COPPERAS COVE In just over two minutes, Copperas Cove was no longer a team that kept getting in its own way.
It seemed like the turnovers stopped, as did the careless plays that had the Lady Bulldawgs chasing Mexia for most of the first half and into the third quarter.
Shots started falling and, more importantly for Cove, the shots on the other end of the court Mexias attempts stopped dropping.
The Lady Bulldawgs scored on five straight possessions in the two-minute stretch late in the third quarter and held Mexia without a basket until three minutes into the fourth in a 70-56 win at home Tuesday.
Just scoring a couple of those easy baskets in transition, said Coves first-year head coach Teresa Durham. Where we struggle right now is running an offense, being patient and remembering what were supposed to do. Were just herky-jerky and cant seem to get a flow.
That was the care until three minutes remained in the third quarter.
Until then, Cove (3-0) and Mexia traded runs and baskets. The Lady Cats (2-1) jumped out to a 9-4 lead before to start the game before the Lady Dawgs answered with an 11-3 run to end the opening period.
Cove stretched the lead to 25-20 on a Bryaunea Hall putback with 2:09 left in the second quarter, but a Ariel Ballard answered on the other end with the only 3-pointer she made in seven tries. Mexia then picked off an errant Cove pass one of 14 first-half turnovers for the Lady Dawgs and a Taylor Ballard layup tied the game.
In the third quarter, Mexia stopped a quick 6-0 Cove early on, tying the game at 34-34 on an Ashley Johnson putback and later going up 41-36 with 3:08 left in the quarter. Ariel Ballards layup was the Lady Cats last points until Brechelle Beachum made a layup with 5:12 left in the game.
We kind of got back on heels on defense a little bit and then we missed some shots missed some key shots, Mexia head coach Randy Barger said.
Tia Howard answered Ballards make with a 3-pointer to cut it 41-39 with 2:51 left in the quarter and Hall tied it up 26 seconds later. Freshman guard Mikayla Blount put Cove up the next time down the floor with a pair of free throws.
On the ensuing possession, Hall blocked not only one Mexia shot, but two. The sophomore corralled the loose ball, and Cove went back the other way with its bench and fans on their feet. Sarai Rodriguez was fouled and hit both foul shots to put Cove back up. Hall then converted a layup with two Lady Cats defending on the play, closing the 11-0 run that stretched to 19-0 in the fourth quarter.
I could feel the crowd, said Hall, who finished with 12 points, nine rebounds and four blocks. We were in it and we wanted to win the game. We worked too hard for it.
Said Barger: They got pretty hot our defense let up a little bit in the third quarter. We have to do better but that little stretch in there killed us.