COPPERAS COVE — Copperas Cove has already risen to the occasion multiple times this young season.
And on Friday, Cove added perhaps its most impressive victory of the year, rallying from a halftime deficit to hand defending 8-5A champion Ellison its first district loss, 64-60, at Cove gymnasium.
It was the first time the Bulldawgs have defeated Ellison since 1994.
“We have beaten some quality teams,” said Bulldawg coach Billy White, whose team also sports wins against Austin LBJ and Austin Westlake. “I think it’s just because this group of kids, they’re really coachable and they really get out there and play the way we need them to play.”
Ellison, meanwhile, has lost two in a row. Coach Alberto Jones lamented his team’s inconsistent effort again after the game.
“I think basically they wanted it more than us,” Jones said. “They had more fight than us and they had more heart than us.”
After Cove ended the first quarter with a 12-9 lead, Ellison (11-8, 2-1) surged ahead in the second, outscoring the Bulldawgs 19-10 to take a six-point halftime lead.
Yet despite the haymaker landed by Ellison, Cove (11-9, 2-1) didn’t panic heading into the locker room.
“That’s one of the things that we told them as well was that we were playing fine, we just gave up some buckets in transition and that’s why they were able to get ahead,” White said.
Cove responded by landing a haymaker of its own in the third quarter, tying the game at 41 heading into the final quarter.
The Bulldawgs were able to pull away late, holding on for a victory that tied them for the best district record in 8-5A, along with Killeen, Ellison, Harker Heights and Waco Midway.
Rashard Odomes led the Bulldawgs with a game-high 24 points, continuing his hot play of late.
“I’m impressed with the way he’s been playing in the last month or so,” White said. “He’s just an all-around great asset for us.”
Ronnie Edwards had a team-high 19 points and Malik Malone added 15 for Ellison, which continues to look for answers to its early-season inconsistency.
“Usually we’ve been up and down — you have to wait and see (because) you never know what you’re going to get — but there’s been a lot more down lately,” Jones said.
Cove, meanwhile, finds itself in the thick of the early-season district race thanks to its latest impressive win this season.