COPPERAS COVE — Shawnte’ Goff could sense it. An upset was approaching.
Prior to the final home game of her high school career, the Copperas Cove senior guard knew No. 13 Temple wasn’t walking out of Bulldawg Gymnasium with a victory. And she was right.
Goff scored a game-high 22 points, including nine in the fourth quarter, and the Lady Bulldawgs beat the Tem-Cats 53-42.
“I felt it, I felt it all through my body,” Goff said. “I knew we would (upset Temple).”
But the reeling almost did not come to reality.
After building a 10-point advantage heading into the fourth quarter, Copperas Cove watched it dwindle down to 43-41 with 3:09 remaining in the game. The Lady Bulldawgs responded, however, by scoring 10 of the game’s final 11 points with Goff accounting for six points.
“They closed it down to two points, and that was way too close,” Copperas Cove head coach Teresa Durham said. “But that was where Shawnte’
reasserted herself and that will to win came back.”
The Tem-Cats jumped out to a 5-0 lead before the Lady Dawgs scored seven unanswered points to claim their first lead of the game, but found themselves trailing 11-7 after the first quarter.
Temple increased its advantage to 15-9 in the second quarter, but Cove held the Tem-Cats without a field goal (0-8) in the period, outscoring them 17-7 to take a 24-18 lead at halftime.
The Lady Dawgs (23-9, 10-3 8-5A) used a 10-2 run to close the third quarter and held a 40-30 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Then, an individual scoring battle broke out.
Goff accounted for all but four of Copperas Cove’s points, while Temple senior Ketara Chapel posted seven of her team’s 12 points in the period, including a free-throw to trim the Lady Dawgs’ lead to two points, 43-41. But the Tem-Cats could not get any closer.
“Cove is always a hard place to play at,” Temple head coach Tamarah Sanders said. “I don’t care if you are the top team or the bottom team, it is always a tough place to play at.”
Chapel finished with a team-high 18 points following an 0-for-10 first-half shooting performance, but received little help from her teammates. Junior guard Jazzmen Ortiz made all three of her 3-point attempts in the first half, but added only two points in the second half, and Alyssa Jones scored eight points.
Additionally, the Tem-Cats (26-7, 11-2) were without junior post Tyesha Taylor, who missed her sixth consecutive game with a knee injury.
“I know Temple is struggling, but they are such a good team, and I hate that Taylor is out right now,” Durham said. “But Chapel is such a versatile kid, and she creates so many problems. ... If you give her an inch, she is going to kill you.”
Copperas Cove sophomore Mikayla Blount, who scored eight points to go with a game-high nine rebounds, could feel the pressure increase after Chapel’s free throw cut the Lady Dawgs’ lead to two points late in the game.
“It happened so fast, but I knew we really had to get back on defense, stop the ball and score when we got the ball back,” Blount said.
The Lady Dawgs did just that. Temple did not make a field goal during the final three minutes of the game, allowing Copperas Cove to earn its biggest victory of the season.
“We were pumped all day,” Goff said. “We were pumped in the locker room, pumped during stretches. Coach had to tell us to calm down, but we just couldn’t. We were hyped.”