DECEMBER 23, 2020 - COVINGTON
It's a shame COVID-19 restrictions limit spectators to high school basketball games to parents and essential personnel because long-time supporters and fans are missing out on watching the development and growth of a special group of kids who are passionate about stamping their own legacies in the tradition of Lady Buccs basketball.
This group of kids, the 2020-21 version, are young overall with just one senior on the roster - Ellie Hedges. But they are such a joy to watch because of the way they play the game. They give all-out effort on both ends of the floor and they do their best trying to execute the offensive and defensive sets called by second-year coach Brandon Studebaker.
After being off for ten days due to the Bradford game being cancelled, Tuesday's 60-40 victory over Franklin Monroe was proof of the effort and "attempted" execution.
Early on the score didn't reflect that as Covington held a slim 14-10 lead after one, but what was so impressive is the girls ran the offense called each and every time down the floor. They were unselfish and patient, never taking a bad shot. Shots just wouldn't fall on a consistent basis, but they never became frustrated.
When shots started to fall, the margin gradually separated between the two teams as Covington pushed its advantage to 28-16 at the break and 44-31 after three quarters of play.
The Lady Buccs then emptied its bench in the final frame, but were still able to push the the final margin of victory to 20 points, 60-40.
For those who look at individual scoring totals as the most important stat, the Lady Buccs continued to prove that balanced scoring is a recipe for success as four players reached double figures with Carlie Besecker leading the way with 14 points. Ellie Hedges had 13 points and Gracie Anderson dropped in 11 points, but what was most promising from a depth perspective was the career-high 10 points turned in by Parker Metz.
What was also impressive was the performance of Claudia Harrington. The junior three-year starter contributed with five points, but her ability to create opportunities for teammates by sharing the basketball when defenders crashed down on her while driving through the lane was extremely impressive. Harrington is a playmaker and many times it doesn't show up in the boxscore.
The win moves Covington to 4-2 on the season and 4-1 in the CCC. The Lady Buccs will deservingly enjoy the Christmas weekend before hosting Milton-Union in the first round of the Buccaneer Holiday Classic next Monday.
Covington: 14 14 16 13 = 60
Franklin Monroe: 10 6 15 9 = 40
Covington = 60
17-2pt FG, 7-3pt FG (Hedges 3, Anderson 2, Metz 2) 5/8 FT
Carly Besecker - 14
Ellie Hedges - 13
Gracie Anderson - 11
Parker Metz - 10
Claire Fraley - 6
Claudia Harrington - 5
Kearsten Wiggins - 1
Franklin Monroe = 40
13-2pt FG, 3-3pt FG (Nichols 2, Hall 1), 6/7 FT
Koffer - 13
Nichols - 12
S. Shellabarger - 3
Hall - 3
L. Shellabarger - 3