FEBRUARY 8, 2021 - COVINGTON
If you win the final home game of season it is always brutal in one sense and sweet in another.
The brutal part is witnessing the final time the seniors step onto the floor for the final time in front of the home crowd - many of those parents who have watched the development over several years.
The sweet part is the lasting memory created for the seniors, who likely remember the final game on the home floor more than any other game in their high school careers.
In Covington’s case, it had just one senior who experienced competing on the home floor for the final time - Ellie Hedges.
And wow, did her teammates give her a night to remember in so many ways in a 57-39 victory over Fairlawn.
First, the Lady Buccs recognized Hedges during pre-game with a well deserved introduction and a genuine display of affection for their senior leader.
Then, Hedges and the Lady Buccs played a style of basketball that was so much fun to watch - not because of the results - but by how the entire team enjoys playing as a unit. This was apparent - and has been all year - by the smiles on the faces of each one of the girls in the midst of the battle.
Finally and fittingly, junior Claudia Harrington made sure it was a memorable night by her performance on the floor - a performance that established a new school record with eight three-pointers. This broke the record of seven shared in the 2006-07 season by Andrea Meyer and current assistant coach Ashley Johnson.
But in the first few minutes of the game the Lady Buccs struggled to find the bottom of the net as Fairlawn took a 4-3 lead. Harrington caught fire and dropped in 17 of her game-high 26 points in the frame on five treys and a runner to give Covington a 21-4 cushion after one.
Fairlawn made a defensive adjustment in the second by mirroring Harrington in a box-and-one. The strategy proved successful as the visiting Jets outscored the Lady Buccs 12-9 in the frame to cut the margin to 30-16 at the break.
The third period was much of the same as Fairlawn focused its defense on shutting down Harrington. Fortunately Claire Fraley and Carlie Besecker stepped up with some big buckets to keep the double digit lead late in the frame.
Harrington, who was held scoreless since the first period, drilled a buzzer-beating trey to push Covington’s lead to 43-27 with one quarter to play.
The final period saw Hedges connect on a pair of buckets and Fraley hit on a stick back as Covington worked the clock.
The final six points came on back-to-back treys by Harrington, the second breaking a school record that has stood for 14 years.
Harrington led all scorers with 26 points, while Carlie Besecker had 11 and Claire Fraley scored 10.
Ellie Hedges tallied eight points in her final game on the home floor, but her all-around game and leadership at both ends of the floor was something she can reflect on with pride.
The win boosts Covington’s record to 14-6 on the season as it travels to Carlisle on Thursday for the season-finale.
SCORE BY QUARTERS:
Covington: 21 9 13 14 = 57
Fairlawn: 4 12 11 12 = 39
Covington Scoring: 57
16-2pt FG, 8-3pt FG (Harrington 8) 1/4 FT
Claudia Harrington - 26
Carlie Besecker - 11
Claire Fraley - 10
Ellie Hedges - 8
Gracie Anderson - 2
Fairlawn Scoring: 39
12-2pt FG, 3-3pt FG (Heath 3), 4/10 FT
Heath - 16
Graves - 8
Cundiff - 7
Roush - 4
Batton - 2
Maxson - 2