By Kevin Posival
Killeen Daily Herald
GATESVILLE - Skye Truss wills things to happen for the Gatesville Hornets.
If she wills it today, the Hornets will be playing for the championship trophy of their own Gatesville Hornet Holiday Tournament. Truss, a 5-foot-9 junior, scored 31 total points in the Hornets' routs of Valley Mills and Waco Reicher and leads the Hornets into a championship semifinal today at 9 a.m. against Burnet.
"She's one of our most aggressive kids and
she just wills a lot of things to happen just by hustle and want-to," Gatesville coach Chris Carroll said of Truss. "All of our kids play hard, but she's that and more, so she's played well that last couple of games."
Truss scored 15 in Gatesville's 70-30 win over Valley Mills and 16 in the 58-19 win over Reicher. Games, Carroll added, that were good for his Hornets to have coming back from the Christmas layoff and get ready for the next two games of the tournament - the Gatesville-Burnet winner will play the Waco Connally-Liberty Hill winner for the championship at 6 p.m.
"These were two good games to get back into the flow after Christmas," Carroll said. "Tomorrow will be a big step up with Burnet and, if we're fortunate enough to beat them, Liberty Hill's one of the best teams in the state. "We know it'll be a different level, but I was pleased with the way our kids came back from the break and it's always good to get two wins."
Truss was one of three Hornets to score seven in Gatesville's 26-point, door-shutting second quarter against Valley Mills. Truss, Kaitlin Poe, who finished with 12 points, and Megan Hafarkamp each scored seven in the second quarter that gave the Hornets a 38-15 lead at halftime.
Valley Mills scored 11 in the period and just 15 total in the second half. Gatesville separated itself in the first quarter, taking advantage of a 6½-minute dryspell by the Lady Eagles. The Hornets led 12-4 after the first. Poe hit three 3-pointers and scored 15 points in the win over Reicher. The Hornets led 15-2 after the first quarter and 29-9 at halftime.
Copperas Cove boys split - After rallying to beat Waco University in their tournament opener, the Bulldawgs scored just four points in the fourth quarter in their second-round loss to Austin McCallum, spoiling a 13-point first-quarter lead and another rally opportunity.
"We just came out and the first group really didn't play, and if you don't play, that type of stuff is going to happen," Copperas Cove coach Billy White said. "The second quarter came in, gave us a spark. got some things going, played well, got us back in the game ... they just ran out of gas."
During the four-minute stretch between Cove's first and last fourth-quarter field goal, McCallum scored 14 to stretch its one-point lead to a 15-point lead and a 78-63 tournament quarterfinal win.
The Bulldawgs (9-8) beat Waco University, 82-74, in their first-round game and play Bastrop today at noon in a fifth-place bracket semifinal.
McCallum hit nine of its first 12 shots in the second quarter to erase the Bulldawgs' early lead and kept going. The Knights outscored Cove 32-16 in the second to lead 46-43 at halftime and then scored eight unanswered to start the third to stretch the lead to 11.
Cove rallied in the second half of the third to take a 59-57 lead into the fourth as McCallum hit just one shot in the final five minutes of the third. Deion Robinson finished with 19 points for Cove, including 10 in the first quarter that turned a 15-12 Dawgs' lead to 25-12, thanks to back-to-back McCallum technicals.
Juwan Rice scored 10 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter and Ricardo Artis scored a team-high 18 points, giving the Bulldawgs an opening-round win over Waco University.
Robert King also scored 17, Jonathan Bridges added 14 and Cory Scott had 10 points for the Dawgs, who trailed trailed 22-19 after the first quarter, but pulled away in the second for a 36-33 lead at halftime and a 55-50 lead before the fourth quarter.
Gatesville boys drop two, eliminated from tournament - Gatesville's Danny Byrd and Brownwood's Marquos Barnes went toe-to-toe, but the Lions had more help for Barnes. With just six players, Gatesville (8-12) couldn't keep up with either Brownwood or Austin Travis in the second half and was eliminated from its own tournament after losing both games.
Byrd scored a game-high 24 points in the Hornets' 73-62 loss to Brownwood and 16 in their 73-55 loss to Travis.
"I think if we played the Austin Travis game like we did the Brownwood game, we win the Austin Travis game," Gatesville coach Todd Shelton said. "But when you're dealing with 16-, 17-, 15-year-olds that are coming back from break, they probably didn't touch a basketball, so next year, the tournament will probably be on a Tuesday-Wednesday so we can at least have a practice."
Byrd and Barnes each scored 15 in the second half for their respective teams, but Brownwood outscored Gatesville 43-27 in the final two quarters, pulling away from a 35-30 halftime deficit. Brownwood led by five to start the fourth quarter and stretched that to 11, 59-48, with just under 5½ minutes left, but the Hornets rallied. Byrd bookmarked a Gatesville 15-7 run with a free throw on the front end and four straight points on the back end that cut Brownwood's lead to two, 64-62, with 1:55 left, but Brownwood closed the threat with a game-ending, 9-0 run.
"I tell (Byrd), how he goes, we go because he's the tallest person on the team," Shelton said. "... When he starts playing well, it makes everything easier because you're able to spot-up and you're able to do some stuff."
Dametrez Marshall scored 14, Logan Kline scored 12 and Nardi Meyers added 10 for the Hornets. Meyers and Kline each had 10 in the loss to Travis, which jumped out to a 22-8 lead and led 32-22 at halftime.
Contact Kevin Posival at email@example.com or (254) 501-7562.