Dawgs open season with 60-52 win over Connally

By TJ MAXWELL

Cove Leader-Press

 

The Bulldawgs used a late spurt to pull away from the Pflugerville Connally Cougars in their season-opening 60-52 Friday Night at Bulldawg Gymnasium. 

“I was pleased with the performance today,” said Copperas Cove boys’ head basketball coach Travis Boyce Jr. “I felt like we were pretty solid on the defense end. We want to hold everybody to 40 but we gave up 52. We’ve got some more work to to defensively. 

“Offensively we were a little stagnant and missed a lot of the shots we normally would make.”

Knotted 40-40 at the end of the third quarter, the Dawgs outscored the Cougars 20-12 to close the contest with senior Isaiah Sobers scoring seven of his game-high 23 points in the fourth quarter to spur the run.

Neither team could mount much offense in the 7-6 opening quarter.

The Cougars held a 6-3 early lead before an offensive rebound by Sobers resulted in a trip to the free throw line and a traditional three-point play by junior Lakyi Ellison gave Cove a 7-6 lead after one. 

A pair of three-pointers by Connally senior forward Breion Powell and another by senior forward Kendall Stewart helped the Cougars take back the lead 15-11 with 6:11 left in the first half. 

After a three-pointer by Cove senior Ahmad Pierce and free throws by junior Alonnie Carter and Ellison pulled Cove within a basket, a two by sophomore guard Ashten Mitchell and a three by junior guard Jesse Lane made it a five-point Cougar lead at 23-17.

The sixth three-pointer of the quarter for Connally, this one by sophomore forward Tre’Vonn Williams, put the Cougars up 27-24 with time winding down in the half, but an offensive rebound and putback by Cove’s Ellison made it a 27-26 Connally lead at the half.

Buckets by Carter, senior Deayra Corbin and Ellison; along with a free throw by Ellison; put Cove on top, 37-32 with 2:22 left, for the first time since a steal for a layup by Corbin to start the second period.

A basket by Williams and a free throw by Mitchel brought the Cougars back within two points with 1:24 left in the third quarter. 

A traditional three-point play by Sobers extended Cove’s lead to five, 40-35, before a basket by Connally’s Lane and a three by senior guard Emmanuel Jones knotted the game at 40-all to close the period.

A steal for a basket by Carter, a three-pointer by Sobers, a basket by Ellison and a three by Carter put Cove back on top for good, 52-42.

A putback by Lane briefly halted Cove’s run, but a pair of baskets by Sobers pushed Cove’s lead to 11, 56-44.

A basket and two free throws by Powell and another from Jones made it an eight-point game before a basket by Ellison pushed Cove’s lead back to 11, 60-49.

A three-pointer by Jones closed the scoring for the Cougars for a 60-52 final score. 

Sobers had eight rebounds to go with his game-high 23 points while Ellison added 17 points and 10 rebounds. Carter finished with eight points followed by Pierce (7), Corbin (4) and freshman Warren Fleming (2).

Powell led the Cougars scoring with 15 followed by Mitchell (10), Jones (8) and Lane (8).

The Bulldawgs are back in action tonight in the second game of a varsity double-header against Round Rock.

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