WACO — It was not a win, but it did not feel like a loss either.
Opening the playoffs against Class 6A No. 14 DeSoto, Copperas Cove was immediately overwhelmed.
After falling into a double-digit deficit within minutes of tipping off the game, the Lady Bulldawgs watched the Lady Eagles’ lead continue to grow, mushrooming to 25 points before halftime.
Then, something changed.
Copperas Cove outscored DeSoto over the duration of the game, carving the deficit down to nine points on two occasions, but the Lady Bulldawgs would not get any closer, losing 63-50 at McLennan Community College.
Following the defeat, however, Copperas Cove head coach Eldridge McAdams admitted he believes the second-half showing will only benefit his team.
“I told them in the locker room that it had to start with our mental approach and our heart,” McAdams said. “They came out with both, and it was a good showing.
“When you look down the bench, and you see that nine of them are coming back. We’re going to miss our seniors, but we are definitely excited about next year.”
DeSoto (28-6) scored 14 of the game’s first 18 points to take control, and the Lady Eagles held a commanding 23-10 advantage following the first quarter. The lead grew to 41-17 by halftime.
After halftime, though, junior Jayda Carter made consecutive 3-pointers for Copperas Cove, triggering the Lady Bulldawgs’ offense.
“She’s done that all year,” McAdams said. “She been the one to come out, hit some shots and get us going.”
Teammate Madison Griffon scored seven of her team-high 13 points in the quarter, and the Lady Bulldawgs trailed 51-37 after the period.
In the fourth, Copperas Cove (21-9) created a single-digit contest at 55-46 and 57-48, but the Lady Eagles answered with a 6-2 run to close the contest and end the Lady Bulldawgs’ season.
Carter complemented Griffon’s outing with 11 points, while McCloud contributed eight points and six rebounds in the loss.
“DeSoto is one of the best teams I’ve seen all year,” McAdams said, “but at one point in time, they saw that they were going to have to play, so that is definitely good.
“The girls left it all on the court, and that’s all I can ask.”