The Lady Bulldawgs’ identity is revealed.
In last week’s finale to District 8-6A’s first round, senior Erica Powell led No. 21 Copperas Cove to victory, scoring eight points and grabbing five rebounds in the fourth quarter to help defeat Killeen 67-56.
The forward finished with team highs of 15 points and eight rebounds, and while the performance is impressive, Powell was merely one of five Lady Bulldawgs to score at least nine points in the win.
And the collective approach displays Copperas Cove’s true personality, according to head coach Eldridge McAdams.
“Being able to have that type of balance makes us what we are and who we are,” he said. “This was a team win, because everybody played, everybody gave their minutes, and we all shared in the wealth.
“When we can spread it out and everybody is scoring, it’s what we do best.”
Powell’s outing was complemented by starting guards Madisen Honea and Madison Griffon, who contributed 13 and 12 points, respectively, while teammate Mariyah Reynolds finished with 10 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals. Additionally, sophomore forward Kaysha McCloud had nine points and seven rebounds.
Despite the contributions, the Lady Bulldawgs could not create any separation until the game’s final minutes.
After scoring the contest’s first eight points, Copperas Cove found itself tied 11-11 entering the second quarter, and after falling behind for the first time at 15-13, the Lady Bulldawgs took a 29-22 advantage into halftime.
By the end of the third quarter, however, the Lady Kangaroos were back in control, leading 44-43 before inflating the cushion to six points, 49-43, but Copperas Cove rallied, tying the score 54-54.
Then, everything changed.
The Lady Bulldawgs recorded 14 unanswered points in the game’s final 2 minutes, 30 seconds, including a momentum-swinging and-1 play by Powell with less than two minutes remaining.
“We just saw the opportunity to keep attacking the paint,” Powell said, “and they were fouling.
“It just opened up the gate for us to secure the home win.”
Copperas Cove could not sustain the intensity, though, and after its game against Belton postponed a day due to concerns about inclement weather, the Tigers beat the Lady Bulldawgs 58-52.
Griffon finished with 17 points in the loss, while McCloud added 12 points.
The defeat drops Copperas Cove (22-6, 6-2) into a two-way tie for second place with No. 19 Waco Midway in the district standings. No. 8 Ellison (7-1) remains in first place despite losing 43-41 to the Pantherettes on Wednesday.
San Angelo Central is fourth at 4-4, while Killeen, Belton and Harker Heights are all tied at 3-5. Shoemaker is 0-8.
The Lady Bulldawgs will look to rebound tonight, when they travel to Midway for a showdown between state-ranked teams. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Copperas Cove returns home Tuesday for a contest against Central.
The Lady Bulldawgs beat the Pantherettes 60-53 and the Lady Bobcats 43-35 in their first encounters, but the past is inconsequential to Powell.
“We have to step out on the court and give it everything we’ve got,” she said. “That’s how it has to be in the second round because the teams we beat are going to come after us.
“We have to stay on top of everything and come together as a team.”