COPPERAS COVE — Travis Boyce Jr. saw his team’s confidence draining.

For the past several weeks, Copperas Cove struggled, losing six consecutive games, including three District 12-6A games in a row.

With their playoff hopes beginning to fade, the Bulldawgs’ were losing morale, but they rediscovered their rhythm Friday against Shoemaker.

In a physical contest that led to a combined 71 free-throw attempts, Copperas Cove never trailed following the first quarter and held on for a 70-67 victory to snap its losing skid.

Following the game, the Bulldawgs’ head coach admitted his team desperately needed the win for a variety of reasons.

“When you lose multiple times back to back,” Boyce said, “even though you still fake like you are a solid team, you still have to get a win here and there to keep you going. Losing six in a row is tough, and our morale was really low.

“I told them that we were going to have to fight, and we couldn’t leave this gym without a win.”

Shoemaker recorded seven of the game’s first 10 points, but Copperas Cove (10-12, 2-4) responded with a 14-4 outburst before taking an 18-15 advantage into the second quarter. The cushion inflated to 11 points, 26-15, and the Bulldawgs were ahead 35-30 at halftime.

The Grey Wolves trimmed the deficit to a point on five occasions in the second half but could not complete the comeback, missing a potential game-tying desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Copperas Cove junior guard Henry Sanchez finished with a game-high 22 points to go with four rebounds, while teammate Maurice Henry had a 15-point, 10-rebound double-double with 11 points coming on a perfect 5-for-5 shooting performance in the second half.

Antwone Gonzales scored a team-high 17 points for Shoemaker (17-9, 3-2), while Jalen Spence had 12 points, and Nasuan Parker and Jaymes Brown-Petterson each had nine points in the loss.

The Grey Wolves will look to rebound Tuesday against Belton, while Copperas Cove hosts No. 14 Harker Heights.

“The difference between being 2-3 and 1-4 in district is huge,” Boyce said. “The top half of the district usually starts to separate itself from the bottom half around this point in the schedule, and you don’t want to be in the bottom half, because it is hard to overcome that.

“This was a huge win for us, and hopefully, it sends us in the right direction so we can go get a few more wins.”

12-6A BOYS BASKETBALL

Harker Heights 5-0

Belton 4-1

Bryan 3-2

Shoemaker 3-2

Copperas Cove 2-3

Ellison 2-3

Temple 1-4

Killeen 0-5

FRIDAY'S GAMES

  • Belton 51, Bryan 42
  • Copperas Cove 70, Shoemaker 67
  • Ellison 90, Killeen 55
  • No. 14 Harker Heights 64, Temple 55
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