WACO — Copperas Cove was cruising for most of the game, but its high hopes were almost derailed.

The Bulldawgs saw a double-digit lead completely evaporate in the fourth quarter, but the Bulldawgs made all the right moves in the game’s final moments to walk away with an 88-82 district-opening win against Waco Midway.

After holding a 46-30 advantage at halftime, the Bulldawgs (12-3, 1-0 8-5A) were outscored 22-10 in the third quarter before the Panthers completed the comeback by tying the game 82-82 with less than 40 seconds left following an offensive rebound off a missed free throw.

But the Bulldawgs responded with a fastbreak layup and Rashaun Gibson followed it up by stealing the ball at midcourt and taking it in for a basket to give Copperas Cove an 86-82 lead.

“You’ve got to make sure that you make plays, especially on the road, to win in this tough district,” Copperas Cove head coach Billy White Jr. said. “I know what kind of team I have, and I know they are going to fight, so that is what I expect from them.”

Copperas Cove jumped out to a 24-16 lead by the end of the first quarter and extended its advantage to 16 by halftime, but a 10-point third quarter allowed Midway (7-8, 0-1) to creep back into the contest.

Gibson, who only scored two points in the third quarter following a 10-point first half, accounted for 11 of his game-high 23 points in the final eight minutes. Rashard Odomes finished with 22 points, and Deion Robinson and Cory Scott added 17 and 16 points, respectively, hitting four 3-pointers apiece.

Contact Clay Whittington at clayw@kdhnews.com

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