Cierra Penn rewrote the Lady Roos' fate Friday night in a District 12-6A, home-opening 49-36 victory over Harker Heights.
Unsatisfied with the 10-point cushion at halftime, Penn came out of the break and dropped a 3-pointer to get the Lady Roos offense started. The senior guard also led Killeen with 12 points.
It was a tight battle at the start as Killeen (7-9, 1-2) and the Lady Knights (4-6, 1-2) were tied at the end of the first quarter, 9-all.
While Heights tied the score three more times throughout the second period, Celise Bobbitt found herself in hot water with three fouls in the first half.
“I think the foul count hurt us early on because that’s when the game started to separate,” said Heights coach Sherritha Nelson. “We were playing OK but we weren’t making good decisions in our fouls.”
Those fouls added up and allowed Killeen to complete a 10-0 run for a 23-13 lead at halftime.
“If the fouls were aggressive fouls that they got, I could live with that, but they weren’t smart fouls; they were fouls just because we were running into people,” Nelson said. “We kept telling them to keep playing defense, but we didn’t play defense to the ability that I believe we could play as a team tonight.
“We need to do better.”
Consecutive buckets from Sierra Brooks helped the Lady Knights chip away at the Lady Roos’ lead in the middle of the third quarter.
Brooks and Bobbitt had Penn trapped in the corner, but Penn fought her way down the baseline for a basket that put Killeen up 28-17.
Alexus Whiteside (11 points, five rebounds) and Bianca House dropped back-to-back 3s that further pushed the Lady Roos ahead before Killeen took a 36-23 lead into the final quarter.
“Heights is a great, fast, young team, but with a lot of experience so we knew that they were going to definitely come with us,” said Killeen coach Jennifer Graham. “But we boxed out pretty well, we made some good shots, and we shot well from the free throw line.”
Harker Heights continues district competition Tuesday night, hosting Ellison before heading to Copperas Cove to face the Lady Dawgs on Friday.
“We need a re-tuning on some of the things that we’re doing and crank it up just a little bit different, so we’re going to go back to the drawing board and make some adjustments,” said Nelson. “Hopefully that’ll make the difference and turn the page for us because I feel like we’re nowhere close to where we should be.”
The home victory was the Lady Roos’ first in 12-6A, and Graham knows there’s still work to be done.
“When we’re wide open and we’re missing the layups, that’s something that can’t happen,” she said. “Now we have a win in the win column, but we have to continue that.
“It only gets harder from here.”
Killeen will face crosstown rival Shoemaker on Tuesday at Shoemaker before hosting Temple on Friday.
KILLEEN 49, HARKER HEIGHTS 36
Harker Heights (36)
Morgan 5, Cy.Bobbitt 2,Lovell 9, Brooks 7, Roberts 2, Pemberton 2, Ambrose 2, Dorsey 2, Ce.Bobbitt 5.
Whiteside 11, Harrison 6, House 3, Penn 12, Williams 9, Upshaw 6, Hendricks-Bell 2.
Harker Heights 9 4 10 13—36
Killeen 9 14 13 13—49
3-Point Goals—Harker Heights 0, Killeen 4 (Whiteside, Harrison, House, Penn). Free throws—Harker Heights 11-18, Killeen 21-26. Fouled Out—None. Total Fouls—Harker Heights 19, Killeen 16. Technicals—None.
Records—Harker Heights 4-6, 1-2 12-6A; Killeen 7-9, 1-2.
FRIDAY'S DISTRICT 12-6A SCORES
- Belton 47, Shoemaker 17
- Copperas Cove 58, Ellison 43
- Killeen 49, Harker Heights 36
- Waco Midway 57. Waco 37