GATESVILLE — The Gatesville Fightin’ Hornet Christmas Tournament wrapped up Thursday afternoon with the Waco University boys and Mexia girls the lone teams not to drop a game.It wasn’t all about wins and losses though.

It was more about gaining momentum as teams head toward district play or — in the case of the Copperas Cove Bulldawgs — back into their district slate. Lampasas found a little at the end after dropping its first three games. The Lady Badgers beat Hico 38-32 — a welcomed sign first-year head coach Jenny Bowden especially after her team was trounced by 40 points in its opener Wednesday.

“I felt like we were back at the beginning of the season,” said Bowden, who’s Lady Badgers lost to Gatesville 35-32 to open Thursday. “We had a little bit too much turkey I’m afraid. But we came alive against Mexia...and then this morning with Gatesville, I think we are starting to get back in it. ”

Lampasas nearly had two wins, but couldn’t hold a late lead against the Hornets.

Gatesville then followed with what coach Chris Carroll called an “embarrassing” 62-28 loss to Early. The Hornets committed 17 turnovers and didn’t score in the fourth quarter until 2:45 remained in the game.

“We didn’t play very well, and you’re not going to play well sometimes, but we didn’t show very much heart or competitive energy in that game,” Carroll said. “We took a step back and we have a week to get ready for China (Spring).”

Against Lampasas, Gatesville’s Skye Truss and Daija Ward bookended a Julie Mize free throw to tie the game at 27-27 early in the fourth quarter. Glynna Johnson and Ward then followed a Megan Mason foul shot with back-to-back buckets, giving the Hornets a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

Ward had 14 points against Lampasas, while Kaitlin Poe led Gatesville with 10 against Early. Juls Crook scored 11 points in both Lampasas games to go with a 18-point outing from Hailey Morrison against Hico.

The Dawgs were the only team to walk away with hardware, beating both Fort Worth Polytechnic (85-56) and Burnet (59-37) to claim the Silver Bracket championship. Five players reached double figures against Polytechnic, including Cory Scott, who had a team-high 14 points against Burnet.

“Anytime you get wins, its good,” Cove coach Billy White said. “Like I told them a couple weeks ago after we beat (Austin) Hyde Park by like four points, ‘It’s an ugly one, but it’s much better for us to be in here talking about things that we need to work on off a win versus talking about things that we need to work on off a loss.’”

But — in almost echoing his thoughts from Wednesday — White wasn’t pleased with his team’s straying away from its up-tempo style of play. Cove is already 0-1 in 12-5A play and host Bryan on Tuesday before heading to early-season favorite A&M Consolidated three days later.

“There’s no way — with our size  — that we can go out there and not play at a certain speed every night to be successful,” White said. “That’s what we have to do.”

The Gatesville boys, after two convincing wins Wednesday, dropped their two Thursday in the Gold Bracket against significantly tougher competition. They lost to Waco University 60-41 and Pflugerville Connally 69-49.

“Those are the two best teams we’ve played all year,” said Hornet coach Todd Shelton, adding that his message to his players was they likely won’t see teams that deep and athletic during 19-3A play.

“Everybody was coming up to me saying ‘Your kids look so much better.’ Last year, we would have lost that (Connally) game by 50.

“I was pleased — not pleased with the loss, but pleased with the product that was out there for the most part.”

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