Lady Dawgs fall short in contest with Lampasas

By Clay Whittington
Cove Leader-Press

Derik Short understands there is a process to follow, and despite Tuesday’s outcome, the Lady Bulldawgs took a step forward. 
After accepting the vacant job as girls head coach late during the summer, Short arrived at Copperas Cove with virtually no time to merely become acquainted with his players, let alone install schemes or philosophies. 
In time, Short knows the cohesion will come, but he is also aware there will be growing pains.
“We haven’t had the opportunity to really build anything yet,” he said. “We are kind of just building as we go. That is a huge reason why we are playing so inconsistently. We are having to learn by trial and error. 
“The kids are still getting to know us as a coaching staff, and we are still getting to know them. We got thrown into the deep end, and some days we swim pretty well and others, we take on a little water.”
The Lady Bulldawgs experienced some of each against visiting Lampasas. 
After senior Elianah Eady-Smith’s successful and-1 free throw opened the evening’s scoring, Copperas Cove found itself in a back-and-forth first half. The Lady Badgers took a slim 11-10 advantage into the second quarter, but the Lady Bulldawgs responded and led by four points, 22-18, at halftime. 
The cushion would not be inflated any further, though.
Lampasas recorded the first eight points of the third period, and Copperas Cove did not score a point until midway through the quarter, when junior guard Shakaira Zeigler’s driving layup made the score 26-24. A free throw moments later trimmed the deficit to a point, but the Lady Bulldawgs could not complete the comeback.
“We came out flat in the second half,” Short said. “We just couldn’t find any rhythm offensively, and that led to a lot of fastbreak baskets at the other end. Then, we had a lot of defensive breakdowns in the second half that didn’t happen in the first half. 
“All those things played into the fact that we got beat.”
Zeigler finished with a team-high 13 points in the loss to go with four rebounds, while Eady-Smith had nine points, four rebounds, two assists and a steal. Additionally, Taylor Wilson, a junior post, recorded five points and a game-high seven rebounds. 
Now, Copperas Cove (8-7) looks to bounce back this weekend as it travels to compete in the Pflugerville ISD tournament. 
While winning will not be easy, Short believes the trip will be a valuable part of the process.
“This tournament is going to be a step above with the level of competition,” he said. “Based on the teams that will be there, for us to have any type of success, we are going to have to play our best basketball.
“We have played a lot of basketball for just being a month into the season, but we just can’t build a program from the ground up in two weeks.”

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