NOTE: WHEN AN INDIVIDUAL SHOWS THE TYPE OF TOUGHNESS MORGAN KIMMEL DISPLAYED ON THURSDAY, THAT INDIVIDUAL DESERVES TO BE PROFILED WITH EVERY PICTURE IN THE GAME STORY.
JANUARY 30, 2020 - CASSTOWN
The Covington girls basketball team traveled to Miami East on Thursday and captured an impressive 40-37 win over the Lady Vikings in their own gym.
Yes, it was a special win for Covington, but what made it even more special was the fact that senior Morgan Kimmel was able to be on the floor after suffering what appeared to be serious ankle injury last Saturday against Jackson Center.
Yet, battered and bruised and suffering with significant pain, Kimmel displayed amazing mental and physical toughness to not only play, but play virtually the entire game where every step hurt.
And Kimmel played well - no, very well - tying sophomore teammate Claire Fraley with a game-high 10 points and leading the Lady Buccs to a huge win.
“She’s so danged tough,” said Covington coach Brandon Studebaker of Kimmel. “We didn’t think she was going to be able to go, but she proved us wrong. There’s not too many kids who are as tough as Morgan Kimmel.”
Kimmel’s presence gave Covington a spark early as the Lady Buccs jumped out to a 9-7 lead after one period of play.
But Miami East is a talented and very well coached team under coach Bruce Vanover and the Lady Vikings took the momentum with a 12-7 scoring advantage in the second period for a 19-16 lead at the break.
“Miami East is a good team,” Studebaker said. “They have some athletes and Bruce (Vanover) had a good game plan. That’s a tough team to beat, especially on their home floor.”
Covington’s strategy was to slow the game down and be patient on offense for high percentage shots and the Lady Buccs did just that in the third quarter. The result was a 13-5 scoring advantage in the frame to take a 29-24 lead with 8:00 to go.
But a five-point lead against a good team in a hostile environment can be a daunting task, especially when that team gets hot at the right time.
And Miami East did get hot with 13 points in the fourth quarter, but Covington was able to weather the storm down the stretch and hold on for the 40-37 win.
“This is a big win for us because they (Miami East) are always good,” Studebaker said, “We have a week until our next game to get healthy, so I’m hoping this gives us some momentum going forward.”
Getting healthy means improving the health of Morgan Kimmel.
“She won’t practice tomorrow - that’s for sure” Studebaker said emphatically.
The win improves a banged up Covington team’s record to 9-10 overall and 6-5 in the CCC. The Lady Buccs host National Trail next Thursday in what is yet another critical CCC matchup.
Covington: 9 - 16 - 29 - 40
Miami East: 7 - 19 - 24 - 37
Morgan Kimmel - 10
Claire Fraley - 10
Claudia Harrington - 9
Josie Crowell - 8
Ellie Hedges - 2
Morgan Lowe - 1
MIAMI EAST SCORING:
Paxton Hunley - 9
Rory Hunley - 8
Lauren Wright - 8
Kayly Fetters - 6
Megan McDowell - 6
Covington: Josie Crowell (2), Claudia Harrington (1)
Miami East: Rory Hunley (2), Kayly Fetters (2), Lauren Wright (2), Paxton Hunley (1)