By Angel Verdejo
The Cove Herald
The Lady Bulldawgs won't need a warmup before the postseason opener next week.
Copperas Cove got a taste Tuesday of the adversity and problems it will face in the bi-district round against state-ranked DeSoto.
The Lady Dawgs won the game, beating A&M Consolidated 70-55 at home behind 28 points from Desiree Nelson. The senior had 20 points in the first half, as Cove took a double-digit lead late in the second quarter and held it the rest of the way.
But it wasn't easy for Cove, which dealt with a taller opponent and early foul trouble.
"This just helps your confidence and we're going to need confidence against the next team," Cove coach Richard Herbst said.
The Lady Dawgs (22-11, 10-4 District 12-5A) finished third in district and will face No. 17 DeSoto, with the game tentatively set for Tuesday at a site to be determined.
Cove picked up its seventh team foul with two minutes left in the first quarter and sent A&M Consolidated (12-18, 6-8) to the foul line on four straight possessions, as the Lady Tigers tried to slow the game down and use their size advantage.
Lady Tiger posts Karla Gilbert (6-foot-5) and Ashley Adeyemi (6-1) both were able to get to the basket off early pick-and-roll situations. Cove's tallest player is 5-11 Traonna Shedrick, while starting posts Destinee Webb and Shina McCoun were both at least eight inches shorter than Gilbert.
McCoun's second foul put A&M Consolidated in the bonus, while Shedrick picked up her second on the next Lady Tiger possession. Shedrick got a third early in the second quarter, while Angelique Campbell went to the bench with three fouls later in the period.
"We had to sit Shina, we had to sit Angelique, we had to sit Tra," Herbst said. "All our bigs, which aren't many, we had to sit them. And so Destinee had to guard at 5-7, she had to guard Gilbert, and she did a very good job."
The Lady Tigers made 3-of-7 free throws during that four-possession stretch and just 14 of 26 for the game. A&M Consolidated did make a second-quarter run, cutting a 13-point Cove lead down to seven twice, the second time with 1:38 left in the first half.
But Cove answered, with McCoun converting a three-point play to put the Lady Dawgs up 42-32 at halftime.
Cove carried the momentum into the second half. The Lady Dawgs grabbed seven offensive boards, most leading to points and out rebounded A&M Consolidated 35-25.
The Lady Tigers also committed 13 of their 22 turnovers in the second half.
Copperas Cove 71, Shoemaker 66 (Friday)
Jessica Best hit four free throws down the stretch and Cove defeated the Lady Grey Wolves.
Copperas Cove hit 30 of 43 from the free-throw line and hit seven 3-pointers to keep Shoemaker winless in District 12-5A play.
Kiara Rawls made it closer than Lady Bulldawgs coach Richard Herbst liked, though. Rawls scored 27 points and Cion Hicks and Jade Norris both added 10 for Shoemaker.
Desiree Nelson led Cove with 18 points. Best had 12 and Shina McCoun and Angelique Campbell each had 11.
Contact Angel Verdejo at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7564.