By Nick Talbot
Killeen Daily Herald
BELTON - Copperas Cove outrebounded, outshot and outhustled Belton.
As one can imagine, the game was not close.
With multiple defensive looks, the Lady Bulldawgs forced the Lady Tigers into 24 turnovers Tuesday and handily defeated them 68-30 at Belton.
"We knew going in we wanted to play a game with a lot of possessions and giving us a chance to score," said Cove coach Preston Flaniken. "That, for us, is getting those turnovers and getting fast breaks"
The Lady Tigers (6-10, 0-1 in 12-5A) struggled to maintain possession of the ball in the first quarter, tossing it away or getting it stolen a whopping nine times.
As a result, Belton only scored eight points.
"Turnovers have been killings us," said Belton coach Randy Bell. ""We talk about it every single day. If we don't stop throwing it right back to them ... it is going to kill us."
Cove (12-3, 1-0), meanwhile, had no turnovers in the first quarter and got hot from the field, hitting four 3-pointers - two by Jasmine Baskin - and scoring 21 points. Baskin's first 3 gave Cove its first lead, 3-2. Her second, put the Lady Dawgs up 18-6.
They never looked back.
Cove pushed the lead to 30-10 midway through the third before Belton broke off a 9-2 run to go into the half only down 13.
Meghan Braeuer, Belton's leading scorer, hit her first shot of the night during the run.
The point guard finished with only six points, while Kyla Lane and Torie Henderson each added seven.
"We wanted to change our level of defensive attack and run some different schemes to get the ball out of Braeuer's hands," Flaniken said. "We wanted to make someone else besides her tonight.
"(Holding her to six points) shows we did not have the defensive lapses that allowed her to get some easy points. We made her work for everything."
In the second half, Belton never got any closer.
The Lady Tigers did not score their first field goal of the half until the 3:08 mark of the third quarter.
By then, Cove had already scored 15, including a 6-0 run by Baskin, who led the Lady Dawgs with 19 points.
The Lady Dawgs also dominated Belton on the boards. Led by Traonna Shedrick's 10, Cove outrebounded them 43-25.
"What killed us was their approach - their aggressiveness compared to ours," Bell said. "And their size."
And when the reserves came in, it didn't get much better.
Stephanie Cochran scored five points at the end of the quarter to put her team up 30.
From there it was just a formality.
Baskin hit another 3 in the fourth and Dasha Patterson drained one with less than 30 seconds left.
It was Cove's eighth trey.
"They came out in the second half on fire and we didn't hit anything," Bell said. "That constitutes a blowout."