The Copperas Cove Lady Bulldawgs upped their District 8-5A record to 3-5 (13-10 overall) after a 63-48 home win over Killeen on Tuesday night. On Wednesday, Cove first-year head coach Eldridge McAdams talked with the Herald’s Allan Mandell.
Coach, what were your overall impressions of Tuesday night’s contest?
Any time you come up with a win, you have to be pleased. We still have some things we need to work on. But I was pleased with our overall work ethic and the overall result was great. It’s always extra special to beat a team that had beaten us earlier in the season.
Your point guard Angel Mullen (5-5, junior) is quite a skilled passer. Does she have eyes in the back of her head?
(Laughing) Well, Angel definitely made some great passes last night. She threaded the needle. Those passes were fun to watch. As a coach, I’ll watch her when she thinks she sees an opening and I’m thinking, “No, Angel, don’t make that pass!” And then she’ll make that pass and gets it exactly where she wanted it to go.
Angel has really been improving. She’s always going 100 miles per hour. She hustles on both ends. As a coach, you like that. But I did want Angel to slow down with her way of thinking. She did that. I wanted her to see things before they happened. Last night was the perfect example of Angel seeing things before they happened.
Bryaunea Hall (6-1, senior), your center, was clearly fired up against Killeen.
I think Mikayla Blount (5-6, junior) put it best: “As Bry goes, we go.”
Bry is our energizer bunny. If she’s on and doing what she’s supposed to be doing then we feel nobody can beat us. The last few games, she has really played well.
Bry has a nice outside shot. But I’ve told her that we need to go inside-out, not outside-in. She’s bought into that. Last night was probably her best game all season. She is a great athlete.
Speaking of Blount, she is one tough player who, it’s quite clear, likes to clean the glass.
Absolutely. She is amazing to watch. Sometimes I think our best strategy is to just shoot the ball off the glass and let Mikayla get it (laughing). She’s such a go-getter. She has that mentality that she will get that ball. She’s a jewel, a diamond in the rough. She’s a joy to watch. Sometimes our girls won’t go for a rebound because they’ll think “Mikayla will get this board so I won’t worry about it.”
Both of your other starters, guards Pria Johnson and Brittany Gamble, also played very well against Killeen. They were both scrappy.
Yes. Pria is doing a little bit of everything for us now. She’s understanding the game better.
Brittany has been playing great. She has been our leader vocally, on and off the court. She’s averaging double-digits in points and we rely on her to keep us scoring. She’s scrappy and she gets after it.
You chose to play a 3-2 zone all game against Killeen and it worked. What made it so effective?
Rotation was the key. We’ve been working on that a lot. We were rotating well and then boxing out. We had to play that particular defense because we had to respect their shooters. Our players are comfortable with that defense, too.
We stuck with it against Killeen because it was working early. And if something is working, you want to stick with it.
Your district record is 3-and-5. Your team looked very strong. Is that record misleading?
To a point it is misleading. We are a young team and we’re inexperienced. Of the 14 players we have, only four were on varsity last year. We’re learning. We’re trying to figure out some things.
You can look at the district games we lost earlier in the season—one point to Waco, two to Ellison, four to Killeen—and we were right there, those were games we could have won.
But the record is what it is. We know that we dug ourselves a big hole. We can’t let any more games get away from us. It’s basically win or go home. With this district it’s so hard to say what will happen.
Right now, Ellison has won all eight of its games, but they have been tested, too.
Coach, what is the potential of your team?
The sky is the limit. I think right now is a great time to put this all together, to keep jelling. This is the perfect time for us to start peaking.