Emri Lovell led a balanced scoring attack with 13 points and the Harker Heights Lady Knights defeated Shoemaker’s Lady Grey Wolves 53-43 on Tuesday in the teams’ final game before the holiday break.
Sierra Brooks added 12 points for Heights, and Angelique Morgan finished with 10.
Those in attendance were greeted by a passionate defensive performance and dyed red hair from Empress Roberts.
“Empress plays very hard,” Heights coach Shirretha Nelson said. “She has this contagious go-hard energy all the time, and I think that’s what you saw today. Her hair is the perfect color right now because she brings the fire to the game every time.”
The Lady Knights remained in a first-place tie with Ellison at 4-0 in 12-6A play. The two teams will meet when district play resumes Jan. 5
Leading scorers for the Lady Grey Wolves (1-3 12-6A) were Jamesha Reece with 13, and Novonty Smith and Theresa Graves each had seven.
“Every kid stood out to me defensively,” Shoemaker coach Karron Taylor said. “I think everyone played their role.”
The Lady Knights scored first but the Lady Wolves answered immediately. After that, the Lady Knights managed to keep the game at their pace, ending the first quarter with a 12-2 lead.
Shoemaker was able to gather momentum, but the Lady Knights clung to their lead, ending the first half on top 23-14.
Taylor said the pace of the game was played faster than the Lady Wolves would have liked.
“One minute we’re looking like we’re doing the things we need to do, then we lose focus for a little bit and they make a little run,” he said. “I think the style of basketball which is more slowed down is our pace. They’re more guard-oriented, so they want to get it up and down.”
By the end of the third, the Lady Knights were up 36-28. Despite a more slowed down fourth quarter that saw the Lady Wolves close the gap several times, they never managed to take the lead.
The Lady Knights made a final stand in the fourth that widened the gap again, ensuring their win on the road.
Looking ahead, Taylor said that the team needs to regroup and refocus to prepare for the rest of the season.
“This was a tough ball game,” Taylor said. “This is a really good group. I think for the next few games coming up, once we regroup and refocus, we’ll be OK.”
Despite the victory, Nelson said she was not content with how the game played out.
“I don’t feel like we played as a team today,” Nelson said. “I think we had moments where we did. We had opportunities, but I think we were out of sorts. We’re a four-cylinder team and we were shooting off of one cylinder today.”
Nelson said the level of communication between the Lady Knights was not at its usual level.
“I feel like our concept of team basketball is a lot better than we displayed today,” Nelson said. “We saw sparks of the team that we are, but we never played as the team that we can be. “
Nelson said Shoemaker had a great effort and played consistently hard the entire game.
“All respect to Shoemaker and all of our Killeen schools,” Nelson said. “Whenever we have in-town rivals, it’s always a super competitive game.”
12-6A GIRLS BASKETBALL
Harker Heights 4-0
Copperas Cove 0-4
- Bryan 55, Killeen 54
- Ellison 43, Copperas Cove 39
- Harker Heights 53, Shoemaker 43
- Temple 43, Belton 29