Lady Dawgs drop District 12-6A opener to Lady Knights 53-41

By TJ MAXWELL
Cove Leader-Press

Defense wins championships, but you can’t get there without some offense.
For the second-consecutive game, the Lady Dawgs did a solid job for most of the game defensively but were unable to execute enough offense to come away with the win in their 53-41 loss in the District 12-6A opener against the Harker Heights Lady Knights Friday night at Bulldawg Gymansium.
“We weren’t disciplined at all,” said Copperas Cove girls head basketball coach Tiffney Barnes in post-game comments. “We came out with a job and we didn’t complete it. We allowed too many offensive rebounds and we had silly turnovers. You can’t win a game if you’re not going to be disciplined and that’s what we lacked today.”
Senior leader Yvonna Drayton, who led the team with a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds, echoed those sentiments.
“We didn’t lose this game to them, we lost it to ourselves by not blocking out as we should have,” she said. “We have to continue to get better.”
The Lady Dawgs found themselves in an early 6-0 hole before battling back to take the lead early in the second quarter.
A pair of offensive rebounds and putbacks by junior guard Tyra Oliver finished the 6-0 Lady Knights’ run after a basket by senior guard Angelique Morgan kicked it off. 
A three-pointer by junior T’Shayla Marrie broke the shutout before a a basket by senior Samaria Bostick closed out the first quarter with a putback by Drayton, a driving basket by Bostick and 1 for 2 free throws by Jordan McGhee put Cove out front 10-9 with 4:36 left in the half.
The Lady Knights responded with a 12-2 run to take a 21-12 lead with time winding down in the half. A basket by senior guard Samiyah Walker, three-consecutive baskets by senior guard Empress Roberts, including a three from the top of the key, and a putback by Aaliyah Smith-White accounted for the Lady Knights’ run.
A three-pointer by McGhee pulled the Lady Dawgs within two possessions, 21-15, before another Morgan basket made it a 23-15 Harker Heights’ lead at the halftime break.
The Lady Dawgs again made their run at the lead with a basket by Marrie to open the third quarter followed by a basket and 1 for 2 free throws by Drayton for a 23-20 score with 6:55 left in the third. 
The Lady Knights then began to widen their lead starting with a basket by sophomore Makayla Beckett. Walker then began to exert her presence with a three-pointer and two baskets in the paint. Another Morgan basket and free throws by Oliver and Roberts pushed the Lady Knights lead to 13, 37-24. A basket by Bostick was the only score for Cove during the 14-4 run.
A putback by Drayton and a steal for a layup by Marrie cut the Lady Knights’ lead to single digits, 37-28, at the end of three quarters.
Four quick scores by the Lady Knights to open the final frame narrowed any chances of a comeback for Cove trailing 44-28. Baskets by Morgan and Oliver and a free throw by Beckett accounted for Harker Heights’ scoring. A free throw by senior guard Danielle McGriff and two more by Drayton made it a 13-points game, 44-31.
After a floater by Beckett made it a 15-point contest, two free throws and a putback by Drayton made it an 11-pomit game, 46-31, with 3:31 left.
Baskets by Heights’ Morgan and Roberts’ along with free throws by Cove’s Marrie and McGhee pushed the score to 50-38.
Another basket by Roberts and a long two by McGhee made it 52-40 with time winding down before a free throw each by Height’s Beckett and Cove’s McGriff closed out the contest for a 53-41 final score.
Marrie added 10 points, four rebounds and two steals to Drayton’s 13 points and 10 boards to lead the Lady Dawgs. McGhee added seven points and four rebounds and two assists, followed by Bostick (6 pts, 6 rebs), McGriff (3 pts, asst), and sophomore Taylor Wilson (2 pts, 3 rebs).
Morgan shared game-high scoring honors with 13 points to lead the Lady Knights’ scoring. Roberts added 12 points, two steals and four rebounds followed by Walker ( 11 pts, 7 rebs, three stls, 2 blks), Oliver (8 pts, 6 rebs, 2 assts, 2 stls), Beckett (6 pts, stl, reb), Smith-White (2 pts, 2 rebs), and junior Asia Thomas (1 pt, 3 rebs).
The Lady Dawgs led in field goal percentage with 31 precent to Harker Heights’, three-point percentage with 22 to 11 percent, and free throw percentage with 64 to 53 percent, but it was the volume of shots by the Knights that made the difference with 54 total attempts to Cove’s 30.
“I’m going in the locker room and telling them we lost that game,” said Barnes. “Heights wasn’t better than us I don’t think. We gave that game away because we weren’t disciplined.”
The Lady Dawgs are back in action on the road at the Killeen Lady Roos tonight and the Temple TemCats on Dec. 17 before getting a break for Christmas. The Lady Dawgs resume action after Christmas at the Bryan Aggieland Invitational Tournament to be held Dec. 27-29 before returning to 12-6A action at 2 p.m. on Jan. 4 against the Ellison Lady Eagles at Bulldawg Gymnasium.

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