E very time a new year rolls around, people instinctively hope January unavoidably becomes a time of resolutions — most of which are broken by month’s end. Regardless, it is natural to desire more from life once December 31 is crossed off the calendar.

New Year’s Day sparks inspiration because it provides a new beginning. In actuality, it is just another day, but the unexplainable promise accompanying the holiday can be powerful motivation and an agent for change.

While Copperas Cove’s basketball teams accomplished a lot in 2012, the Bulldawgs and Lady Bulldawgs should want more in 2013.

And it starts with making the playoffs.

There is nothing wrong with making resolutions as long as the dedication matches the aspiration, and the next few months will expose the level of commitment the programs have.

The biggest mistake made this time of year is setting one’s sights too high. It leads to disappointment and discouragement.

Despite each playing in a competitive district and having lengthy postseason absences, for both programs, reaching the playoffs is an attainable goal, but it will take the fulfillment of a few key New Year’s resolutions.

The Lady Bulldawgs should resolve to win all of their home games. They open 2013 with a tough start to a home-heavy second half of the district schedule and still have to play No. 11 Ellison, No. 15 Temple and Harker Heights twice, but all the Lady Bulldawgs really have to do to reach the playoffs is defend their home court.

Due to the repeated bomb threats received at Copperas Cove campuses during December, the basketball teams were forced to play scheduled home games on the road, resulting in the Lady Bulldawgs playing six of their next seven and seven of their final 10 district games at home. Easier said than done, but an undefeated home record gives the team at least 11 wins and most likely puts the Lady Bulldawgs back in the playoffs.

Along the way, the Lady Bulldawgs need junior Bryaunea Hall to become a go-to presence in the paint, providing an inside complement to the perimeter play of leading-scorer Shawnte’ Goff and the rest of the team’s scoring guards.

In order for the Bulldawgs to reach the playoffs, they must resolve to win close games. Of their six losses, five have been by six points or fewer and three have been by three points or fewer.

Unfortunately for the Bulldawgs, they have won far fewer close games than they have lost, and if their start to district is any indication, they will want to quickly reverse the trend. En route to a 1-1 district record, both of the Bulldawgs’ games were determined by six points.

The Bulldawgs have shown the ability to blow teams out and shut teams down, but finding a way to thrive in the late moments of back-and-forth games will be critical as a couple of narrow losses, like their 72-66 overtime loss at Belton, could prove costly in a tight race.

Hopefully for Copperas Cove, the Bulldawgs and Lady Bulldawgs can keep these simple resolutions. After all, the rewards are enormous, and there is no better time than now to become invigorated with hope.

Contact Clay Whittington at clayw@kdhnews.com

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