WACO — When the opportunity arose for Shawnte’ Goff to demoralize Waco Midway, she took it.
The Copperas Cove guard made just one field goal in the first half and the Lady Bulldawgs led by three points to open the third quarter, but Goff was flawless from the floor in the period, scoring 12 points.
And her most important basket was the one nobody saw coming.
Following teammate Brittany Gamble’s two free throws with less than two seconds remaining in the third quarter, Copperas Cove sophomore Mikayla Blount tipped the inbound pass and Goff recovered the ball and quickly made a simple shot from underneath the basket as time expired, giving the Lady Bulldawgs a 46-37 advantage and a massive amount on momentum.
Behind a game-high 24 points from Goff, Copperas Cove went on to beat Midway 66-49, and Copperas Cove’s leading scorer identified the final play of the third quarter as the Pantherettes’ breaking point.
“That was a big momentum builder,” Goff said of the play. “Teams like (Midway) get defeated easy, and they just let their attitudes get the best of them, and that is just what we want.”
The level of defensive aggressiveness the Lady Bulldawgs (14-4, 3-0 8-5A) displayed in the second half, especially in the final moments of the third quarter, is exactly what Copperas Cove head coach Teresa Durham hopes to instill in her team before the season’s end.
“I expect that kind of intensity the entire time,” Durham said. “I know sometimes I am a little bit unrealistic, but I just love the game, and we have the kids, but we just haven’t figured out how to put 32 minutes of that intensity.”
Durham had little to complain about in the second half, though.
After being outscored in each of the first two quarters, Copperas Cove allowed Midway to record consecutive fields goals just once in the second half, and the Lady Bulldawgs opened the fourth quarter with a 14-4 run to construct a 19-point lead, 60-41, before claiming its largest advantage of the evening, 64-44, on Goff’s fastbreak layup with two minutes remaining.
She added a pair of free throws with 51 seconds led to complete her 22-point second half. She accounted for over half of the Lady Bulldawgs’ 42 points following halftime.
“We changed up her position a little (at halftime) and tried to take her away from the ball,” Durham said, “so offensively she is coming to the ball and have more chances to drive and not distribute.
“I talked to her about being a little more selfish and not passing the ball as much.”
Copperas Cove’s offense was running through the post in the first half, when junior Bryaunea Hall scored seven of her nine points before finishing with nine points and 10 rebounds.
“Since I wasn’t scoring, my objective was to get more rebounds,” Hall said of her play after halftime.
Copperas Cove junior Brittany Gamble finished with 13 points as nine Lady Bulldawgs scored in the game.
The victory occurred in the second unexpected road game of the young district schedule. Due to the ongoing bomb threats at CCISD campuses, the Lady Bulldawgs were forced to open District 8-5A play at Killeen last week before getting word their game against Midway was also to be relocated.
“There are less distractions on the road, so in some senses it is good because they can put school and all that mess behind us,” Durham said.
So far, the scheduling conflicts have not hindered the Lady Bulldawgs.
“It feels really good (to be perfect in district) because everyone thinks we are the losing team and the underdogs,” Hall said. “So it feels really good to be winning.”
Contact Clay Whittington at email@example.com