Covington girls get past Miami East in TRC showdown


COVINGTON — It was a game that was essentially for a share of the Three Rivers Conference girls basketball title when Miami East and Covington took the floor Saturday afternoon.

And defense and free throw shooting proved to the be the difference as Covington came away with a 43-32 victory.

Covington improved to 17-4 overall and 11-2 in the TRC.

Bethel is also 11-2 in the TRC and the Bees play Troy Christian Monday, while Covington plays Lehman Catholic on Wednesday.

“I am really proud of the girls effort,” Covington coach Brandon Studebaker said. “We hadn’t practiced since Wednesday. But, fortunately Miami East was the only game this week so we had been preparing for them.”

Miami East is 14-6 overall and 11-3 in the TRC. The Lady Vikings play Fairlawn Monday in non-conference action.

“Normally with our defense, we are going to be right there,” Miami East coach Bruce Vanover said.. “Offensively, we just have to keep working at it. We have another game and then the tournament.”

In a back and forth game, Miami East had taken a 24-23 late in the third when Kayly Fetters stole the ball and fired it down to Maryn Gross.

Covington’s Claudia Harrington was fouled with 3.7 seconds to go in the quarter and hit both free throws to make it 25-24 going to the fourth quarter.

“We had the lead and then we fouled the Harrington girl,” Vanover said.

Harrington opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer, Maggie Anderson followed with a basket and Claire Fraley had six points down the stretch as East could never get closer than four points the rest of the way.”

“I felt like it was just a matter of us getting the lead,” Studebaker said. “Claire (Fraley) hits some big shots. But, she needs to do that. We are 21 games into the season and she is a senior. We need that from her.”

Covington was seven of eight from the line in the fourth quarter and 15 of 17 for the game for 88 percent, while Miami East was 10 of 17 for 59 percent.

“Looks like there was a five point difference from the line line,” Vanover said. “We just had too many turnovers in big moments — and missed shots. That was the difference.”

Miami East had gotten off to a fast start, taking a 12-6 lead after one quarter.

“We were doing some of the same things we did the first time (in a loss to Miami East),” Studebaker said. “And we talked about that. The girls did a great job adjusting as the game went along. Parker Metz gave us some good minutes off the bench in the second quarter.”

Covington outscored East 13-2 in the second quarter to go up 19-14 at the break, before the Vikings rallied in the third quarter.

“You look at it,” Vanover said. “We got outscored by 11 in the second quarter and lost by 11. That’s the difference in the game.”

Harrington was 10 of 12 from the line for the games and scored 16 points.

Maggie Anderson had nine points and five rebounds, Fraley had eight points and nine rebounds and Gracie Anderson scored six points.

“To win a game with Carlie (Besecker) only scoring two points, that has to give the other girls confidence,” Studebaker said. “But, there is more to the game than scoring. Carlie did a great job at the defensive end. We don’t win that game without her.”

Camryn Francis and Gross led Miami East with seven points each.

Covington was 13 of 33 from the floor for 39 percent and Miami East was 11 of 35 from the floor for 31 percent.

The Buccs won the battle of the boards 23-16 and had 19 turnovers to East’s 21.

Covington will open Trotwood D-IV sectional tournament play at 7 p.m. Monday against Tri-County North.

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