COPPERAS COVE — First, Copperas Cove made a statement.
Then, Rashard Odomes added an exclamation point. With less than 30 seconds remaining, Odomes punctuated the Bulldawgs’ dominant second-half performance with an emphatic, one-hand dunk, producing Copperas Cove’s final points in a 78-44 victory against Temple.
The play gave the versatile sophomore a game-high 17 points.
“I just saw an opportunity, and I took it,” Odomes said of the dunk. “He scooted a little too far back, and when I saw him do that, I jumped.”
Teammate Deion Robinson, who was one of five Bulldawgs to record double-digit points in the victory, saw the play developing and instantly knew Odomes was not going to be denied.
“When I saw him jump, I knew he was going to dunk on him,” the senior said. “There was no way that (defender) was going to jump with him. It was a good way to cap off the game.”
While Odomes’ dunk produced the final points, the Bulldawgs won the game with a 30-9 run spanning the second and third quarters.
Cove (14-7, 2-2 8-5A) never trailed in the game, holding a 19-10 lead early in the second quarter
before Temple guard Wendale Washington connected on a 3-pointer to pull the Wildcats within 25-23. The Bulldawgs scored nine consecutive points to take a 34-23 into halftime before pushing their lead to 55-32 late in the third quarter. Things went from bad to worse for the Wildcats as six Bulldawgs combined to score 23 points in the fourth quarter, while Temple struggled from the floor, connecting on only three of 11 field goals.
“We didn’t do what we needed to do defensively or offensively,” Temple head coach Eric Jackson said.
Odomes also produced a game-high nine rebounds, to go with three assists, a steal and a block off the bench. But he had plenty of help. Cory Scott added 14 points and seven rebounds, Robinson had 13 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals, and Rashaun Gibson and Tyler Wilson posted 12 and 10 points, respectively.
The victory ends a two-game district losing streak for Copperas Cove and gives the team some much-needed momentum heading forward, according to Bulldawgs’ head coach Billy White Jr.
“We told the kids coming into it that this was a game we had to have,” he said, “and we were able to come out tonight and play the way we needed to play to get the win.”
The Wildcats (8-11), who were led in defeat by Chad President’s team-high 12 points and five rebounds, are winless through four district games.
“We can’t (have those turnovers),” Jackson said. “We’ve got to do a better job and keep working at it. Hopefully, (our turnover problem) will work itself out.”