Tigers’ Mills scores 43 in loss to Killeen Kangaroos
Tuesday, 05 February 2013 by Tony Adams
KILLEEN-The schedule may reflect that Tuesday night's game at Killeen might have been just another game on the District 8-5A schedule.
However, for the attendees at Killeen High School, it will be one of mixed emotions.
The Killeen Kangaroos, playing through the emotions of watching teammate Demarius Cress being taken off court on a stretcher following a scary, mid-air collision with Belton's Kyle Battle, were able to emerge with an 81-65 victory over the Tigers.
Daniel Mills had his best game of the season for the Tigers, scoring 43 points on 12-of-18 shooting from the floor and 16-of-17 on the free-throw line.
With Killeen up 13-9 with 1:42 remaining in the first quarter, Cress broke away for towards the Killeen basket with Battle closing in. As Cress laid the ball up on the glass, Battle took a swipe at the ball and they both collided in air with Cress falling head first under the wall padding. Battle fell into him after losing his balance. Cress went into a seizure after a brief, motionless pause. Once the seizure stopped, Cress was taken out of the gym on a stretcher and taken to Darnall Army Medical Center for tests and observation.
"We were a little shaken up," said Killeen coach Reggie Huggins. "We didn't know what was going on. The team could see from afar, but it still freaks the kids out. We tried to keep focus and said our prayers and believed he would be alright."
The game continued as the Roos (17-14, 6-4 in District 8-5A, fourth place) strung together a 7-0 run to close out the quarter and led the Tigers 20-9 through the first quarter.
Mills scored 14 of Belton's 22 second quarter points, as the senior wing put Belton up briefly with a three-pointer with 4:28 remaining to give the Tigers a 27-25 lead. Foul trouble and a technical foul landed Mills an seat on the bench with significant time left in the quarter. With Belton down their hot hand, the Roos mustered a 15-3 run to close out the quarter up 42-31.
"We made some critical turnovers and they kill you, especially underneath the basket," said Belton coach Charlie Lewis. "But I told my guys they have to keep fighting hard and Daniel was on fire tonight. I told them keep feeding him. That is what he is capable of doing."
Mills made his way back on the floor for the third quarter and found help from teammates Thomas Barnes and Andre Ewing. Belton outscored the Roos 17-15 for the quarter, but still found themselves with a 57-48 deficit.
Brian Long and the Roos high powered offense picked up the pace and outscored the Tigers 24-17 in the final quarter.
Killeen had five players in double figures, led by Long with 24 points. With the victory, Killeen opened up a two-game lead in fourth place for the final district playoff slot with four games to play.
"Killeen was playing with the emotion because of Cress," said Belton coach Charlie Lewis. "You could tell they with playing with more determination and passion with what happened."
In concert with Mills 43-point effort, Ewing scored 10 points and Barnes contributed nine points for the Tigers.
Cove dominates Tigers
COPPERAS COVE-To say that the Copperas Cove Bulldawgs were not looking forward to avenging one of their district losses to the Belton Tigers would be an injustice.
From the tip-off to the end, Cove simply was smothering and opportunistic. The Dawgs came away with a 98-50 victory over the Tigers at The Dawghouse.
Rashaun Gibson put Cove on the board first 1:23 into the game. Daniel Mills responded with a pair of free throws for the Tigers to tie the score at 2-2 with 6:17 remaining in the first quarter. Cedric Carlisle, Tyler Wilson and Rashard Odomes all contributed to an 8-0, 2:09 run putting the Dawgs up 10-2. Thomas Barnes interrupted the rally with a three-pointer with 2:29 remaining. Cove closed out the quarter on a 9-3 clip and led at the end of the first quarter 19-8.
"The first quarter gave Belton a lot of confidence," said Cove coach Billy White. "Everything they were putting up was going it. But we were able to battle back."
Cove's ever present defense limited the Tigers' to one field goal in the second quarter: a Justin McGowan layup with 7:20 to go in the quarter. Gibson, Odomes, Deion Robinson, Jacob Peart, Cory Scott and John Brown all found the score sheet for Cove, using a balanced offensive attack for a 26-4 Cove second quarter. That, paired up with forcing 22 Belton turnovers, brought Cove to a 45-12 lead at halftime.
Belton challenged the Bulldawgs for the first part of the third quarter, as Mills, Barnes and Braden Hammond combined for 17 of the Tigers' 18 third quarter points. But with 3:29 remaining, Cove touched off a 19-0 rally covering the next 2:27 and pushed their way to a 77-30 lead at the end of the third quarter.
"That rally was just like what they did to us at their place," said White, about the third quarter run. "I knew that if we jumped out on them we'd be successful. The kids battled back and good things happened."
The fourth quarter provided as much excitement as the third, with Hammond, Justin McGowan, Jackson McGowan, Logan Zwerneman and Andre Ewing pushing the tempo for the Tigers, combining for all 20 of the Tigers' points. Odomes, Scott, Montre Fennell-Williams and Marquise Moreland combined for all 21 points for Cove as they coasted to the victory, giving the Bulldawgs a much needed win in the district.
"I thought our seniors played great," said Belton coach Charlie Lewis. "They didn't quit and kept battling. Turnovers is what killed us tonight. Billy (White) and his boys put good pressure on us and we couldn't break it. It's one thing to have dead turnovers and live turnovers. And we had too many live turnovers tonight. Especially since they converted them to points."
Scott led all scorers with 22 points for Cove. Odomes added 17 points, Williams scored 11 and Robinson and Gibson each added 10 points. Cove improved to 17-10 overall and 4-5 in District 8-5A in fifth place, one game behind Killeen for the final playoff slotting. Cove takes on Ellison at home in a very important game for the Dawgs to work their way into fourth place.
Belton received 12 points from Barnes, 10 from Hammond and 9 from Justin McGowan. The Tigers dropped to 8-19 overall and 2-7 in district play.
"I was able to put together a younger unit tonight," said Lewis. "And they played very well. They did a lot good things and what really impressed me was the way they ran the court. Cove has a fast team and we played fast."