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TEMPLE – Copperas Cove came into Wildcat Gym in Temple looking to get closer to a playoff spot in District 8-5A and early on it looked like the Lady Dawgs would accomplish that feat, but a poor shooting second half led to a 51-42 Tem-Cats win on Friday night.

“It’s just one of those things, you’ve got to play four quarters of a basketball game,” Copperas Cove Head Coach Eldridge McAdams said. “I just felt like we rushed a lot of shots, when we were in a lead, it kind of led into their transition and then they scored points off of it.”

Cove led by 10 points at halftime at 28-18 behind junior Mikayla Blount’s 14 first half points, she finished with a game high 18 points, but Temple came out ready to play defense in the second half.

“We harp on defense, first half our defense wasn’t Tem-Cat defense,” said Temple Head Coach Tamarah Sanders. “You know you get five stops, five great scoring chances and you get back in the game, it took us longer to do it, but we got it done defensively.”

Temple senior Jazzmen Ortiz hit three three-pointers in the second half, one with 3:36 left to play in the game to cut the Lady Dawgs lead to two at 41-39.  Cove led the whole game until Temple’s Toriana President hit a long-range jumper from just inside the arc with 1:45 left to give the Tem-Cats a 44-42 lead. That would be the last field goal of the game for either team as Temple hit seven free throws to end a 20-6 fourth quarter.

“We had an opportunity to go back and forth, but when they’re scoring threes and we’re scoring nothing, it’s hard to keep any kind of lead,” McAdams said.

“We knew coming in, it was going to be tough, we knew we were going to be in a dog fight, I felt like the girls gave it all they got, like I said we just didn’t get some breaks,” he added.

The Lady Dawgs (16-12, 6-7 in District 8-5A) got into playoff contention winning five of their last six games, but will now need help to reach the playoffs.  Cove is two games behind Temple and Harker Heights, who are tied for second in District 8-5A, and one game behind Killeen.

“We got to come in and go and take care of Heights and hope Temple can go and beat Killeen, never know what happens against Midway in the other game,” McAdams said. “We’re still in it, we got one to play, got to go to work.”