By Nick Talbot
Killeen Daily Herald
COPPERAS COVE - Temple hit three 3-pointers in the first three minutes.
The Copperas Cove Lady Bulldawgs never responded.
With their outside shooters hitting, the Tem-Cats went over the top to 6-foot posts KeTara Chapel and Tyesha Taylor, who each scored 13 points Friday, to finish off Copperas Cove 49-34 at Bulldawg Gymnasium.
"They were sending two people in on (Taylor) at first and then once (Ortiz) hits those 3s they realized they had to face guard and that didn't help because all we had to do was lob it over," said Temple coach Tamarah Sanders. "Over the top is what we did in the second half."
While the Tem-Cats (22-8, 6-3) posts dominated, it was the outside shooting that got Temple rolling. The Tem-Cats hit 71 percent of their 3-point attempts and shot 56 percent overall from the floor in the blowout win.
"(Temple) shot some incredible percentage that first half," said Copperas Cove coach Teresa Durham. "We worked on a couple of things we were going to try to do, but most of that included double teaming or helping on the inside and I was hoping one or two of their guards wouldn't shoot the ball so well, but they did.
"We had to go back to man and match up."
But that didn't work either.
Jazzmine Ortiz, who had nine points all on 3-pointers, hit two 3s and Rykeya Johnson buried another as the Tem-Cats pounced on the Lady Dawgs 11-3 in the game's opening three minutes.
"Jazzmine has been struggling a little bit, but today she hit a few 3s and it opened us up down low and helped us out a whole lot," Sanders said.
Johnson then buried another 3 and Taylor, who pulled down 11 rebounds, and Chapel got going inside as Temple pulled away 18-5 after one quarter. Alex Rodriguez buried a 3-pointer to pull Copperas Cove (18-11, 5-4) back to within 20-12 midway through the second quarter.
However, Temple went on a 6-0 run as Alyssa Jones drove the lane for a pair of buckets. And even though the Lady Dawgs outscored Temple 14-12 in the second quarter, they were never able to cut the lead back to single digits again. The Lady Dawgs simply couldn't shoot their way out of the early hole, hitting 38 percent from the floor and 37 from 3-point range. Worse yet, Cove only hit 3-of-12 from the free-throw line.
Erisha Talley missed all four of her free throws, but still led Copperas Cove with eight points.
Temple, which also dominated A&M Consolidated on Tuesday, is now alone in third place in District 12-5A at 6-3. Cove, meanwhile, fell into a tie with Ellison for fourth place.
"They are starting to believe they are special and that they can do something big," Sanders said. "That is the biggest thing with this team - confidence. The Consolidated game boosted up their confidence and now we have a tough one on Tuesday against Harker Heights."