DECEMBER 15, 2018 - BRADFGORD
Covington coach Jim Meyer knew his team was in for a battle against rival Bradford on Saturday and prepared his team accordingly.
"We had a pretty good idea of what they were going to do defensively and we worked on some things in practice that we thought would counter that," said Covington coach Jim Meyer. "Chris (Besecker) was at our game against Versailles and we figured they'd use the same approach against us that Versailles did."
Which was bringing two defenders out on Sammi Whiteman once she crossed mid-court. This made it difficult for Covington to get into its offense and limit Whiteman's opportunities at driving to the basket.
The strategy worked early on as Whiteman was limited to just two first period points and Bradford had built a 9-8 lead.
But Covington was able to adjust, which required others to step up as scorers.
"We talked to the kids about that," said Meyer of taking shots. "As much as Sammi gives us, we know others have to do their jobs - move without the basketball and find open shots."
And it was freshman Claudia Harrington who rose to the occasion with a game-high 15 points.
"Claudia stepped up big time," praised Meyer. "Once she calmed down, she hit some big shots for us."
And once Harrington got going it seemed to elevate the play of everyone else on the floor as Covington was able to get easy baskets in transition in the second quarter.
The result was a 16-7 scoring advantage and a 24-16 lead at the break.
"We took advantage of getting people out in transition," Meyer said. "That was the real key offensively."
Another key for Covington was the defensive effort it took to contain the Miller Sisters, Skipp and Austy. The duo did combine for 25 points, but they were challenged at every turn.
"What a couple of nice players they are," praised Meyer of the Miller Sisters. "But I felt Makenzee (Maschino) and the two Morgans (Kimmel and Lowe) did a great job defensively on them."
With the riddle solved for Covington on how to attack the Bradford defense and contain its offense, the Lady Buccs broke the game open in the third with a 19-4 run to push the lead to 43-20 with one quarter to play.
And Whiteman was the spark as she scored eight of her 14 points in the frame.
"Every one of Sammi's points were hard-earned points, that's for sure," Meyer said. "Bradford is a very young team who will only get better and better."
With the game well in hand, Meyer eventually pulled his starters and cruised to a 47-38 win.
And it was a complete team win as everyone contributed greatly to the cause.
"Everyone played their roles and did their jobs," said Meyer. "When teams game plan for Sammi, that means other players have to step up and the kids did that today."
Covington improves to 7-1 and 4-0 in the CCC. The Lady Buccs host Franklin Monroe on Thursday in yet another critical conference battle.
Covington: 8 - 16 - 19 - 4 = 47
Bradford: 9 - 7 - 4 - 18 = 38
16-2pt FG, 3-3pt FG, 6/9 FT
Claudia Harrington - 15
Sammi Whiteman - 14
Morgan Lowe - 4
Lillian Hamilton - 4
Makenzee Maschino - 4
Lauren Christian - 4
Morgan Kimmel - 2
10-2pt FG, 4-3pt FG, 6/11 FT
Skipp Miller - 15
Austy Miller - 10
Bianca Keener - 7
Emma Cannan - 3
Mead - 3