TEMPLE — Tyesha Taylor had a strong all-around game for the Temple girls basketball team on Friday night, but what the junior center did on offense will stick with her the most.

Taylor had 20 points, 17 rebounds, four blocked shots and two steals to help the No. 15-ranked Tem-Cats pull away from Harker Heights for a 62-40 win in a District 8-5A game at Wildcat Gym. Taylor had 12 points and 10 rebounds in the second half alone.

Taylor said encouragement from her teammates helped her on offense after a slow start. She missed her first three shots from the field but finished 10-for-18.

“I was most proud of my offensive game,” Taylor said. “My teammates kept picking me up to play better.”

Taylor nearly outrebounded the entire Harker Heights team, as Temple had a 37-20 advantage in rebounds.

Temple (20-5, 5-0 8-5A) moved into sole possession of first place in 8-5A after Ellison defeated Copperas Cove 72-58.

Ketara Chapel added 19 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals with 13 points in the first half, including a 3-pointer with 3 seconds remaining. Taylor had eight points, seven rebounds and three blocks for Temple, leading a 20-8 advantage in rebounds for the Tem-Cats. JaQuan Jackson (16 points) had nine points in the first half for a Heights squad that shot 9-for-29 (31 percent) from the field.

Heights cut Temple’s lead to 43-31 with 3:38 left in the third on a 3 by Alexus Dukes (10 points), but the Lady Knights got no closer. Heights continued to struggle from the field in the second half, finishing 15-for-56 (26.8 percent). The Lady Knights were 5-for-13 (38.5 percent) on free throws, not making one until the fourth.

“We’re little. Sometimes we give up rebounds because of our height, but we can block out better,” Heights coach Shirretha Nelson said. “It doesn’t get much worse than missing free throws.”

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