FEBRUARY 9, 2021 - COVINGTON
For three quarters the Covington Buccaneers looked like a team peaking at the right time - late in the season with tournaments on the horizon.
But the Buccaneers couldn’t close the show at the free throw line in the fourth quarter - missing on four seven attempts with one of those coming on the front end of and-and-one.
To make matters worse, Covington converted on just two field goal attempts in the fourth - both by Jake Hamilton, who led the Buccs with a game-high 23 points.
Bethel, on the other hand, caught fire in the second half after trailing 4-18 at the break. The Bees connected on five second half treys and outscored the Buccaneers 16-7 in the final frame.
To make the comeback that much more impressive for Bethel, the Bees did it without making a single free throw on just three second half attempts.
The early going was all Covington as the Buccaneers built a 12-5 lead before a three-pointer by Bethel cut the deficit to 12-8 after one.
Covington again appeared to take control on a pair of treys by Jake Hamilton and Wes Gooding, but Bethel was able to respond with two three bombs of its own to stay within striking distance at the break, 24-18.
The long range shots stopped falling for Covington in the second half, but the Buccaneers were still able to find ways to score by getting the ball to the basket. It resulted in a 14-point scoring output for the Buccs in the third, but Bethel was able to keep the game within reach by hitting three big shots from behind the arc.
Leading 38-31 heading into the final eight minutes, the lid on the rim shrunk even more for Covington as a pair of buckets by Hamilton and three free throws was all of the offense the Buccaneers could find.
Bethel quickly chipped away at the Covington advantage and finally took a 47-45 lead in the final minute.
The Buccaneers had one final scoring opportunity to at least send the game into overtime, but a shot from inside the paint fell off the mark at the buzzer.
Six players reached the scoring column for Covington with Jake Hamilton the lone scorer in double digits with 23 points.
The Buccaneers looked to put this one in the rear view mirror as they host Tri-Village on Friday.
SCORE BY QUARTERS:
Covington: 12 24 38 45
Bethel: 8 18 31 47
Jake Hamilton - 23
Jaden Barhorst - 6
Wes Gooding - 6
Britton Miller - 5
Cooper Jay - 3
Tyler Alexander - 2
W. Reittinger - 17
C. Keesee - 12
E. Rimkus - 8
M. Brown - 3
J. Houck - 3
N. Flomerfelt - 2
N. Ray - 2
Covington; Gooding (2), Hamilton (2)
Bethel: Reittinger (3), Keesee (3), Brown (1), Houck (1)