Lady Tigers fall to Cove
Sunday, 06 January 2013 by Tony Adams
Belton took on Copperas Cove on Friday night at Tiger Gym with a chance to make a dent in the District 8-5A standings.
Although the girls were energized early, Cove's physical play ground down Belton and dropped the Lady Tigers 57-45.
Kinsey Williams and Kesha Butler lifted the Lady Tigers to a quick 4-0 lead just two minutes in. The Lady Dawgs hit the score sheet on a field goal Bryaunea Hall. Angel Mullin pegged a three-pointer and Mikayla Blount hit a field goal to put Cove 7-4 with 3:26 remaining in the first quarter. The Lady Tigers went on a 7-1 streak during the next three minutes, as Williams, Emily Hugo and McKinzie Robinson all tallied for Belton. Brittany Gamble hit a basket with six seconds to play in the first half to interrupt the run, as the Lady Tigers took an 11-10 lead into the second quarter.
Cove immediately jumped on Belton in the second quarter as a Goff free throw and Gamble field goal gave the Lady Dawgs their second lead of the night at 13-11. The Lady Tigers did not hit a field goal for a stretch of 4:47 that bridged between quarters, but Cove was only able to put up five points in the span. Down 16-12, Hugo scored seven of the Lady Tigers next 12 points to draw them to with two point of Cove. But Stephanie Cochran interrupted another Belton attempt at a tie with a field goal and free throw to give Cove the advantage at the half 27-24.
"I felt we were a little tentative in the first half," said Cove coach Teresa Durham. "I figured with all the stress they have had with exams they would come out slow. And they did. We were a little off kilter, but they played through it."
Hugo hit the first two shots of the second half for Belton to regain a 29-27 lead. Then the Cove combination of Goff, Mullin, Cochran and Caprica Brooks engineered an 18-3 run spanning six minutes. Goff poured in six of her team-high 16 points in the third quarter and Cove went into the fourth quarter with a 13 point lead, 45-32.
After Kesha Butler hit Belton's first basket of the fourth quarter, Goff and Jasmin Johnson combined to give Cove its biggest lead at 50-34 with 7:16 to play. The Lady Tigers and Lady Dawgs traded baskets back and forth during the quarter, but the physicality of the game wore both teams down at the end.
Aside from Goff's 16-point effort, Johnson had nine points and Mullin had eight for the Lady Dawgs. Belton received 16 points from Hugo and six points from Williams.
Belton's effort thus far in district play has really been noticed by the opposition, especially as compared to last year.
"Coach Gomez has done a great job with her kids over there," said Durham. "From last year to this year they are a different team. Very physical and play hard every night."
Overall, the effort was there even if the scoring was not.
"At times I was happy. Except when we throwing the ball away," said coach Brenda Gomez. "We let them get some offensive boards. We kept manning Goff to deny her the ball. She would get it and take it right to the basket. It is baby steps in getting there. I'm happy with where we're at."
After the Christmas break, Belton travels to Lampasas for a post-Christmas tournament.