FEBRUARY 18, 2021 - COVINGTON
Wednesday’s season-ending loss to rival Bradford in the sectional tournament was a bitter defeat, but it didn’t diminish what the Covington Lady Buccs were able to accomplish in a season filled with obstacle after obstacle.
Back in November there was some uncertainty as to whether the season would even be played due to the unknown COVID-19 restrictions to be implemented by the government. Yet, the girls stayed positive and busted their tails in the gym to prepare for a season they didn't know for sure would happen.
Then, when it was determined the season would start, Covington had players in and out of Covid quarantine on several occasions. This forced second year coach Brandon Studebaker to juggle the lineup on what seemed like a nightly basis. One of the key components missing early in the season due to quarantine was leading scorer Claudia Harrington.
Covington opened the season without senior Ellie Hedges and suffered an 66-36 defeat to Versailles. But the Lady Buccs then ran off nine victories in the next ten games, including a three-peat championship in the Covington Holiday Classic.
But injuries started to pile up on the Lady Buccs as Meg Rogers went down with an injury followed by freshman standout Gracie Anderson.
The Lady Buccs struggled by dropping four of the next six outings, but rebounded to win three of the final four games to close out the regular season with a 14-7 record.
What made the 14 regular season wins so impressive was the fact that Covington was fielding a young team with just one senior on the roster, Ellie Hedges. Plus, the Lady Buccs didn’t have their entire lineup available for 16 of the 21 regular season games - and two of those games Anderson played with a severely sprained ankle.
Lastly, in the season-ending loss to Bradford, the Lady Buccs had two key players go down during the game with injuries - Gracie Anderson and Claudia Harrington. Still, the Lady Buccs battled like they had done all year and were within striking distance (five points) until Bradford pulled away in the fourth quarter.
Through it all the Lady Buccs never once used the adversity they faced throughout the season as an excuse. Instead, the girls played the game the way it is suppose to be played - giving maximum effort and playing as a team through good times and bad.
It all resulted into a season where the Lady Buccs exceeded expectations of many who thought the program was in a rebuilding phase.
And it set the tone for what appears to be a very bright future in seasons to come.