After her team held off a furious Copperas Cove rally at home — only preserving victory on a missed 3-pointer with seconds to play — Ellison coach Sherry McKinnon saved her biggest criticism for herself.
“As a coach, I’ve just got to figure out how to get my kids a little rest because they’re going hard and stuff and they get out of gas,” McKinnon said. “They just need a few seconds.”
While Cove certainly contributed to its own poor start — going 1 for 15 in the paint in the first half, according to coach Eldridge McAdams — Ellison also played a significant role in holding the Lady Bulldawgs to 17 first-half points.
The Lady Eagles’ stifling defense and strong rebounding contributed to Cove going without a field goal the entire second quarter.
Yet even after entering the fourth quarter up 10, Ellison wasn’t able to sustain the momentum.
And that, along with fatigue, also affected the Lady Eagles.
“The momentum changed and we got anxious,” senior Francesca Patrick said.
And while the defense wasn’t as suffocating as it was in the first half — Cove scored 17 points in the fourth quarter to equal its first-half total — Ellison was able to hold on and remain unbeaten in District 8-5A with a 5-0 record in league play.
And while the Lady Eagles sit comfortably in first place in the 8-5A standings, they were still looking to improve in one particular area moving forward.
“Finishing out better,” Patrick said.
“Not letting teams come back,” junior Jordanna Porter added.