Henry Sanchez scored 23 points and the Copperas Cove Bulldawgs won an action-packed game on the road at Shoemaker 76-73 on Tuesday.
The loss cost the Grey Wolves (3-2 12-6A) a share of the district lead. They entered the night in a five-way tie for the top spot.
Alani Carter added 16 points for Copperas Cove (2-3 12-6A), and Marcellus Anderson had 13.
Leading scorers for Shoemaker were Lakyi Ellison with 17, Antwone Gonzales with 14, and Trent Hudson and Ti'ajae Owens with 12 each.
The start of the game saw each team struggle to maintain any sort of lead. Within the final two minutes
Shoemaker was able to find its footing and put in consecutive 3-pointers to establish a 19-11 lead at the end of the period.
Three minutes into the second quarter, the Dawgs had only added a single point while Shoemaker added an additional 10. By halftime, the Wolves led 35-21.
The second half of the game saw a vastly different dynamic, and different Copperas Cove team. A team that both coaches
agreed played harder in the second half.
“I felt like my kids weren’t playing hard enough in that first half,” Copperas Cove coach Travis Boyce said. “Everyone here is here to play, don’t lose a game just because you’re not playing hard.
What I can’t stand as a coach is to see a team lose just because of the fact that they aren’t playing hard.”
With two minutes left in the third quarter Cove had closed the 14-point gap to five, 45-40. After an exchange of 3-point shots from both sides,the gap
tightened further to two points, 52-50, heading into the final quarter.
Shoemaker started the fourth with four unanswered points. With five minutes left in the game, the score was 62-57 Shoemaker.
After some successful free throws and well placed shots, Cove took its first lead with approximately two minutes left on the clock, 67-66.
When Cove took its lead, it wouldn’t have obvious it was an away game judging by the cheers of the fans in the visiting section.
Boyce said the traveling fans are something that help fuel his team.
“If we don’t have them, at times we don’t pull through a lot of these games,” Boyce said.
“It brings the atmosphere where it needs to be in these district games. Honestly, it’s like that everywhere, all the schools are going to bring that type of energy, and we love it.”
With 11 seconds left, the Dawgs found themselves with the ball and up by two, 75-73. After an exchange of free throws, the victory was finalized.
Shoemaker coach Jeremy Hensley said the Wolves getting away from what was working in the first half played a factor in their loss.
“What worked for us we got away from, and when you get away from what works, I mean, hey, that’s the result you get.”
“I preach defense,” Hensley said. “We just kind of let up on defense, and we've just got to get back to work and fix it. I mean, you know, we’re better than that and we’ve got to show it.
"You can’t lay down for anybody and (Cove) came to play hard.”
The Grey Wolves travel to 12-6A co-leader Belton on Friday. Copperas Cove also plays a 12-6A co-leader on the road at Harker Heights.
12-6A BOYS BASKETBALL
Harker Heights 4-1
Copperas Cove 2-3
- Belton 70, Bryan 51
- Copperas Cove 76, Shoemaker 73
- Harker Heights 82, Temple 67
- No. 14 Ellison 90, Killeen 46