Copperas Cove junior forward Rashard Odomes scored a game-high 20 points, grabbed a team-high seven rebounds, dished five assists and had one block — one huge fourth-quarter swat — in leading the Bulldawgs to a 57-55 road win over Ellison on Tuesday.
“This was a huge win for us,” said Odomes who went 8 for 9 from the charity stripe. “We needed this game.”
The win upped Cove’s District 8-5A record to 5-5 (14-13 overall). Ellison is also now 5-5 in district play, 14-12 overall. Cove and Ellison are tied for fourth place. Neither school needs reminding only the top four teams in the district advance to postseason action.
“This win helps us get closer to a playoff spot,” said Odomes, a 6-foot-6 junior. “That’s what we want. We came ready to play tonight, right from the start.”
Cove led 13-11 after one quarter, 26-22 at halftime and 43-35 heading into the final frame.
The Bulldawgs operated defensively out of a 2-3 zone and, thanks to some
very quick feet, it was effective.
“Defense was the key to this win,” said Cove senior guard Montre Williams who had a game-high five assists. “We got the stops when we needed them. When they put it in the post, we trapped and it worked. We were excited tonight. We came out here ready to play and wanted to keep their crowd quiet.”
The crowd did get back into things with two minutes to play: Ellison forward Ronnie Edwards finished off an 18-9 Eagle run with a putback and Cove trailed 53-52.
With 1:45 left, Cove junior forward Chance Smith scored off a sweet dish from Williams and the Bulldawgs led 54-53.
Soon after, came the play of the game.
With 1:14 to go, Ellison had the ball four feet from the cup. The shot went up and … swat!
Odomes made a magnificent block and grabbed the ball.
“That block was real big for us, real big,” Smith said. “If we don’t get that block by Rashard, they score easily and take the lead on us.”
“It was just a big, clutch play for us exactly when we needed it,” Williams said. “Rashard always comes through for us when we need him to.”
“It set the tone for the rest of the game,” Odomes said. “It turned out to be real key for us.”
Williams canned two free throws with 31 seconds left and Cove led 57-55.
Ellison got off a late shot which missed; Odomes grabbed the board with two seconds left and secured the win.
“We did everything well tonight,” said Smith, who scored 16 points. “We hustled, rebounded, blocked out, shot well and never stopped working.”
Williams scored nine points and teammates Devante Robinson and Johnathan Brown scored four apiece.
For Ellison, Edwards scored a team-high 12 points, Antonio Martin had 11, and Shannon Bogues and Frederick Jackson each had nine.
“We played hard towards the end of the game,” Jackson said. “But we should have come out right from the start playing harder. Cove played good. Rashard was making things happen.”
“We were hyped tonight,” Odomes said. “I felt like we were the quicker team. The bottom line is we’re one game closer to getting a playoff spot — and that’s what we want.”
Contact Allan Mandell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 254-501-7566 and read his blog on KDHPressbox.com