FEBRUARY 15, 2020 - BROOKVILLE
Late in the fourth quarter the Covington Lady Buccs were in the midsts of making a gallant comeback from a 17-point deficit when a gentleman from the Tiger Country radio station commented on how much the Lady Buccs had improved from the first time he saw them earlier in the season.
“Are you covering Covington?” the gentleman asked, which I replied “Yes.”. “They have improved a lot since I saw them earlier in the season. That coach does a nice job over there (at Covington).”
When you see the games night in and night out, it can be easy to overlook the improvement made throughout the season. It’s only when someone brings it to your attention you realize just how far this team has come over the past few months.
And although Covington came up short of a gallant comeback - falling 56-49 to Springfield Central Catholic - the game in itself was a microcosm of the season.
The girls gave their best effort from start to finish - even when down by 17 with 3:34 left in the game. Effort is why they were able to cut the deficit to six with under one minute to go. That (effort), in itself is something to build on for the future.
But what hurt the Lady Buccs most throughout the season was their struggles in taking care of the basketball, failing to take advantage of opportunities on a consistent basis, and limited depth.
And those deficiencies proved disastrous on Saturday in three critical sequences.
First, Covington built an 8-7 lead in the opening frame, but turnovers snowballed and led to an 8-0 run for SCC in the final two minutes of the frame.
Then, Covington managed to get to the free throw line several times late in the first half, but managed to hit just one of five free throws - one of the misses being on the front end of a one-and-one.
So, instead of going into the break possibly trailing by only four points, the Lady Buccs trailed by ten, 26-16.
Then, to make matters worse, Covington turned the ball over on five of its first six possessions of the second half, which led to an 8-2 run and a 34-18 lead for SCC in the span of two minutes.
Those six combined minutes of basketball doomed Covington.
But, like they have done all season, the Lady Buccs continue to give everything they possibly could on the floor.
Through grit and determination, Covington battled its way back late in the fourth quarter - even with Morgan Kimmel and Claire Fraley being in foul trouble.
Kimmel scored 11 of her 13 points in the second half, while Josie Crowell knocked down a huge trey with the Lady Buccs trailing 52-35 with 3:34 left. She followed with hitting three free throws after being fouled on a three-point shot attempt.
Covington outscored SCC 14-4 after the Irish pushed their lead to 17 points with 3:40 left. But the Lady Buccs ran out of time at the end against a very good basketball team.
Kimmel and Fraley led the Lady Buccs with 13 points each, while Josie Crowell dropped in 10 points.
Covington ends its season with a 10-13 record.
Covington: 8 - 8 - 10 - 23 = 49
Catholic Central: 15- 11 - 12 - 18 = 56
14-2pt FG, 4-3pt FG, 9/13 FT
Morgan Kimmel - 13
Claire Fraley - 13
Josie Crowell - 10
Claudia Harrington - 8
Ellie Hedges - 3
Morgan Lowe - 2
Catholic Central (56)
17-2pt FG, 4-3pt FG, 10/12 FT
Peterson - 18
Mullen - 14
Foster - 12
Skeens - 6
Castle - 4
Bruce - 2