Covington girls use fast start to top Milton-Union

COVINGTON — Covington girls basketball coach Brandon Studebaker saw the first half he wanted to Thursday night against Milton-Union in a 62-46 win in TRC action.

And Milton-Union coach Katie Roose was happy with what she saw in the second half — particularly from freshman guard Jenna Brumbaugh.

The Buccs were 17 of 31 from the floor in the opening half (55 percent) in opening a 43-18 lead, with Carlie Besecker and Claudia Harrington combining for 39 points in the half. Harrington hit five 3-pointers in the first half.

“That is the half I have been waiting for,” Studebaker said. “I wish it had come Tuesday against Anna — we probably would have won that game if it had. It is tough playing a team (Milton-Union) a second time that you have beaten. You never know how the kids are going to react, but they handled it well.”

Milton-Union was shorthanded for the second straight game.

“We didn’t have Jenna Brumbaugh Saturday and we didn’t have Shannon Brumbaugh tonight,” Roose said. “You know there is a lot of illness going around. It is just something you have to deal with and the kids just keep battling.”

Brumbaugh scored a game-high 29 points — including 24 in the second half as Milton battled to stay in the game, while Covington emptied its bench in the fourth quarter.

“Jenna (Brumbaugh) missed Saturday’s game with illness,” Roose said. “I didn’t even know coming back tonight how strong she would be. To put the team on her back and play like she did in the second half, that just shows you the kind of competitor she is.”

Covington improved to 14-4 overall and 9-2 in the TRC with the win, while Milton-Union dropped to 6-11 overall and 3-8 in the TRC.

Besecker had 22 points in the opening half and finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds.

Harrington scored all 17 of her points in the first half and finished with five rebounds.

Maggie Anderson added a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds and Gracie Anderson hit 3-pointers in the second half for six points. Claire Fraley added seven rebounds.

“I thought we had good ball movement tonight,” Studebaker said. “I thought we really played well.”

Brumbaugh had seven rebounds to go with her 29 points.

Ava Berberich had eight points and five rebounds and Kearsyn Robison added seven points.

Covington was 22 of 55 from the floor for 40 percent and 11 of 12 from the line for 92 percent.

Milton was 17 of 47 from the floor for 36 percent and 10 of 15 from the line for 67 percent.

Covington won the battle of the boards 40-17, but had 14 turnovers to Milton-Union’s four.

The Bulldogs will host Bethel Saturday — a team they beat the first time.

Covington will travel to Indiana Saturday, playing Versailles in Hoosier Gym.

“It will be a neat experience (to play in the gym),” Studebaker said. “But, we are going there to win a game. I know Versailles is down this year — but, they are playing team from the Shelby County League and MAC almost every night. They are coming to play, so we can’t just show up and expect to win.

“We still have the possibility of a TRC title, so we want to finish the season strong.”

After putting together one of the best first halves of the season Thursday night.