by Cove’s McGhee again made it a 10-point contest.
A basket by Owens and 1 for 2 free throws by Bass pushed the lead back to 13 before baskets by Zeigler and Eady-Smith cut the Lady Eagles’ lead to single digits, 31-22.
That would be the closest the Lady Dawgs would get as baskets by Owens, Lorenzo and junior Kania Prichett pushed Ellison’s lead to 15.
A pair of free throws by Cove junior T’Shayla Marrie made it a 37-24 score at the end of three quarters.
The Lady Eagles increased their lead to 19 with baskets by Owens and Lorenzo and two free throws by Lorenzo.
A putback by Eady-Smith slowed the Ellison run briefly before baskets by Owens and Bass pushed Ellison’s lead to 21, 47-26, with 4:47 remaining.
A basket, a three-pointer, and a traditional three-point play by Cove helped narrow the gap to 17, 51-34, before the Lady Eagles closed the game on a 10-4 run to secure the 61-38 win.
Owens had 19 points, six rebounds, and a block while Lorenzo added 19 points, two rebounds, an assist, and a steal to lead the Lady Eagles. Bass finished with 11 points and six rebounds followed by Nekhiah Fiffee (5 pts), Zachary (3 pts, 5 rebs), Prichett (3 pts, asst.), and senior Daejah Hackney (1 pt, asst).
McGhee led the Lady Dawgs with 12 points, four steals and two rebounds. Eady-Smith added eight points, five rebounds, and a steal followed by Wilson (7 pts, 2 rebs), Marrie (5 pts, 3 stls, 3 rebs) Zeigler (4 pts, 7 rebs), and McGriff (2 pts, 3 rebs, asst).
Bulldawgs fall to Eagles 80-55
The Bulldawgs have been in a tailspin since starting district with a big win over Temple. They have since lost 7 of the last 8 games and had two players suspended for the season due to a fight that broke out in the fourth quarter of the district matchup against Harker Heights on Jan. 18.
The Bulldawgs kept it close in the first half against the Eagles trailing by just seven, 35-28.
However, the Eagles outscored the Bulldawgs 45-27 in the second half to secure the 80-55 win.
The Bulldawgs were led by junior Henry Sanchez with 19 points followed by sophomore Bryce Smith with 12.
The Lady Dawgs and Bulldawgs face Belton tonight with the Lady Dawgs traveling to Belton and the Tigers coming to Bulldawg Gymnasium for a crowd-less matchup. The school is not allowing spectators and the Bulldawgs’ remaining home games with the exception of four guests per player for senior night in the season finale against Killeen on Tuesday, Feb. 15.