“You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have the facts of life, the facts of life.”
Watching his team’s sporadic play this season, Celneque Bobbitt has been trying to channel his inner Mrs. Garrett when trying to teach his Knights the facts of life.
“You’ve got to take what you get because you never know what you’re going to get when you’ve got 16- and 17-year-old kids coming up,” Bobbitt said this week. “Some of the times they’re going to play as a team, some of the times they’re not.”
Despite some hot-and-cold play, the second-place Knights (18-7, 6-1 8-5A) are winners of six straight since a District 8-5A opening loss to first-place Ellison (22-4, 7-0), one of the area’s hottest teams having won 11 straight itself.
“There’s a time you got to go and show you’re growin’ now you know about the facts of life, the facts of life.”
With a roster featuring only one senior in its starting five in 6-foot-5 post Andre Hughes, and only four players that saw playing time on varsity last season, the youthful Knights’ inexperience has led to some inconsistencies this season.
“We’ve got some good players, but … out of the 25 games, we’ve played like a team 8-10 times,” Bobbitt said. “We’re just not as fluid as teams I’ve had in the past.”
Yet somehow, Heights has a chance to settle the score against Ellison and pull into a tie for first place in 8-5A with a win Tuesday as the district’s top two teams open the second half of district play at 5:30 p.m. at Eagles Gym.
“When the world never seems to be livin’ up to your dreams, and suddenly you’re finding out the facts of life are all about you, you.”
The Eagles are playing like a team of destiny this season having struggled through a mediocre season last year before backing into an 18th straight playoff appearance.
This year, though, Ellison is cruising through 8-5A, winning by an average of 15.7 points on the shoulders of senior scorers Ojai Black and Malik Hawkins.
But if Heights has any chance to seek redemption from the 50-44 loss Dec. 18, Bobbitt knows it’s going to take a complete team effort and the right mindset.
“I think we can compete with everybody, it’s just the way the kids come out to play and how they look at the game,” Bobbitt said. “It’s very hard to get up against a team you think you’re going beat. That’s the hardest thing in basketball.”
The Knights won’t have that luxury against the stout Eagles, who will certainly be looking to return the favor after being swept by Heights last season.
“It takes a lot to get ’em right when you’re learning the Facts of Life.”
Blount having breakout season for Lady Bulldawgs
Mikayla Blount is proof big things can come in small packages.
Standing 5-foot-7, the Copperas Cove guard plays a bigger game than her frame would indicate. In addition to ranking third on the team in points per game (6.9), the sophomore is the Lady Bulldawgs’ leading shot blocker (31) and third-leading rebounder (5.1 per game).
Last week against Killeen and Shoemaker, Blount tied for team-high rebounding honors in each game, posting eight rebounds against both teams. Her presence in the paint provides unexpected assistance to post Bryaunea Hall and Shawnte’ Goff, who along with Blount account for over 15 of the Lady Bulldawgs’ 31 rebounds per game.
She also produced double-digit points in each game, scoring 11 against the Lady Kangaroos and a game-high 18 against the Lady Grey Wolves, guiding Copperas Cove to a 20-8 record overall and 7-2 in District 8-5A.
Lady Roos snap skid
After letting two opportunities escape, the Killeen Lady Roos finally snapped a three-game District 8-5A losing streak Friday by rallying from an 18-point halftime deficit to beat Harker Heights.
Killeen (15-11, 5-4) could’ve upset a then-16th-ranked Temple team playing without Mississippi State-signed senior forward KeTara Chapel, but stumbled in the second half.
Then, the Lady Roos let a seven-point fourth-quarter lead evaporate in a 59-58 loss to Copperas Cove on Tuesday.
But, trailing 31-13 to a struggling Harker Heights Lady Knights team at halftime, the Lady Roos had had enough.
Jasmine Goodwine scored 24 of her 26 points in the second half, including 16 during a pivotal 26-7 run, that sparked Killeen to a 58-51 win over the host Lady Knights on Friday to snap its district losing streak with five critical games left.
Before rematches with state-ranked Ellison (No. 16) and Temple (No. 14) to close the season, the Lady Roos play Shoemaker, Waco Midway and Belton in almost must-win games to ensure their Killeen ISD-best ninth-straight playoff appearance.
Contact Alex Byington at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7566
Clay Whittington and Kevin Posival contributed to this report.