By Rob Kiser, Piqua Daily Call
FEBRUARY 16, 2019 BROOKVILLE
It was not unexpected.
Still, Covington girls basketball coach Jim Meyer was happy with the way his team handled its tournament opener Saturday at Brookville High School in D-IV action.
Covington, 19-3, rolled to a 56-19 win over 1-21 Tri-County North.
The second-seeded Buccs will play 14th seeded Jefferson at 6 p.m. Wednesday in a sectional semifinal.
"The biggest thing I was concerned with was keeping our level of play up," Meyer said. "We have a tendency when we play teams that aren't quite as good to play at their level. We talked all week about focus, focus, focus and the kids did a great job of that today."
Sammi Whiteman scored 10 quick points, while Morgan Lowe added four points and Lauren Christian had a putback as the Buccs jumped out to a quick 16-0 lead before North’s Mackenzie Bacher hit a free throw with 2:36 to go in the first quarter.
"They came out in a box-and-one (on Sammi Whiteman)," Meyer said. "But, we feel like at this point, we have seen every kind of defense we are going to see. It doesn't faze the kids anymore. And our defense did a great job. When you are able to play in transition, that makes it a lot harder to defend Sammi (Whiteman)."
Whiteman left the game with two minutes to go in the third quarter with 31 points as Covington led 23-3, 36-9 and 49-12 at the quarter breaks.
"But, we had some other girls step up," Meyer said. "Morgan Lowe hit some big shots. We had some big offensive rebounds."
And Meyer saw a lot of positives headed into the Jefferson game.
"I thought we did a lot of good things at both ends of the floor," he said. "We were able to to get a lot of steals and force a lot of turnovers, which created easy baskets at the other end."
Lillian Hamilton added seven points and four rebounds to the Buccs cause, while Morgan Kimmel grabbed five rebounds.
Shayanna Baker had five points and nine rebounds for the Panthers, while Sidney Jackson scored six points and Lexi Delong added five.
Covington was 22 of 49 from the floor for 45 percent and eight of nine from the line for 89 percent.
Tri-County North was six of 32 from the floor for 19 percent and seven of 11 from the line for 64 percent.
Covington won the battle of the boards 24-20 and had seven turnovers to North’s 16.
It was also an opportunity for Covington's bench to get some quality time in a tournament atmosphere.
"Our second team worked so hard all week doing 'North' things to get us ready for the game," Meyer said. "It was great to be able get them that kind of playing time."
Now, Covington gets ready for Jefferson on Wednesday - hoping for a similar expected result.
Tri-County North (19)
Kelli Cooke 0-0-0, Maddy Flory 1-0-2, Sidney Jackson 1-4-6, Shyanna Baker 2-1-5, Lexi Delong 2-1-5, Mackenzie Bacher 0-1-1, Mackenzie Lykins 0-0-0, Faith Estep 0-0-0. Totals: 6-7-19.
Morgan Lowe 2-0-4, Sammi Whiteman 12-4-31, Morgan Kimmel 0-0-0, Claudia Harrington 2-1-5, Lauren Christian 2-0-4, Lillian Hamilton 2-3-7, Makenzee Maschino 1-0-2, Brenna Miller 0-0-0, Leah Poling 0-0-0, Josie Crowell 1-0-3, Autumn Wright 0-0-0, Ellie Hedges 0-0-0, Claire Fraley 0-0-0. Totals: 22-8-56.
3-point field goals - Covington: Whiteman (3), Crowell.
Score By Quarters:
Tri-County North: 3 - 9 - 12 - 19
Covington: 23 - 36 - 49 - 56
Records: Tri-County North 1-21, Covington 19-3