Lady Dawgs fall to 1-4 in District 12-6A with loss to Lady Tigers
By TJ MAXWELL
After a strong preseason for the Copperas Cove Lady Dawgs’ basketball team, it has been a rough start in District 12-6A play with four losses in five attempts, including Friday’s fourth-quarter collapse against the Belton Lady Tigers in a 47-37 loss after leading 30-25 entering the fourth quarter.
A three-pointer by Cove senior Jordan McGhee gave the Lady Dawgs a 22-15 lead to start the second half of play, but Belton responded with an 8-2 run on three-pointer by senior Lillie Small and senior Anna Beamesderfer and another basket by Beamesderfer to make it a slim 24-23 advantage for the Lady Dawgs.
A basket by junior Elianah Eady-Smith and a putback by McGhee put Cove ahead 28-23 with 3:29 left in the third. Another basket by Eady-Smith and 2 for 6 free throws by Belton closed the quarter with Cove leading 30-25.
The Lady Tigers then quickly took the lead on a pair of threes by Beamesderfer to take the 31-30 lead never looked back as they outscored the Lady Dawgs 22-6 in the final quarter to complete the comeback. A basket by senior McKenna Maddux along with free throws by Beamesderfer, Maddux, and junior Jade Ortiz accounted for a 12-0 Belton run to start the fourth.
A bucket by senior guard Danielle McGriff and a pair of free throws by Eady-Smith temporarily slowed the Lady Tigers before two free throws and a traditional three-point play by senior Ayanna Jones and two more free throws by senior Esperanza Moreno opened a 10-point lead for the Lady Tigers, 44-34, with just over a minute to play.
A basket by Eady-Smith and 1 for 2 free throws by McGriff closed out Cove’s scoring while a putback and 1 for 2 free throws by Maddux closed Belton’s scoring.
Beamesderfer and Maddux each had a game-high 12 points while Jones added 11 points and 3 steals. Beamesderfer added four rebounds, a steal and an assist while Maddux lead in rebounds with nine and added a block. Small added nine points, five rebounds and an assist followed by Moreno (2 pts, 2 rebs) and Ortiz (1 pt).
McGhee led the Lady Dawgs with nine points, six rebounds, three steals and an assist. McGriff added eight points, three steals, a rebound and an assist followed by Eady-Smith (8 pts, 2 rebs), senior Yvonna Drayton (4 pts, 3 rebs), senior Samaria Bostick (2 pts, 3 rebs), freshman Chloe Tuiasosopo (2 pts, 2 rebs), sophomore Shakaira Zeigler (2 pts), and senior T’Shayla Marrie (2 pts).
Neither team could get much offense going in the opening quarter. A basket by Small and 3 for 4 free throws by Maddux put Belton in front 5-0 before a basket by Bostick and a steal for a alyup by McGhee made it a 5-4 Belton lead. A steal for a layup by Belton’s Jones closed the first quarter with Belton in front 7-4.
A basket by Jones on the assist by Small gave Belton a 9-4 lead to open the second quarter before the Lady Dawgs went on a run of their own. Free throws by McGriff, along with baskets by Zeigler, McGhee Drayton and Marrie flipped the lead to the Lady Dawgs 17-13. Two free throws by Small and a basket by Jones accounted for Belton’s scoring.
Two more free throws by Belton’s Small and a basket by Cove’s Tuiasosopo closed the half with the Lady Dawgs holding onto to a 19-15 lead.
The Lady Dawgs (13-14 overall, 1-4 in 12-6A play) will again play host as the Bryan Lady Vikings 5-16, 1-4) come to town for a 7 p.m. tipoff also looking for their second district win.