BELTON — From a personnel standpoint, the Harker Heights Lady Knights looked nothing like they did in last month’s District 8-5A opener against Belton.
They didn’t even look that much like they did last Friday against Copperas Cove.
Nevertheless, the Lady Knights found the Tiger Gym free-throw line to be a comfortable place, scoring almost half of their points from there in a 66-53 victory to start the second half of district play Tuesday night.
Heights feasted from the stripe, going 29-of-35 as Angela Delaney got 15 of her game-high 24 points at the line. The Lady Knights’ program has been decimated by academic casualties and was without an injured JaQuan Jackson, who lit up Copperas Cove for 46 points in a loss Friday.
“We’ve had a lot of distractions and we’re learning to be flexible,” said Heights coach Shirretha Nelson, whose team is 11-13 overall and 3-5 in district. “With all the shifting we’re doing and girls filling roles they’ve never played before, there’s only so much you can ask of them.”
It was an opportunity the Lady Tigers (8-20, 0-8) had hoped to have to break into the win column. However, the disparity in free-throw shooting and turnovers didn’t allow the Lady Tigers to make a sustained run at Heights. Belton turned the ball over 25 times and was whistled for 25 fouls, 15 in the first half.
“We don’t move our feet like we need to and reach too much and not playing the angles,” Belton coach Brenda Gomez said.
Belton did have one of its strongest offensive outputs and had three double-digit scorers, which has been a rarity. The Lady Tigers simply didn’t have enough firepower to overcome the Lady Knights.