By Rob Kiser
DECEMBER 28, 2020 - COVINGTON
The Milton-Union boys basketball team held off Covington to advance to the championship game of the Buccaneer Holiday Classic.
The Bulldogs, 3-1, posted a 71-54 win over the 2-6 Buccs, while Graham, 5-2, won a 61-59 thriller over 1-5 Newton in the first boys game Monday night.
Newton plays Covington in the consolation game at 4 p.m. Tuesday, while Milton-Union and Graham meet in the championship game at 8 p.m.
“We look forward to this tournament,” Milton-Union coach Rusty Berner said. “It is a nice change of pace - even this year, with the way things have been. And Covington treats us great. We were runnerup the first year and won it last year.”
Blake Brumbaugh and Same Case combined for 13 first quarter points as Milton led 20-9 after one quarter and 38-18 at halftime.
“I thought we did a much better job with shot selection in the first half,” Berner said. “I thought we did a good job getting good looks. I didn’t think we did as good a job in the second half with our angles and cuts. But, give Covington credit. They kept battling.”
The Buccs got as close as 13 points in the third quarter and 11 twice in the fourth quarter.
“We did (just got too far behind),” Covington coach Matt Gibbins said. “We played zone the first half and we switched to man the second half. I thought the kids did a great job getting after it.”
Wes Gooding had 14 of his 17 points in the second half, hitting three 3-pointers and making three free throws after he was fouled on another 3-pointer.
“We can hit those shots,” Gibbins said. “It is just a matter of getting the ball to the open shooter.”
Milton-Union responded to every Covington run.
“I wasn’t happy with the decisions we made in the fourth quarter,” Berner said. “I thought we took a lot of quick shots with the lead we had. But, the kids responded every time they made a run. It is good to have four kids in double figures.”
Brumbaugh led Milton-Union with 18 points, while Case scored 15.
Shane Ullery netted 12 and Justin Randall added 11.
Jake Hamilton added 14 points to the Covington cause.
Blake Brumbaugh 7-3-18, Sam Case 5-2-15, Nathan Thompson 1-0-2, Shane Ullery 5-1-12, Connor Yates 4-1-9, Justin Randall 5-0-11, Andrew Lambert 0-2-2, Landon Bechtel 1-0-2. Totals: 28-9-71.
Jake Hamilton 6-0-14, Owen Boehringer 2-2-6, Jack Ballard 3-1-7, Wes Gooding 4-5-17, Cooper Jay 2-0-5, Britton Miller 2-0-4, Jaden Barhorst 0-1-1. Totals: 19-9-54.
3-point field goals -- Milton-Union: Brumbaugh, Case (3), Ullery, Tyler. Covington: Hamilton (2), Gooding (4), Number 15.
Score By Quarters
Milton-Union 20 38 54 71
Covington 9 18 35 54