Fri, 2016-01-29 05:00 News Staff
Senior Kaycie Gatewood buries three as Lady Dawgs handle home court against Eagles 48-45
By TJ MAXWELL
Not many shots were going in for the Lady Dawgs as they fought to stay in the playoff hunt at home Tuesday against the Ellison Lady Eagles. The final three shots, and most important of the game for Cove did go in, however.
Senior Kaycie Gatewood redeemed herself in many ways with a three-pointer from the corner to put the Lady Dawgs ahead and senior Keturah Taylor ensured the win with a pair of successful free throws on a ‘1-and-1’ trip to the charity stripe.
“It was kind of redemption from Killeen because I missed both of them so I just made sure I followed through,” said Gatewood. “It went in so I was just happy. They’ve had confidence in me all year to hit the big shots so I couldn’t let them down. I just had to focus and make sure it went in.”
Gatewood sought redemption after missing the two potential game-winners against Killeen a week prior and had a misstep on the Lady Dawgs prior possession in this game that gave Ellison a chance to extend their lead late in the game.
A huge defensive stop by the Lady Dawgs set Gatewood up for the timely three-pointer and, despite the team’s 37 percent shooting and 3-for-13 from beyond the arc, she knocked down the shot to give the Lady Dawgs a 46-45 lead with 48 seconds left in regulation.
“It was really clutch, said junior Chyanne Chapman who had a team-high 13 points in the contest. “She works on those threes a lot and she’s a really important player.”
Head coach Eldridge McAdams felt his team lacked aggression and addressed it in the team’s final time out.
“They were being so passive,” he said. “Of course, we were missing shots but we would have great shot but we would do a ball fake or try to penetrate looking for a better shot, but we gave up a great shot and turned the ball over. I told (Kaycie) in the time out, ‘once we kick it out to you we’re kicking it out for a reason so take the shot.’ I guess she listened to me and she took the shot. Kaycie is one that will knock them down and I feel comfortable when she’s in that position.”
Gatewood answered his pleas. “I guess I was passing up a few shots to drive,” she said. “He told me, ‘I can shoot and to make sure I shoot when I’m open.’ I was wide open so I made sure I shot it.”
Taylor was then aggressive as well earning her only trip to the charity stripe on the night were she closed out the game with two clutch free throws.
“They are definitely stepping up to the challenge,” said McAdams. “We had chances to fold when we went down but we stayed in there. I wish we could play the rest of our games a home because we play a lot better at home.”
Chapman kept the Lady Dawgs in the game with her aggressive play spanning the second third quarters. Busy play in the paint earned her four trips to the charity stripe as part of a 14-5 run that took Cove from five points down in the second quarter to a four-point advantage in the third. Chapman scored 10 of Cove’s 15 points in the run.
“(Chyanne) was 8-for-9 and those were big free throws,” McAdams. “Chyanne was big and she’s always big. She comes to play every night.”
Chapman was scoreless in the first period and knew it was time to step up.
“(I was thinking I needed to) drive at them and pump fake to make them foul or find my teammate for the assist,” said Chapman. “I think I the first quarter we saw how close the game was. We knew we needed to pick it up and we knew we could run with this team.”
Chapman also knows how important this win was in the grand scope of things after suffering back-to-back losses that dropped them to fifth place in the standings.
“We needed this win and we wanted it,” she said. “We put our hearts inside-out on the court.”
“It was big because they’ve had a lot of momentum,” she said. “They just beat Heights and were coming in hard to our gym and take this win. I knew we had to come back from our losses to Belton and Killeen and get on a winning streak.”
The win moved the Lady Dawgs (21-10, 4-5 in District 12-6A) into a two-way tie with Shoemaker (14-11, 4-5) for the final playoff spot.
Chapman added a team-high six rebounds and a team-high four steals to her game-high 13 points. Taylor chipped in nine points, two steals and an assist, Gatewood and senior Alex Wilson added seven points each, senior Twillesa Shipman had five points and two assists and senior Daisha Hunter had five points and a game-high three blocks.
Senior Ariyanna Forch led the Lady Eagles with 12 points and a game-high nine rebounds followed by junior Madison Hattix-Covington (11 pts) and Feliziana Davis (7).
That win-streak is going to a tough task as they travel to Waco tonight to face a Midway squad bent on revenge after Cove knocked off the then No. 6/No.11 ranked Pantherettes.
“Anytime you go there, you’ve got to play,” sad McAdams. “They definitely left here with a sour taste and they’re going to be gunning for us because they didn’t like to lose here. If we stick to our game plan, eliminate turnovers and make shots, I think we’ll be okay. We just have to get after them and hopefully we’ll be up for it like we were when they came here.”
A win in Waco would be huge, says Gatewood.
“It’s going to be a tough one there but we’re going to come to play and we’re going to leave our hearts out there,” she said. “It’s our senior year so we’re just going to try to make the best of it. We really can’t overlook them because they are a great team. We just have to come in levelheaded and come out hard.
“To beat them the first time was great so beating them a second time would be fantastic. I would actually put us back in the playoff race.”
McAdams hopes this is the game his team finally puts it all together.
“I still say we haven’t clicked on all levels yet.” he said. Take this win, we shoot terrible, we had 20 turnovers and only had one person in double figures. I’m not complaining, I’m just waiting on us to put that whole package together.”