HARKER HEIGHTS — The Lady Knights stole the show with a 52-46 victory at home Tuesday night in their District 12-6A opener against Temple.
“It is a good change from last year,” said head coach Shirretha Nelson. “Because we were young last year and we have a lot of returners.”
Sierra Brooks scored 17 points to lead the Lady Knights. Angelique Morgan added 14.
The Lady Knights’ shots just weren’t sinking at the start of the game as they trailed by two at the start of the second quarter.
Heights (4-3, 1-0 12-6A) quickly tied the game for the third and final time in the middle of the quarter before taking a 17-16 lead behind a shot from the outside from junior Sierra Brooks.
The lead change brought out a confidence in the Lady Knights as Empress Roberts drove down the left lane before finding Brooks for another 3-pointer.
Despite a strong offensive performance, Heights’ defense was in full force behind 12 totals steals from eight Lady Knights.
Ziah Ambrose intercepted a pass from senior Breyaunna Sigler that allowed Brooks to score and put the Lady Knights up 23-17 over the Wildcats in the middle of the first half.
Destiny Pemberton stole the ball on the next play as Temple sophomore Taliyah Johnson tried to pass to Coryn Grovey, who was waiting at the top of the key.
Johnson finished with 15 points to lead the Tem-Cats.
“You have to give it to Temple; they hustled, they are relentless and they were very scrappy,” said Nelson. “But we did create some opportunities to get some of those pickups.”
Brooks kept creating opportunities for Heights at the start of the second half as she regained possession of the ball mid-dribble from Sigler at half court.
Brooks drove down the lane but missed the layup. Morgan drew a foul on the rebound and sank a pair of free throws to push Heights further ahead, 27-19.
Celise Bobbitt got a piece of the action with a steal of her own on a block against Grovey and sprinted up the court for a layup to pull the Lady Knights ahead by 10.
Heights kept the Tem-Cats at a comfortable distance for most of the third quarter until a 10-2 run pulled Temple within five points, 37-32.
Roberts drove up the middle of the court for a layup that pushed the Lady Knights further ahead once more as the buzzer rang out to end the period.
Temple rallied late in the fourth quarter and came within a point of Heights, 40-39.
“We did get a little fatigued,” said Nelson. “So I’m not really happy about that.”
The Lady Knights kept battling and went on an 8-0 run late to push the lead back to nine.
Sigler dropped a shot from the outside with less than a minute left on the clock, but it wasn’t enough.
“It’s nice to start on a positive,” noted Nelson. “But we’re young, we still have a lot of growing to do.”
Heights heads to Beaumont this weekend for a tournament and resumes district play next Tuesday in Belton.
HARKER HEIGHTS 52, TEMPLE 46
Sigler 9, T.Johnson 15, Noble 0, Roberts 0, Tutson 0, Perez 0, Mayfield 0, Lewis 0, Wilson 0, Burleson 11, Willis 0, Colbert 7, Thomas 0, H.Johnson 0, Grovey 4.
Harker Heights (52)
Morgan 14, Cynaye Bobbitt 2, Epting 0, Lovell 0, Brooks 17, Roberts 6, Pemberton 0, Garvin 0, Taylor 0, Ambrose 2, Dorse 2, Celise Bobbitt 9, Brown 0.
Temple 11 8 13 14—46
Harker Heights 9 16 14 13—52
3-Point Goals—Temple 3 (Sigler 3, T.Johnson 1), Harker Heights 2 (Brooks 2). Free throws—Temple 11-15, Harker Heights 12-23. Fouled Out—Burleson. Total Fouls—Temple 17, Harker Heights 14. Technicals—Burleson.
Records—Temple 4-6, 0-1 12-6A; Harker Heights 4-3, 1-0.
TUESDAY’S GIRLS BASKETBALL
- Georgetown East View 51, Shoemaker 47
- Austin Hill Country Christian 41, Florence 20
- No. 15 Lampasas 79, Cedar Creek 26
- Salado 58, Holland 32
- Belton 38, Copperas Cove 36
- Ellison 63, Waco 28
- Harker Heights 52, Temple 46
- Waco Midway 61, Killeen 57