By Nick Talbot
Killeen Daily Herald
BELTON - Both benches had already emptied and went into their respective locker rooms, but Killeen coach Latisha Williams just sat there.
Her hands folded in her lap and her head held low, she had no idea what to say to her Lady Roos - no idea how to explain their first-half performance against Belton.
"I didn't know. That was the problem. I was like ummm ... intensity," Williams said. "How do I get them to get the intensity up? What can I say to get the intensity up?"
Whatever she did decide to say when she walked into the locker room nearly three minutes later, though, worked.
The Lady Roos (4-8) held Belton to only two points in the third quarter Tuesday en route to a 41-36 win in Belton.
"She told us to pick it up on the intensity and that we shouldn't choose when we want to play defense or rebound - that we should want to do it all the time," said Killeen junior Jasmine Goodwine. "It should be an all-the-time thing - an instinct - not 'this time I am going to back off.' We have to give it 100 percent, so that's what we did."
What did work for Killeen - when it could make the entry pass - was getting the ball inside to Goodwine.
The junior post scored 21 points, including the final six points for Killeen, and had seven rebounds.
"We have to make smarter passes. Whenever the ball gets inside the game goes smoother, but getting the ball in is a problem," Goodwine said. "We just have to make smarter decisions."
Goodwine's first two baskets put the Lady Roos up 4-2, but each time Killeen scored, Belton had an answer.
Kenedy Fowler drained a 3-pointer to put Belton up 9-8 at the end of the first quarter and Emily Hugo hit a short jumper to push the Lady Tiger (4-11) lead to 15-11 midway through the second.
Goodwine scored a pair of buckets to put the Lady Roos up 21-20 with 10 seconds left in the half. But, Torie Henderson, who lead Belton with 10 points, took the inbounds pass, drove the length of the court and hit a runner as the buzzer sounded to put Belton up at halftime.
"I think we were aggressive and taking it to the basket," said Belton coach Brenda Gomez. "We were looking to go toward the basket and in the second half we weren't taking it toward the hole."
Goodwine knocked down two free throws and had an easy lay in to start the third and Emily Bejarano hit a key 3-pointer that put the Lady Roos up 30-24.
Fowler hit another 3-pointer to start the fourth and cut the Killeen lead to two. However, Belton couldn't hit a free throw when it needed to, finishing 8-of-17, and Esha Atkins hit a 3 to answer and Goodwine finished off the Lady Tigers with three straight buckets in the paint.
"We have to keep some positive momentum going and this tournament (Thursday at Granbury) is going to show a lot for coach," Goodwine said. "We are going to play some tough teams ... we can't go out there with low intensity.
"We have to go out there and fight and give it our all."