Dawgs run away from Lions in 2nd half of 71-60 win
By TJ MAXWELL
After the Lions took control of the contest early in the second quarter, 21-14, the Bulldawgs outscored Waco 57-39 for the remaining 2 ½ quarters in Cove’s 71-60 District 12-6A win over Waco High Tuesday night at Bulldawg Gymnasium.
“We just had to step it up,” said Copperas Cove boys’ head basketball coach Tavis Boyce Jr. “We were a little sloppy on offense in the first half and I think we gave up a little too much on the defensive side at time as well. One kid had 18 on us in the first half and we can’t do that. That’s not Bulldawg basketball.”
Leading 31-29 at the half, the Bulldawgs slowly began to distance themselves.
A three-pointer by senior Jordan Fuller and a putback by junior Tomaray Jackson put the Lions back on top 34-33 before a 14-0 Cove run put the Dawgs back on top for good. A three-pointer and steal for a layup by senior Isaiah Sobers, a three-pointer by senior Isaiah Baker, a putback by senior Jerome Gaillard, and baskets by senior Ahmad Pierce and Sobers accounted for the run.
The Lions mounted a run of their own to close the third quarter. A pair of baskets by senior Jaquan Wells started the 8-3 run and another by junior Nathaniel Brooks closed the run. A three-pointer by Gaillard accounted for Cove’s three points.
A free throw and a traditional three-point play by sophomore Sean Anderson and a basket by senior Lakyi Ellison pushed Cove’s lead to 14, 56-42 to open the third quarter.
The Lions narrowed the lead to 10, 56-46, but a pair of and-one opportunities by Ellison added five points to Cove’s lead after a traditional three-point play by Waco junior Remond O’Neil cut the lead to just eight, 60-52.
A basket and two free throws by Pierce made it a 12-point game 67-55 with just over a minute remaining.
A three-pointer by junior Asten James and a pair of free throws by senior Corey Taylor closed out the Waco scoring and baskets by junior Russel Cochran and junior Lonnie Carter closed out Cove’s scoring.
“I thought the guys came back and played more of a complete game in the second half,” said Boyce. “I think that at the end is what helped us get the win.”
Three Bulldawgs notched double digits in the win led by Pierce with 14. Pierce also had six rebounds, three assists and a block. Ellison added 13 points and five rebounds while Sobers had 11 points, nine boards and a steal. Baker added eight points, two boards and a steal while seniors Deayra Corbin and Gaillard added six points each.
Fuller finished with a game-high 23 points to lead the Lions. Six other lions scored at least five points each in the loss.
The Dawgs hit the road for a matchup with formerly ranked Waco Midway on Friday while the varsity no. 9-ranked Lady Dawgs host no. 25 Waco Midway at Bulldawg Gymnasium.
“We have to clean up some things,” said Boyce. “Midway is always a tough team and it’s even tougher going to Midway. If we want to be a playoff team, we have to go beat some of these teams that go to the playoffs consistently. That has to be our goal from here on out.”