By Nick Talbot
Killeen Daily Herald
COPPERAS COVE - A pair of key runs ran the Copperas Cove Lady Bulldawgs out of their own building.
Tied at 8-8 late in the first quarter, A&M Consolidated broke off a 14-1 run that lasted until a little more than three minutes remained in the half Tuesday and put away the host Lady Dawgs with a 17-4 run in the second half en route to a 63-33 win.
"I really thought it might have been more competitive than what it was," said Copperas Cove coach Teresa Durham. "We didn't score, the shots we normally make weren't falling and the defense was a step late on everything.
"Part of it was we weren't playing very well, but part of it is that A&M
Consolidated is a very good team .. and we just didn't get it done tonight."
Copperas Cove (16-9, 3-2 District 12-5A) started the game well, getting 3-pointers from Sarai Rodriguez and Jasmin Johnson. But, from there on out, couldn't find a shot, a rhythm or seemingly a prayer.
The usually sharp-shooting Lady Dawgs only shot 27 percent from the floor - despite hitting 5-of-15 from beyond the 3-point arc.
"We absolutely feel like we have to hold people under 45 points, because we are not going to score 60 or more points every night," said A&M Consolidated coach Karen Heintz.
Tuesday the Lady Tigers did, after a poor-shooting first half - A&M Consolidated rebounded, hitting 7-of-11 from 3-point range and 45 percent from the field.
"We only hit 24 percent in the first half ... but we shoot for a half an hour every day and it doesn't always show, but we work hard at it," Heintz said.
Rodriguez buried a 3-pointer to end the 14-1 Consolidated run late in the second quarter and Jasmin Johnson added another early in the third to cut the Lady Tigers' lead to 28-22, but again Consolidated (19-6, 5-0) went on a run.
This time, Blair Schaefer hit a pair of 3s and the Lady Tigers outscored Copperas Cove 13-4 to close out the third quarter. It only got worse from there as the dormant Cove offense only scored six points in the fourth quarter, while the Lady Tigers offense, which had actually struggled early, went on a tear, ripping off 22 points in the closing frame.
"The kids really wanted to come out and play hard tonight and I think we just have to handle pressure and I think we got a little too tight and we started to press too hard," Durham said. "It's just growing pains."
Tierra Tucker led Consolidated with 17 points, while Twin Tucker added 13 and Schaefer had 12. Twin Tucker also had 13 rebounds for the Lady Tigers. Meanwhile, only Sarai Rodriguez reached double figures (12) for the Lady Dawgs.
A&M Consolidated still shares first place with undefeated Harker Heights (25-0), which it will host Tuesday in a showdown that could already determine the district champion.
"Now, we can finally start looking at that game," Heintz said. "This was a big win for us."