Angelique Morgan scored 13 points and the Harker Heights Lady Knights fought off host Killeen 50-41 on Tuesday for their sixth straight win against the Lady Roos.
Empress Roberts added 11 points and Samaiyah Walker 10 for Heights (5-1 12-6A), which bounced back from Friday’s loss to Ellison. The Lady Eagles lost 52-49 at Belton on Tuesday, giving the defending champ Lady Knights sole possession of first place in District 12-6A again.
Killeen’s Tyanna Simpson led all scorers with 14 points. Taleiyah Gibbs had 11 for the Lady Roos (3-3 12-6A).
The Lady Roos got off to a dismal start, missing 14 of their first 15 shots – including 12 in a row – while falling behind 22-7.
Simpson, who scored under the basket off an inbounds play to give the Lady Roos their only lead, 2-0, was the only player to score for Killeen until Asia Gibson (nine points) tallied the team’s seventh point from the foul line with 5:26 left in the first half.
Walker answered Simpson’s opening bucket with a 3-pointer and the Lady Knights led the rest of the way.
Twice on the verge of getting blown out, the Lady Roos battled back each time to keep the deficit manageable but could never quite put together enough of a run to get any closer than seven.
Each time they did, the Lady Knights answered at the other end.
Killeen pulled within 48-41 with more than 3 minutes remaining on a steal and layup by La’Niya Underwood. But Morgan countered with a jumper from the foul line and neither team scored again.
After the bad start shooting, Killeen made five of its last six shots to get the deficit into single digits, 27-18, at halftime. Lady Roos star Gibbs was held to a single free throw.
Roberts scored nine points for Heights in the opening half.
The Lady Roos were 1-for-11 from the field and committed six turnovers in the first quarter as Heights raced out to a 16-4 lead. Killeen outscored Heights by three the rest of the way.
Simpson opened the second-half scoring with a driving layup down the lane off a nifty pass from Gibson. That cut Heights' lead to 27-20, but Eliyanna Hatcher put back her own miss at the other end to start a 14-6 run that allowed the Lady Knights to match their biggest lead of the game – 15 points.
Gibbs scored on back-to-back possessions and Simpson added a putback as the Lady Roos cut the lead to single digits again, 41-32, at the end of the third quarter.
The Lady Knights shot 42% (20 of 48) from the field. Killeen finished at 33% (15 of 45).
The Lady Roos grabbed 31 rebounds, led by Julia Jurewicz's eight. Seventeen of those were offensive boards. Heights had 30 rebounds (11 offensive).
Despite the ugly start, Killeen finished ahead in the turnover battle (14-15).
Killeen hasn’t beaten Heights since a 49-36 win on Dec. 4, 2018. This was the closest game since. Heights had won the previous five matchups by at least 11 points.
The Lady Knights travel to Temple on Friday. Killeen is also on the road at Ellison.
Harker Heights (50)
Morgan 13,Beckett 2, Saleh-Rivera 0, Duvall 0, Roberts 11, Oliver 7, Thomas 0, Hatcher 4, Walker 10, Blessing-Bokeke 0, White 0, Brown 3.
Thomas 0, Jennings 2, Gibbs 11, Jurewicz 3, Simpson 14, Gibson 9, Underwood 2, Spencer 0.
Harker Hts 16 11 14 9—50
Killeen 4 14 14 9—41
3-Point Goals—Harker Heights 3 (Walker 2, Roberts), Killeen 1 (Gibbs). Free throws—Harker Heights 7-14, Killeen 10-19. Fouled Out—None. Total Fouls—Harker Heights 16, Killeen 11. Technicals—None.
Records—Harker Heights 5-1 12-6A, Killeen 3-3.
12-6A GIRLS BASKETBALL
Harker Heights 5-1
Copperas Cove 2-4
- Belton 52, Ellison 49
- Copperas Cove 57, Bryan 42
- Harker Heights 50, Killeen 41
- Shoemaker 49, Temple 48