AUSTIN — Latisha Williams may have been less than pleased with her team’s missed shots and free-throw shooting, but Killeen’s head coach said one thing did make her happy. Despite the loss, Williams felt the Lady Kangaroos were coming together in the young season.
Despite Tia Harston’s team-high 18 points, Killeen (2-2) couldn’t make plays down the stretch and dropped a 48-45 contest to the Austin Bowie Lady Bulldogs at the Bowie Be-YOU-tiful Classic on Thursday.
“It’s the best game that we’ve played so far execution-wise and just looking like a basketball team, it’s the best game,” Williams said. “The score doesn’t show it, but it was the best game that we’ve played because we know Bowie is a legitimate team.”
Killeen beat Manor 54-31 in the first game of the doubleheader during the opening day of the tournament.
Junior forward Raven Ringo added eight points for the Lady Roos, who play Round Rock Stony Point in the tournament’s championship bracket today at 11:30 a.m.
The first half was a struggle from the field for the Lady Roos, who faced a 24-20 deficit at halftime.
Killeen hit 23 percent (7 of 30) of its shots through the first 16 minutes, but stayed in the game by forcing 11 Lady Bulldog turnovers and outrebounding Bowie 17-10.
“I told them we didn’t lose the ballgame in the second half, we lost it in the first half,” Williams said. “Those shots we’ve got to put in. You work real hard, you get a steal or whatever and you don’t convert. Those things in close games come back and haunt you and that’s what happened.”
Harston and Ringo combined to hit three 3-pointers in the first six minutes of the second half, and Killeen went on a 7-2 run to go ahead 39-38 with 2 minutes, 21 seconds remaining.
“Every minute counts, every second counts, everything counts for my team and you have to do what you have to do,” Harston said.
“Her 3 sparked me to do the same,” Ringo added. “We just feed off of each other’s energy.”
Harston made one final defensive play for Killeen, stealing the ball at midcourt, dribbling to the Bowie basket and drawing a foul with 23.2 seconds remaining. Harston hit the second of two free throws to tie the game at 44-44.
But from there, Bowie made all the critical plays as Desiree Lampkin hit a pair of free throws with 11.4 seconds remaining.
Keaunna Johnson was fouled on the ensuing Killeen offensive possession and missed the first of two shots with 4.8 seconds remaining. Johnson made the second, but Bowie made the last two foul shots of the game with 0.63 seconds left to secure the victory.
Against Manor, Johnson scored 12 points – all in the second half – as the Lady Roos jumped out to a 16-3 first quarter lead and never looked back.