FEBRUARY 20, 2019 - BROOKVILLE
Lady Bucc basketball under Jim Meyer has always been about THE TEAM. No one person is bigger than the program and everyone on the roster from top to bottom has a role in contributing to the team concept. Wins are determined by how well each individual on the team accepts their specific role in practice and in games.
Covington senior Sammi Whiteman is the ultimate team player - as is all of the girls she plays with - but she is a special talent that can't go unrecognized for what she has been able to accomplish in the history of Covington basketball.
And Whiteman made history Wednesday night at Brookville High School in Covington’s 77-8 win over Dayton Jefferson as she became the school's all-time career leader in points scored (in boys and girls basketball). She surpassed Lynnette Roeth’s 1,879 career points accumulated from 1988-1992.
"The record wasn't one of my main goals," Whiteman said of when she entered the program as a freshman. "I told my mom at the time my number one goal was to make Covington girls basketball big in Covington. As my career went along, I realized I was going to have a chance (to break the scoring record). Lynnette (Roeth) has always helped me and push me, so it means a lot to break the record."
Roeth was on hand, as was Judy Miller - who was the first female basketball player to set the standard in scoring over 1,000 career points with 1,396 accumulated from 1976-1980. Both alumni celebrated in Whiteman's accomplishment and took the time to take pictures with Sammi after the game.
"I always talk about her (Sammi Whiteman) being a generational player," Covington coach Jim Meyer, who has coached her for the last three seasons, said. "It was the same way with Lynnette (Roeth). It says a lot about Sammi that both of them (Judy Miller, Lynnette Roeth) came to see her break the record."
Roeth wouldn't have missed it for the world.
"I remember the night I broke the record (set by Miller), Judy was there to cheer me on," Roeth explained. "That stuck with me and I told myself that if someone was close to breaking my record I would be there to cheer them on too."
Roeth even recorded the moment Whiteman broke the record on video.
"When I saw she was getting close I got out my cell phone and started recording," Roeth said. "When she hit the shot to break the record I forgot I was recording and started celebrating, so the video after she made the shot is really bad. I showed Lonnie (Cain) the video and he told me that was the moment I passed out. I'm so very excited for Sammi because I know how it feels to accomplish something like that."
And Whiteman broke the record in typical Sammi fashion.
Needing 29 points to tie the record and 30 points to break it, Whiteman worked the ball up the floor with just under 4:00 left in the first half with 27 points next to her number 11 on the scoreboard.
Dayton Jefferson had collapsed its defense into a tight zone inside the paint because Covington had already torched the Broncos with interior baskets. This left Whiteman uncontested at the top of the three-point line and the Lady Bucc senior pulled the trigger.
Swish, the ball hit nothing but net with 3:52 seconds left in the half to give Whiteman the 30 points she needed to break the Covington scoring record and become the second leading scorer in the history of Miami County in girls basketball behind Kelly Lyons-Cash of Bethel, who scored 2,212 career points in the 1980s.
"I knew I needed three points (to break the record)," Whiteman said. "I wanted to get it on that shot."
Immediately, and fittingly, coach Jim Meyer called a timeout so Whiteman could be celebrated by the Buccaneer faithful who made the trek to Brookville hoping to witness history.
But the icing on the cake was how host Brookville made the moment that much more special. Brookville presented Whiteman with the game ball and announced to the crowd that she had broken Covington's scoring record and became the second leading scorer in Miami County history.
What was also special was how the Dayton Jefferson coaches and players reacted to the accomplishment as they took time to congratulate Whiteman as the two teams returned to the floor.
And Whiteman is glad the record is behind her as it is a huge weight off of her shoulders.
"I had been (thinking about it the last couple of games)," she said. "But, I just tried to focus on the game. When you talk about players like Judy Miller and Lynnette Roeth, those were great players."
In regards to the game itself, it wasn't really much of a contest as Covington built a 35-3 lead after one and increased the margin to 56-7 at the break.
But what was very impressive about Dayton Jefferson was how classy its kids were throughout the evening - consistently helping Covington players up off the floor from start to finish.
An with the huge lead, Covington emptied its bench throughout the second half en route to the 77-8 victory and the 20th win over the season.
But Meyer saw plenty of room for improvement.
"I had been worried about the mentality of the game all week," Meyer said. "And that played out in the first half (when Covington led 56-7). I told the girls at halftime, 'We can't win a sectional title missing five or six layups and shooting two of 10 from the foul line'. But, the game is over now and we have a chance to play for a sectional title next week. And we have another 20 win season."
Whiteman was 15-for-20 from the floor in scoring 32 points and bringing her total to 1,882.
Morgan Kimmel added 15 points as Covington put 12 players in the scoring column.
Covington was 33 of 63 from the floor for 52 percent and six of 18 from the line for 33 percent.
Jefferson was two of 22 from the floor for nine percent and three of eight from the line for 38 percent.
Covington had three turnovers to Jefferson's 19 and won the battle of the boards 25-13.
Now, the Lady Buccs (20-3) prepare for a sectional title game against Franklin Monroe next Wednesday. The Lady Jets defeated Troy Christian 43-28 in the night cap.
But tonight belonged to Sammi Whiteman, who established a new milestone for all Covington basketball players to strive for.
And hopefully Whiteman will be in attendance to celebrate with whoever comes along to break her record.
Morgan Lowe 1-1-3, Sammi Whiteman 15-0-32, Morgan Kimmel 7-1-15, Claudia Harrington 1-0-2, Lauren Christian 2-0-4, Makenzee Maschino 1-2-4, Lillian Hamilton 2-0-4, Leah Poling 1-0-2, Brenna Miller 0-0-0, Josie Crowell 2-0-5, Autumn Rich 0-0-0, Autum Wright 0-2-2, Ellie Hedges 0-2-2, Claire Fraley 1-0-2. Totals: 33-8-77.
Dayton Jefferson (8)
Evra Taylor 1-0-2, Charyel Jordan-Harrison 0-2-2, Jewel Allen 0-0-0, Mia Allen 0-0-0, Bre’asia Burton 0-0-0, Jadah Smith 0-0-0, Sheridan Jordan 1-1-4, Lauren Sellers 0-0-0. Totals: 2-3-8.
3-point field goals:
Covington: Whiteman (2), Crowell
Score By Quarters
Covington: 35 - 56 - 71 - 77
Jefferson: 3 - 7 - 8 - 8