By Jon Garrett

Killeen Daily Herald

COPPERAS COVE Christmas break could not have come at a better time for the Lady Dawgs basketball team, according to varsity assistant coach John Avritt.

Following a 54-36 home win over Harker Heights on Friday for its second consecutive district victory of the season, the team (11-6, 2-1 District 13-5A) is on hiatus until Monday when it begins play in the 2004 Bush's Chicken Holliday Classic hosted by Copperas Cove.

"We've got a lot of girls hurt right now," said Avritt, citing injuries that ranged from a broken foot to two players out with knee injuries. "The break will give them time to heal."

One of those walking wounded played a key role in the team's victory over the Lady Knights. Point guard Lauren Flood dislocated her finger in the first quarter. After having it popped back in by the trainer, the junior returned to score 14 of her team-high 19 points.

Avritt attributed the recent play of Flood and sophomore guard Kiki Farley with helping the team turn around its season after a four-game losing streak, beginning in the win over A&M Consolidated that saw Farley score seven of her 12 points in the first quarter to help the Lady Dawgs out to an early lead. She finished the night by hitting five of 11 shots from the field to make amends for her worst shooting performance of the year (1-for-13) in the team's previous loss to Round Rock McNeil.

"Our two point guards have really been shooting the ball well lately," Avritt said. "That takes a lot of pressure off (6-1 post) Brittany (McKinney) in the middle."

Bulldawgs to get first taste of district action today

Thirteen games into the season, the new-look Copperas Cove boy's basketball team is 2-11, but with the most important part of the season, district play, rolling around now, coach Jay Parker is not dismayed by what he has seen on the court.

"We could have won all three games," said the first-year head coach, following its last outing in the Lake Travis tournament.

As it played out, his team won just one of the three contests, picking up its second win of the season over Austin Lanier, 60-52, after dropping its opener to Sherman (65-57). Michael Rousell scored a season-high 26 points in the victory.

Cove closed out the tournament with a 45-41 loss to Fredricksburg, but Parker was pleased with how his team played and is confident that Cove will be able to compete in district.

The team's first test will be the 8-6 Knights on the road tonight at 7:30.

Harker Heights is coming off a 61-45 win over Round Rock and is loaded with size in the middle and at the skill positions.

Bush's Chicken Holiday Classic kicks off after Christmas

The Monday after they unwrap their presents with family and friends, the Copperas Cove girls and boys basketball teams will head to the school gym to receive one more present.

The 2004 Bush's Chiken Holliday Classics runs Dec. 27-29 and will feature 32 (16 boys, 16 girls) teams from across the state.

Some of the top teams slated to appear include Arlington Bowie, Temple, McNeil which is responsible for two of the Lady Dawgs' losses and Westwood. On the boys side, Klein Collins, a state tournament semifinalist from last year, and state-ranked Converse Judson will make appearances.

Statistic of the week: 27 The number of points scored by the Dawgs in the

second quarter of the Lanier game to help them take a 33-28 lead into the

break and eventually win the game.

Contact Jon Garrett at

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