Dawgs’ rally falls short against no. 18 Wolves
By TJ MAXWELL
The Cove Bulldawgs rallied from a 14-point deficit to pull within one point of the no. 18 Shoemaker Grey Wolves Wednesday in Killeen in the second game of the matinee double-header but eventually fell 62-57 to the state-ranked Wolves.
“The difference was turnovers and too many fouls on our side that got us down early, but it was the turnovers that killeda us,” said Copperas Cove head boys’ basketball coach Travis Boyce Jr. “We had 13 in the first half. I know we did better in the second half but, when you turn it over that many times against a team this good, you are going to run into some problems.”
A back-and-forth battle between the Wolves and the Dawgs appeared to morph into a rout when the Wolves exploded on a 23-11 run to end the second quarter and open the third with a 14-point, 49-25, lead.
The Dawgs, however, responded with a run of their own.
After a thunderous dunk by Shoemaker senior Romeo Postell opened the 49-35 lead, a three-pointer by Cove junior Isaiah Sobers kicked off a 12-0 run by Cove that cut the Wolves’ lead to just two, 49-47, with 2:04 left in the third.
A three-pointer to end the third by senior Taveon Sevaaetasi and a basket by senior Jalen Childs to open the fourth pushed Shoemaker back in front by seven, 54-47.
A three-pointer from beyond the arc by senior Quinton Ford and a traditional three-point play by senior Tyrese Taylor again got the Bulldawgs within one score again at 54-53 with 5:45 left, but the Wolves finished on an 8-4 run to secure the win.
“That’s one thing we’ve been preaching – fighting all the way to the end,” said Boyce. “That’s something we haven’t been doing in the past but now they understand that we’re going to fight until that buzzer sounds. We made some plays at the end and took care of the ball better and that made a difference.”
Baskets by Sevaaetasi, junior Mathew Pennington and Postell pushed the Shoemaker lead to seven before a steal and a layup by Cove senior Maurice Toney closed out the scoring in the 62-57 final.
Ford finished with a game-high 28 points and added six rebounds and four blocks to his tally while Taylor finished with a double-double (10 pts, 10 rebs). Sobers (9 pts), Toney (6 pts), junior Ahmad Pierce (2 pts) and sophomore Jon McDowell (2 pts) closed out the scoring for Cove.
Sevaaetasi led the Grey Wolves with 15 points while Postell added 14 points and senior J’Wan Roberts had 10 points, eight boards and three blocks in the win.
The Dawgs closed out the Buda Hays Rebel Christmas Classic with a with a 69-62 win over New Braunfels Canyon on Saturday. Ford scored 23 points and snagged five rebounds to lead the Dawgs while Taylor added 20 points and 10 rebounds. Both Ford and Taylor were named to the all-tournament team.
The Bulldawgs fall to 14-10 overall and 2-3 in district play with the Shoemaker (20-5, 5-1) loss.
Cove travels to Temple to face the Wildcats tonight with the Lady Dawgs’ varsity opening things up at 6:30 p.m. with the varsity boys to follow.
“It doesn’t matter who we play, you can’t take anybody lightly,” McAdams said about Cove’s matchup tonight with Temple. “You have to come out and bring your best game.
“We had a good tournament and we had good workouts the last couple days. Hopefully we can take this momentum into Temple.”
Boyce just wants his guys fight to the end.
“It’s going to be another dogfight,” he said. “Our district is stacked where every night you have to make sure you put up your best effort. Temple is another scrappy team. They’re going to be gutsy and they’re going to play all the way to the buzzer. We have to play strong and make sure that we are more of the aggressor.”