DECEMBER 28, 2019 - COVINGTON
Morgan Kimmel is the type of kid who does anything and everything humanly possible to win. She is as physical as it gets and goes 100 miles-per-hour every second she is on the floor.
Sometimes her style of play gets her into trouble where she finds herself on the bench with fouls, but her style of play is also a style any coach would take in a heartbeat.
And that aggressive, in-your-face, relentless style of play is why Kimmel was named the tournament MVP after Covington defeated Milton-Union 33-32 in the championship game of the Buccaneer Holiday Classic. Joining Kimmel on the All-Tournament Team were teammates Claire Fraley and Claudia Harrington.
After scoring 21 points in a win Friday against Newton, Kimmel managed six points tonight, but it was her all-around game and leadership that proved the difference for Covington in a narrow win.
And yes, Kimmel did foul out with seconds to go, but by then she had already done her job at both ends of the floor.
Scoring was a difficult task for both teams from the outset as the defenses made life difficult on ball handlers and shooters with intense ball pressure.
Milton was able to manufacture an 8-7 lead after one and Covington turned the tables in the second to take a 15-13 lead at the break.
Covington senior Josie Crowell, who was the only player on the floor to finish in double figures in scoring with ten points, knocked down a huge three-pointer for the Lady Buccs to help push the lead to 28-25 after three.
Kimmel, who was on the bench for much of the second half in foul trouble, came back into the game midway through the final frame and connected on a pair of buckets to give Covington some cushion.
A nice stick back by Claudia Harrington pushed the advantage to 33-27 before a big trey by Morgan Gudich gave Milton life with under 2:00 to go.
Covington was able to then spread the floor and use the clock to its advantage, but Milton forced a critical turnover and converted it into points at the other end as Kimmel picked up her fifth foul.
Fortunately for Covington, another senior stepped up in the clutch defensively as Morgan Lowe forced a turnover that helped the Lady Buccs drain the clock and preserve the one point win.
Lowe, who wasn’t selected to the All-Tournament Team, probably should have been due to her defensive prowess alone. She was a constant harassment to both Milton and Newton throughout the Holiday Classic.
But basketball is a team game and the reward for all of the Covington girls is the tournament trophy that was handed out at the conclusion of the tournament.
Covington improves to 4-6 on the season and will return after the new year to face rival Newton in a rematch on January 2nd at Newton.
Covington 7, 8, 13, 5 = 33
Milton Union: 8, 5, 12, 7 = 32
11-2pt FG, 3-3pt FG (Harrington 1, Crowell 2) 1/6 FT
Crowell - 10
Harrington - 8
Kimmel - 6
Fraley - 5
Hedges - 4
Milton Union 32
11- 2pt FG, 2- 3pt FG (Grudich 1, Jones 1), FT 4/12
Madison Jones - 9
Jayla Gentry - 9
Morgan Grudich - 8
Rachel Thompson - 6