Dawg Fight

Cove girls bury Burnet 62-39 in non-district finale
By TJ MAXWELL
 
The Copperas Cove Lady Dawgs used a true team effort to down a feisty Burnet Lady Dogs’ squad in their non-district final.
 
All but one Cove player put points on the board in the dominant 62-39 win to push the Lady Dawgs to 13-4 overall.
 
Cove fought off a furious rally in the second quarter by Burnet to secure the win. After taking a 20-6 lead after eight minutes of action, the Burnet Lady Dogs shot out on a 12-3 run to pull within two possessions, 23-18, on a three-pointer by senior Afabiana Brooks.
 
The Lady Dawgs put together a run of their own to close the half with a 15-point lead, 35-20.
 
“We were able to keep our composure,” Cove head coach Eldridge McAdams said about the Burnet rally. “It was good that we were able to counteract their run with our own run. Those girls have heart and they’re going to scrap and fight to the end. That’s one thing about a team like that, you can never count them out of a game because they’ll go on a run and they definitely get after it.”
 
Buckets by junior post Chyanne Chapman and senior Keturah Taylor kicked off the 12-2 run and senior Kacie Gatewood buried a three to push the score to 31-18.
 
“They went on a run of making shots,” said Taylor. ”We just had to recover and start making our shots. Really, just get back in the post and stop taking outside shots.”
 
Chapman and Gatewood closed out the half with perfect trips to the free throw line.
 
“Kacie is our sleeper,” said McAdams. “If she’s shooting well she’ll do that, if not, she’ll put a head fake on you and try to get to the line. If we can keep her going, she’s going to help.”
 
The Lady Dawgs extended their lead to 23, 49-26, with eight minutes remaining after outscoring Burnet 14-6 in the third quarter.
 
Senior post Daisha Hunter scored six of Cove’s 14 points in the frame, including a pair of putbacks. Hunter had 10 rebounds in the contest, including six on the offensive glass. Chapman also nabbed 10 rebounds and scored a team-high 13 points and junior McCloud added four points and six rebounds from the post position.
 
“Those three, (Kayla) McCloud, (Daisha Hunter) and Chyanne (Chapman), they are very important to what we have to do,” said McAdams. We shoot outside and we know Chyanne and (Daisha) are going to get a rebound. Chyanne had a double-double and (Daisha) was one point away. Anytime you get 20 rebounds between those two, that’s pretty dang good. That means they’re getting rebounds on the offensive and defensive ends. It limits the opponents from doing their thing and also gives us extra shots.”
 
Hunter knows when their post play is on they are tough to beat and that they will need to step up for a very competitive District 12-6A that begins tonight at Killeen High School.
 
“When the post players are hot, then everybody gets hot,” she said. “In district, we’re really going to need our post play I don’t feel like we’ll do very well.”
 
A three-pointer from senior Mya Goudeau coming in off the bench gave Cove their largest lead of the night at 49-24 before Burnet’s Brooks turned a steal into points to close the period.
 
Burnet cut back into the Cove lead from the charity stripe to begin the fourth period, cutting the lead to 20, 52-32, after free throws from Brooks and junior Izzy Ramon. A putback by Brooks and another trip to the stripe by Ramon cut the Cove lead to 18 but the Lady Dawgs finished the contest on a 9-4 run.
 
A pair of buckets by Chapman bookended another three by Goudeau and a basket by senior Dahja Ray.
 
Hunter added nine points to Chapman’s 13 while Gatewood contributed nine and Taylor added eight.
 
Brooks led all scorers with 15 points for Burnet followed by sophomore Marissa Escamilla (8) and Ashley Bernal (6).
 
Cove begins district play tonight against the No. 24-ranked and defending 12-6A champion Killeen Kangaroos.
 
“It’s here and we’re excited,” said McAdams. “That’s what the season is about. We are looking forward to a competitive district. We saw some of the district foes here tonight. I think everybody in this area is ready for it and we’re ready to strap it on and see what we can do.”
 
McAdams and his squad have their work cut out for them in one of the most competitive districts in Texas. Three of the seven 12-6A teams are currently ranked and four of the seven have been in the rankings, including Cove. Shoemaker is currently ranked 23rd and Waco Midway is 10th.
 
“People are knowing and seeing what we’ve got and that’s a pat on the back for this area,” said McAdams. “People around the state are recognizing there’s some good basketball in Central Texas and that’s a good thing.”
 
As for tonight, McAdams knows it will be a fight.
 
“Dog fight,” he said. “They are the reigning district champs and they are definitely good. They have some good guard play and returned all their girls except for one and they had a good junior varsity bunch.”
 
He also knows that a win on the road against a ranked opponent could spur his team to bigger things.
 
“If we can go over there the first game and make a statement, it would definitely be good for us,” he said.
 
Hunter agreed.
 
“This will be a big statement if we beat Killeen - the district champs,” she said. We need to play together, play how we’re supposed to play, rebound and definitely make shots.”
 
Taylor knows she must show up if they are to have a chance.
 
“I feel like it’s very important,” she said. “When I’m off my game, sometimes it seems like the whole team is off. I try not to have an off game. If I’m not making shots, I try to get in the post and make good passes.
 
“(We want to) make a statement that we mean business. We know what we’re going to do this year. So we’re ready for them.”
 

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