Temple girls basketball

Temple’s Rene’Jah Jackson (center) drives to the basket while defended by Copperas Cove’s Danielle McGriff (left) and T’Shayla Marie during Friday’s game.

Temple scored enough points off turnovers to stay in the game Friday night, but it was four points that Copperas Cove netted off a pair of late steals that proved the difference in a 46-39 Lady Bulldawgs’ win in District 12-6A action at Wildcat Gym.

With her team leading 40-39 with 1:09 left, Cove’s Samaria Bostick got a steal and fast-break layup, after which Taylor Wilson repeated the process on Temple’s next possession to help the Lady Bulldawgs (12-9, 1-2) hold on for their first league win and snap a four-game skid.

“We’ve been having trouble closing out games, so to see that we can, it’s a big step for us,” Copperas Cove head coach Tiffney Barnes said. “These girls are such hard-working girls, it’s so irritating when that happens. Tonight is a big boost for us.”

The Tem-Cats (11-7, 1-2), who have lost four of five, trailed by as much as eight early in the fourth but got back in it by creating a couple late turnovers.

First, they forced a 5-second call that Nyteria Colbert turned into a layup. Then, they got a Keaundria Burleson steal that led to a Colbert trip to the free-throw line, where Colbert hit one of two. After Colbert’s second miss, Aniah Hall got an offensive board and earned her own free throws, which she buried to tie the game at 39 with 1:29 remaining.

Those were the last points Temple scored, though.

“The turnovers at the end, we’re tied up, and two turnovers at the end, so it’s just bad decision-making,” Temple head coach RaShonta LeBlanc said. “We just got outplayed tonight.”

The Tem-Cats converted 17 turnovers into 20 points, helping them stay close throughout. Down nine midway through the second — their largest margin of the night — they used four turnovers to close the first half on a 10-0 run that was finished with a Colbert-to-Hall inbounds pass and score from the middle of the lane to make for a 23-22 Temple lead at halftime.

The possession was set up by a Colbert steal, one of a game-high six, to go with 17 points and three assists, both team highs. Hall added 16 points, eight rebounds and seven blocks.

Cove’s Bostick led all players with 23 points on 7-of-12 shooting, to go along with eight rebounds and three steals as the Lady Bulldawgs outrebounded Temple 33-23.