COPPERAS COVE — Copperas Cove senior guard Montre’ Williams has played plenty of games at the Bulldawg Gym, but he knew this one was different. Only because it was his last one.
He made the most out of his final home game scoring a game-high 21 points to help the Bulldawgs take a bite out of Killeen 85-52 on Friday.
“I had to make sure I left a mark and had a good memory to fall back on,” Williams said.
The win helps Cove (16-14, 7-6 District 8-5A) get one step closer to clinching a playoff spot. The teams split the regular season series with each winning on its home floor.
Cove’s win eliminated Ellison (14-14, 5-7) from the playoffs for the first time in 19 years. The Bulldawgs can clinch a playoff berth with either a win at Shoemaker (20-6, 10-2) on Tuesday or a Waco Midway (15-13, 5-7) loss to Ellison or Temple (9-17, 3-9) in the next two
The Roos (21-10, 8-5) look to rebound on Tuesday when they host No. 13 Harker Heights. Melvin Anthony led the Roos in scoring with nine.
The third-place team in the district will play district runner-up No. 3 South Grand Prairie while the fourth place team draws No. 2 DeSoto in the bi-district playoffs.
Killeen can wrap up third place with a win or Cove loss on Tuesday.
Rashard Odomes scored 20 points for Cove while Elijah Sobers added 14, Johnathan Brown scored 13 and Chance Smith had 11.
“We just had to make sure to show them who was the better team,” Williams said.
Cove came out on fire on senior night and it took them four minutes to put a stranglehold on the game.
Brown’s first 3-pointer of the night gave the Dawgs their first lead and Williams drove into the paint for a basket that extended Cove’s lead to four points midway through the opening frame.
More importantly, Williams’ drive sparked a 17-3 Bulldawg run to close out the first quarter. The 5-foot-11 Williams added points on a jumper, 3-pointer and pair of free throws and Cove led 24-8 lead after the first quarter.
“The effort that we put forth in the first half was depressing,” Killeen head coach Reggie Huggins said. “The great thing is, the season isn’t over.”
The senior quartet of Williams, Marquise Moreland, Sobers and Brown combined for 48 points in their final home game.
“I’m going to miss them,” Cove head coach Billy White Jr. said about the senior class. “It was a great group of kids, a great group of hard-working players. No matter what was going on, I could count on that group to work hard.”
The Roos cut the Dawg lead to 34-17 with a Brian Long drive with 2:29 left in the first half, but a Devante Robinson jumper sparked an 8-0 Cove run to close out the first half.
Cove’s defense was one of the reasons why the Roos never got comfortable in the opening half, especially in the paint.
The Roos made only 7 of 20 shots (35 percent) in the first half while Cove scored six points off nine Killeen turnovers through the first 16 minutes.
The Dawgs outrebounded the Roos 18-8 in the first half and 28-14 for the game.
“We didn’t come ready and, to Copperas Cove’s credit, they were ready to play and they were ready to get into the playoffs,” Huggins said. “When that happens, you don’t win.”
Killeen beat Cove 71-68 earlier in the season on its home court, but White said the biggest difference between that game and Friday’s was the level of energy the Dawgs showed.
“We had to have a total team effort in rebounding the basketball and that’s what we had tonight,” White said. “Guards, bigs, everybody going down there, rebounding the basketball and controlling the boards.”
Contact Albert Alvarado at email@example.com