Dawgs go 1-1 on first day of Waco ISD Tourney

Lady Dawgs advance to Silver bracket championship with 3-1 record at Aggieland Invitational
By TJ MAXWELL
 
WACO – For most of this season the young Copperas Cove Bulldawgs have showed a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde personality with strong performances in one game followed up by a lackluster outing.
 
That could be said of their first day of the Waco ISD Tournament at University High School in Waco on Tuesday.
 
After battling to a hard-fought 74-70 victory over Galveston Ball to open the tournament, the Dawgs found themselves in a familiar place – battling back from a large first-half deficit against tournament co-host Waco High in game two on Tuesday.
 
Cove had more points (24) in the first quarter of their game against Ball than they had in the entire first half against Waco (17). Second chance opportunities again plagued the Dawgs as they were outrebounded at a nearly 2-to-1 clip on the offensive glass in their 70-51 loss to the Lions.
 
“We have to want the basketball,” said Cove head basketball coach Billy White Jr. “We do a good job at getting to the place we need to be but then we relax versus still being in attack mode and grabbing the basketball. That’s something we’re really going to focus on. We have to make sure that, when that ball is loose, we go get it. Regardless of what happens, we need to rebound that basketball. If we do that, we win games. If we don’t do anything else but rebound we will win the game.”
 
Waco High had four offensive rebounds in the first quarter alone as they stretched a 10-0 lead to 14, 23-9, by the end of the first quarter.
 
“When you start (10-0), that hurts down the stretch because they start feeling good about themselves and everybody can get a shot then,” said White.
 
The Dawgs compounded the hot Waco start with an eight-point second quarter by the Dawgs. Cove didn’t make a field goal in the period on 0 for 8 shooting. The Dawgs were true on 8 of 10 (80 percent) free throws in the period despite shooting 63 percent from the line for the contest.
 
Down 20 at the break, the Bulldawgs began to chip away at the Waco lead with a 12-3 run to start the third period. A pair of three-pointers by sophomore Justus Honea led the way for the Dawgs while senior Devante Robinson and sophomore Tyrese Cooley splashed in a pair of buckets and junior Dahmir Pearson connected on a pair of free throws. The bucket by Cooley cut the Waco lead to 40-29 with just under five to play in the third.
 
Waco answered with a 7-2 run to expand their lead to 16. A three-pointer by senior Tray Hawkins led the way.
 
A traditional three-pointer by Pearson spurred another run for Cove to make it a 12-point contest after three, 50-38. Two free throws by Cooley and an assist from Cooley on a dunk by senior Wyatt Behara closed out the scoring.
 
A putback by senior Draqwan Crane and a jumper by Hawkins capped a 12-5 run for the Lions to start the fourth to balloon their lead back to 20, 62-42, and the Dawgs were unable to mount another comeback as the Lions held on for the 70-51 win.
 
Cooley led the Dawgs in scoring from the bench with 12, all in the second half. Honea and Pearson chipped in eight each and senior Malyk Thomas had seven, all in the first period.
 
Hawkins led the Lions with 16 points followed by Crane (14) and junior D.J. Montgomery (13).
 
The Dawgs shot out like a cannon to a 24-16 lead in the first quarter of their opener against Galveston Ball, capped by a trip to the charity strip and a drive for two by Robinson and a three-pointer by Honea.
 
The Dawgs again struggled to find the bottom of the net in the second period, connecting on just one field goal as they were outscored 15-7 in the period.
 
Both teams buried 22 points in the third quarter to make it a 53-53 game heading into the final eight minutes of action. The Tornadoes finished on 13-2 run after the Dawgs pushed their lead to 51-40 with 2:53 left in the period.
 
Neither team could take the edge in the fourth quarter with 10 lead changes and three ties.
 
Ball was able to take the edge, 68-67, on a putback by senior Bobby Temple with 53 seconds left to play but a pair of huge buckets by freshman Quinton Ford, including a converted three-point play, to put Cove up 72-70 with seconds to play.
 
Robinson iced the game with two free throws for the 74-70 win.
 
Robinson finished with a game-high 21 followed by Malyk Thomas with 18 and Ford with 16.
 
Temple led the Ball scorers with 20.
 
The Dawgs (8-11, 0-1 in District 12-6A) had two more games on Wednesday against Waco La Vega and Navasota but results were not available as of press time.
 
Cove resumes district play Tuesday at Waco Midway.
 
Lady Dawgs go 3-1 in Aggieland
 
The Lady Dawgs opened the 63-team Aggieland Invitational with a sound 52-39 win over Houston Bellaire before have their first hiccup of the tournament in the late game of day one action. Clear Lake edged the Lady Dawgs 50-43 to force Cove out of the gold bracket.
 
The Lady Dawgs responded with another lopsided win with a 69-45 drubbing of SATCH (Sports Association of Texas for Christian Homeschoolers) and a 44-30 win over Dripping Springs to earn a spot in the silver bracket championship.
 
The Lady Dawgs deafeated Crosby in the championship game to finish 4-1 in the tournament and improve to 18-7, 1-2 in district play.
 
The Lady Dawgs host TABC No. 7 Midway on Tuesday.

 

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