FEBRUARY 19, 2014 - COVINGTON
It took two cancellations, but Covington and Arcanum were finally able to do battle on the hardwood as the two teams finished up regular season play on Wednesday at Covington high School.
And early on it looked like the Trojans were going to run away with things as they built an 11-1 lead and had a cold shooting Buccaneer team on their heals.
It wasn't until 1:00 was left in the first quarter when Covington finally broke the ice with a bucket by Jordan Maschino. After a Mason Garber bucket at the other end the Buccaneers closed out the first quarter with a trey by Andre Benedict to make the score 13-6.
Garber was a handful for Covington in the first half as the Arcanum senior scored 17 of his 21 points in the first two quarters - 12 of those coming on four three-pointers.
But Covington was able to close the gap to 27-21 at the half and then outscored the Trojans 17-12 in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 39-38 heading into the final frame.
Arcanum opened the final quarter with a pair of buckets to push its lead to five, but Covington once again battled back on an easy layin by Andre Benedict off of a beautiful pass by Maschino and a Tyler Henry jumper.
Covington then took its first lead of the game with 4:50 left on a Maschino putback, a lead that didn't last long as Connor Pohl took advantage of a Buccaneer turnover with a huge trey at the other end.
Freshman Nathan Blei returned the favor with a three-pointer with under 3:00 to go and Covington never trailed again for the remainder of the contest.
But it wasn't an easy task for the Buccs to close the deal as Arcanum cut the lead to 53-51 and had the ball with under a minute to go.
After trying to find open looks, the Trojans burned two timeouts without taking a shot. Then, with 8 seconds left Pohl was fouled going to the basket, but missed on the first of his two free throw attempts.
Trailing by one, Arcanum sent Covington's Andre Benedict to the line and the senior canned both attempts to make the score 55-52 with just 6 second left on the clock.
One last attempt Kory Baker from 30 feet away at the buzzer was off the mark as Covington walked off the home floor for the final time in the 2013-14 season as winners.
Covington shot 37% from the floor (21-56), 31% from behind the arc (4-13) and 69% from the free throw line (9-13). The Buccs also had 33 total rebounds, 14 offensive rebounds and 11 turnovers.
Arcanum made 49% of its shots from the field (18-37), 29% from the three-point line (5-18) and 55% from the charity stripe (11-20). The Trojans pulled down 23 total rebounds, five offensive rebounds and committed 17 turnovers.
Covington ends its regular season at 7-15 and begins tournament play on Saturday against mechanics burg at 5:30pm at Piqua High School.
Arcanum opens the tournament with a first round bye and then plays either Anna or Madison on Tuesday, February 25th at 6:00pm at Bellbrook High School.
SCORE BY QUARTERS:
Arcanum - 13 - 27 - 39 - 52
Covington - 6 - 21 - 38 - 55
Mason Garber - 21
Connor Pohl - 20
Kory Baker - 7
Colton Troutwine - 2
Collin Habel - 2
Andre Benedict - 16
Jordan Maschino - 13
Austin Lefeld - 9
Tyler Henry - 8
Tyler Clark - 5
Nathan Blei - 4
Arcanum: Garber (4), Pohl
Covington: Benedict, Maschino, Clark, Blei