• December 21, 2014

Better effort on boards sends Dawgs past Belton

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Posted: Saturday, February 12, 2011 6:46 am | Updated: 10:21 am, Mon Jul 28, 2014.

COPPERAS COVE — The formula is really simple for Billy White. If you can dunk, you can go get a rebound.

And the Copperas Cove boys basketball head coach figures about 80 percent of his team can dunk. So getting dominated on the boards shouldn’t be happening, as was the case in the team’s last two games against Shoemaker and No. 10 Harker Heights.

The Bulldawgs did their part on the glass, and it translated to a 90-75 win over Belton in their home finale. “That’s something we’ve been stressing for two years now,” said White, the Dawgs’ second-year head coach. “We got to block out and rebound the ball. That’s just something that we have to do. “When we can rebound, we’re going to be fine.”

That edge — Cove outrebounded Belton 35-29 — made the biggest difference in the fourth quarter. Cove (15-17, 3-10 12-5A) led the entire game, going up by double digits in the first quarter. But Belton kept coming, getting within nine a number of times and using a 7-0 run midway through the fourth quarter to cut Cove’s lead to eight. Sean Voss, who led the Tigers with 33 points, and Jacob Whitman, who had 14, scored all seven points in the run.

Voss started it with a three-point play with 5:04 to play and Whitman made it a 74-66 ballgame 41 seconds later at the free-throw line.

But what ailed Belton (12-18, 3-10) for much of the night — missing open shots and transition defense — came back in a big way.

Voss stole an errant Cove pass following Whitman’s free throw, but Adrian Henderson missed the ensuing layup. The Dawgs went the other way and Robert King was fouled, making 1-of-2 free throws to push the lead back to nine.

That was the first of seven straight possessions the Dawgs scored on, using the 13-3 run to all but put the game away. Cove made 9-of-10 foul shots to go with Juwan Rice and Cory Scott layups, turning their eight-point lead into an 87-69 runaway.

“I really didn’t feel like we did a good job all night at shutting down the penetration gaps,” Belton head coach John Osborn said. “And we also didn’t do a very good on transition. Every time I felt like we were trying to do some things where we were closing the gap, then all of a sudden we let them break out into another transition bucket here or transition bucket there.”

Belton had chances during the run, but missed 3-of-4 free throws in addition to a pair of shots under the basket.

“I said it to my assistant when (Henderson) missed that layup underneath the basket right there,” Osborn said. “I go, ‘How many of those have we done tonight?’ That’s part of the game and you have to play through it.”

Ricardo Artis, who scored six during Cove’s run, finished with a game-high 35 points to go with 12 rebounds. Rice added 17 points, as the duo was a perfect 11-for-11 from the foul line in the fourth quarter.

“We just kept playing and were putting the ball in the basket for a little bit and getting stops and rebounds,” White said. “When we rebound the ball, that’s going to happen.”

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