Teresa Durham has been stressing to her players to keep their heads on a swivel when Shawnte’ Goff has the ball in her hands.
Against Killeen, the Copperas Cove Lady Bulldawgs listened to their head coach and thrived, most likely turning some opposing coaches’ heads in the process.
Goff, who posted a team-high 20 points, delivered seven assists, including several to Bryaunea Hall in the post, as Copperas Cove dominated Killeen 67-54 in both teams’ District 8-5A opener. Luckily, Hall was paying attention to the senior guard’s every move as she whipped some unorthodox passes into the paint.
“Early on, it has been hard to catch some of those passes she makes because we are just not expecting them,” Durham said. “I told her, ‘Bryaunea, you better protect your face because those (basketballs) are coming,’ but they both did a great job of communicating and executing.”
Hall scored 14 points, serving as an ideal complement to Goff, who’s ability to drive the ball forces defenses to collapse, allowing the senior guard to use her passing ability to get teammates open shots; as long as they are ready.
“(I pass with force) because I’ve got to make sure it doesn’t get tipped or deflected,” Goff said. “They’ve got to catch the ball so we can be successful.”
Almost everything went right for Copperas Cove early. The Lady Bulldawgs (12-4, 1-0) outscored Killeen 24-11 in the first quarter as Hall scored six points in the period, including two field in the final 90 seconds set up by Goff assists to give Copperas Cove a 21-9 lead.
“I thought she was tremendous because when you do have to guard an inside player, you can’t overplay our guards as much,” Durham said. “It really helped open up some opportunities for our guards to shoot the ball.”
Killeen (8-6, 0-1) relied heavily on the play of forward Jasmine Goodwine. The senior was the only Killeen player to record a field goal in the first half as she scored all but seven of the team’s points before halftime.
“It is hard to go one-on-five,” Killeen head coach Latisha Williams said. “For going one-on-five, she did very well, but hopefully in the future, other girls will step up and hit some outside shots. You can’t have one person score all your points and win the game. It’s not going to happen. She’s good, but she’s not Michael Jordan.”
Goodwine finished with a game-high 34 points, making 12 of 19 field goals, to go with eight rebounds. Freshman Tia Harston was Killeen’s second-leading scorer with eight points — all in the second half — and no other Lady Roo scored more than four.
The Lady Bulldawgs, on the other hand, finished with eight players in the scoring column as they made 20 of 50 shots in the first three quarters before sputtering in the fourth quarter, when they scored eight of their 14 points at the free-throw line. Copperas Cove also thrived on the glass, pulling down 31 rebounds as three different players, led by Hall’s game-high nine, grabbed at least five boards.
Originally scheduled to be played at Copperas Cove, the game was relocated to Killeen due to the recent rash of bomb threats at CCISD schools.
“We’ve just had a tremendous week with a lot of ups and downs,” Durham said. “We’re going through some crazy things at school with different bomb threats and just trying to keep the kids focused (is difficult). I was very proud of the kids because it has been a crazy week for our schedules.”
With the lopsided victory, though, Goff hopes her school can gain some positive attention.
“That definitely sends a message to let the teams in our district know we are here for business,” she said. “Other teams are saying we are the underdogs, but we like being the underdogs, so we are taking it to them day by day.”