VERSAILLES — The Covington and Southeastern girls basketball teams traded punches in the first half Wednesday night in a Versailles D-IV district semifinal.
Then, the Lady Buccs delivered the knockout punch in the third quarter in a 53-37 win.
Covington, 14-10, will play Fort Loramie at 1 p.m. Saturday in a D-IV district title game at the Trojan Activity Center.
Southeastern finishes the season with a 17-8 record.
The Covington inside game of Maggie Anderson and Carlie Besecker matched Southeastern guard Brooke Nelson’s 17 first-half points as the Trojans held a 26-25 lead at the break.
“The third quarter has been our worst quarter all year,” Covington coach Shawn Naff said. “We have come out slow out of the locker room. We had an 11-point lead against Miami East at half and gave up a ton of points in the third quarter. It had to be different tonight.”
And it was.
The Buccs outscored the Trojans 15-2 in the third quarter and 28-1o in the second half.
Covington opened the third quarter with an 11-0 run.
Maggie Anderson started things with a 3-pointer. After a bucket by Besecker, Gracie Anderson hit a three and followed it with a 3-point play to put Covington up 36-26.
After a basket by Southeastern’s Aubree Moore, Maggie Anderson and Besecker made it 40-28 going to the fourth quarter and Southeastern could never get closer than nine points the rest of the way.
The game had started with Covington jumping out to a 7-2 lead on baskets by Meg Rogers and Maggie Anderson, with a 3-pointer by Avery Koffer sandwiched in-between.
But, Nelson caught fire for Southeastern.
She scored 11 points in the first quarter — including three 3-pointers — to pull the Trojans even 13-13.
Nelson added six more points in the second quarter as Southeastern took a 26-25 lead to the locker room before everything changed.
“They have two scorers, who are both guards,” Naff said. “But, they are really good. I thought we did a better job in the second half (limiting Nelson to three points).
Maggie Anderson led a balanced Covington attack with 18 points.
Besecker scored 14 points and Koffer added 13 points.
Gracie Anderson added six points.
Nelson paced Southeastern with 20 points and Billet added five points.
Now, the Buccs face a big challenge Saturday.
“I have already watched films of two or three Fort Loramie games,” Naff said. “It is a childhood dream to go to district.”
Made possible by a knockout punch in the second half.
Sports Editor Rob Kiser can be reached at [email protected]