Lady Dawgs even district record with 64-46 win over Killeen
By TJ MAXWELL
The Lady Kangaroos weren’t making it easy for the Lady Dawgs during their District 12-6A clash Tuesday night at Bulldawg Gymnasium.
Killeen fought off several attempts for Cove to pull away in the first three quarters of action, but the final frame belonged to the Lady Dawgs in the 64-46 win.
“In the first half, it was definitely a dogfight,” said Copperas Cove girls’ head basketball coach Eldridge McAdams. “At halftime I looked at the stats and we were 4 for 30 in the paint and I thought, ‘not another one of these games.’ I just told the girls to keep doing what they’re doing, but slow down a little bit around the basket and put those in. We came out and turned the defense up too.
“That was a great win for us. It was definitely one we needed coming off of last week.”
Holding a slim one-point lead, 37-36, with just under three minutes to play in the third quarter, the Lady Dawgs took control of the game with a 25-10 run to close the contest.
A basket by Killeen senior Zakiyah Upshaw cut the Cove lead to one, 37-36, with 2:39 left in the period.
Cove then exploded on a 15-3 run over the next eight minutes of game clock to open a 55-41 lead with 2:29 left in the game.
Baskets by junior Leah Powell and sophomore AZ Knotts started the run while baskets by senior Madison Griffon, free throws by junior Kaysha McCloud and a pair of three-pointers by junior Madisen Honea accounted for the run.
A couple more hustle plays by Powell resulted in baskets, along with the third three-pointer of the quarter by Honea and a basket by senior Jayda Carter pushed the Cove lead to 21, 64-43 before a last-second three-pointer by Killeen senior Alexus Whiteside closed out the contest.
“She’s one we’re definitely glad to have on our team,” McAdams said of Powell. “She can jump out of the gym and she gets those rebounds and putbacks. She has a nose for the ball. She and Kaysha are definitely ones that get in there and help us on the rebounding side. When Kaysha’s not scoring, she’s always rebounding.”
After Cove took a slim 5-3 lead to open the contest, Killeen responded with a 10-6 run to take a 13-11 lead after one quarter that saw 19 combined free throw attempts.
A basket by Killeen senior Jaya Loney knotted the game at 5-all before 4 for 4 free throws by senior Cierra Penn helped Killen edge out front 9-7 with 2:09 remaining. Two more free throws and a basket by Upshaw helped Killeen keep their first-quarter lead, 13-11.
The Lady Dawgs quickly regained control with a 6-0 run to begin the second period. A pair of free throws and a basket by Powell and two free throws from Griffon accounted for the Cove run.
A brief run by the Lady Roos knotted the game at 17-all before a three-pointer by Carter started another Cove run. A putback by Powell, a three-pointer by Honea, a free throw by Knotts and another three by Carter opened a seven-point, 29-22 Cove lead with less than a minute remining in the half.
Free throws by Killeen senior Victoria Hendricks-Bell and Whiteside made it a 29-25 Cove lead at the break.
A streaking basket by Griffon pushed Cove’s lead to six to begin the third period by an 11-6 Killeen run made it a one-point contest, 37-36, before the dominating finish by Cove earned them the win.
Powell led the Lady Dawgs’ effort with 18 points and 11 rebounds while Griffon added 14 points and four assists and Honea chipped in 12 points and five assists. Carter (8), McCloud (5), junior Deja Chapman (4) and Knotts (3) closed out the scoring for Cove.
Penn led the Lady Roos with 16 points followed by Whiteside with 10 and Hendricks-Bell with 7.
The Lady Dawgs return to action tonight with a road game at Ellison with a 6:30 p.m. tipoff.
“Going to Ellison is always tough,” said McAdams. “Any Killeen schools are tough on the road, we just have to play Cove basketball. Ellison is going to be athletic and well-coached so, we just have to continue to play Lady Dawg basketball together as one.”