CCLP/TJ MAXWELL - Cove senior Kaycie Gatewood fires from three-point range during the Lady Dawgs 59-47 win over Heights.

Cove closer to playoffs with 59-47 win over Heights

Cove Leader-Press
On one the biggest nights of their high school careers the senior-laden Lady Dawgs (22-11, 5-6) knew they needed to win one final game on their home court to keep any chances at a postseason berth alive.
After a 1-for-17 shooting performance and two-point second quarter, it looked like that win may not come but, after a halftime gut check, the Lady Dawgs took destiny in their own hands and control of their 12-6A clash with Harker Heights by outscoring the Lady Knights 29-14 in the final 10:32 of game action.
“I told them in the locker room, ‘we’ve got to play our game,’” said Cove head coach Eldridge McAdams. “We were trying to do too much. In the first half we were 3-for-15 and that was inside the paint. Those are shots we’ve got to make. In the second half we came out and let the game come to us and we started making those shots we were missing in the first half.”
Trailing by five points mid-way through the third period, the Lady Dawgs took control of the contest when senior Kaycie Gatewood scored seven points on two trips down court to swap the lead to a five point Cove surplus, 37-32.
Gatewood connected on a three-pointer to give the Lady Dawgs back the lead, 33-32, and extended the lead when another three attempt resulted in a three-shot personal foul and two-shot technical foul in which she made 4-for-5 for the 37-32 lead with 59 seconds left in the third.
“I feel like it was a momentum changer because we were down by two coming out,” said Gatewood. “We made sure that we at least put up shots for the rebounders to get if we didn’t make them. The first few weren’t going in but I didn’t stop. I just kept shooting, then the first one went in and on the second one I got fouled and they got a technical foul. I feel like that switched the game.”
Strong rebounding and defense helped launch the run. Rebounds by senior Daisha Hunter and Alex Wilson on the offensive end resulted in second chance points to begin the run.
An offensive rebound and putback by Wilson pulled the Lady Lady within three to begin the scoring onslaught and Wilson closed Cove’s fourth quarter scoring with a shot from beyond the arc to give a 40-32 advantage.
Heights’ junior Sheanne Ellis-Clayton hit cut the lead to five, 40-35, to close the quarter with the fifth of her school record-breaking seven three-pointers in the game.
Cove then took control in the final eight minutes, extending their lead to as many as 15 points.
A pair of drives for buckets by senior Keturah Taylor and Wilson pushed Cove’s lead back to eight and a pair of buckets in the paint in the post by junior Chyanne Chapman and Hunter pushed the Lady Dawgs lead to 12, 48-36.
Big shots by Heights’ Brittany Weisheit and Ellis-Clayton pulled the Lady Knights within three possessions, 51-44, with 3:01 left.
The Lady Dawgs stretched that lead to 15 with an 8-0 run paced by a 10-foot jumper by Taylor and 6-for-6 free throws by Gatewood and Hunter.
Ellis-Clayton then set the new Harker Heights three-pointer record with her seventh three and gamehigh 28 points on the final shot of the 59-47 loss.
Gatewood, who had a team-high 16 points in the contest, feels defense is what earned the win.
“I feel like we rebounded and played better defense in the second half and we weren’t letting Sheanne (Ellis-Clayton) touch the ball as much as she was the first,” she said. “She had 16 points in the first half and we wanted to make sure she wasn’t going to get those 16 again. She was a game-changer so we tried to stop her and that helped us.”
Leading that defense charge was Wilson, who snared a game-high 11 rebounds to go with her 10 points and four steals.
Taylor chipped in 15 points, six rebounds and two steals for the Lady Dawgs while Hunter had 13 points and 10 boards for the second double-double of the game for Lady Dawgs.
The seniors exchanged embraces with fellow teammates in an emotional post-game gathering before the 10 seniors then laid their jerseys in a circle surrounding the Bulldawg logo at mid-court.
“It was just pure joy,” Wilson aid about winning the final home game as a senior. “We finished our last home game with a win. It was very bittersweet to put those jerseys out because now its becoming real that we’re seniors and we’ll be going our separate ways.”
The Lady Dawgs now need to take care of business on the road tonight at Shoemaker to ensure their playoff spot. “We’ve got to compete,” said McAdams. “We can’t wait until the last half of the fourth quarter to compete.
We’ve got to come out and play from start to finish. Their emotions are going to be high. It’s going to be senior night and they haven’t been to the playoffs for a while so they’re going to come at us. It’s going to definitely be a playoff atmosphere.”
Motivation is easy for this one with everything on the line, says Gatewood, but knowing the team could earn their coach his 200th win at the same time gives them extra motivation.
“We’d be happy to get him his 200th win before he leaves so I feel like that will motivate us to do better,” she said.


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