FEBRUARY 18, 2014 - COVINGTON
The Covington basketball program doesn't shy away from competition and that's why the non-league schedule for the Buccs is as brutal as it can get with the likes of Versailles, Marion Local, Coldwater, New Bremen, Anna, Russia and so on.
On Saturday, the Buccs hosted Houston, which is yet another tough task for any team looking to establish an identity. It's even tougher when it comes just 24 hours after facing unbeaten and state ranked Tri-Village on the road.
But when you have a team that is wet behind the ears in regards to varsity experience, taking on all comers is the best experience the Buccs can get if they want to be battle tested for tournament time - even if that means suffering through some frustrating moments along the way.
And the Buccaneers had their share of frustrating moments against Houston, primarily with shooting the basketball. Covington had ten more field goal attempts than Houston in the contest, but only shot 38% (18-47) compared to a 57% (21-37) shooting night for the Wildcats.
Plus, Covington was horrid from the free throw line, converting on just 9 of 23 attempts (39%), while Houston was 16 of 26 (62%) from the charity stripe.
It all led to a 64-48 loss for the young men in black and white and yet another learning experience for a Buccaneer team that played Houston virtually even or held an advantage in every other statistical category, rebounding and turnovers.
Both teams pulled down 28 total rebounds, but the Buccs held a 12 to 6 advantage on the boards at the offensive end. Covington committed 14 turnovers and Houston had 12, but nine of the Buccs' turnovers came in the first half.
In the end, the difference was Covington's inability to finish at the offensive end - the inability to put the ball in the basket.
And there are no excuses coming from a team that is learning under fire - not the fact of playing tough back-to-back games or varsity inexperience on the floor.
What there is coming from this team is a desire to compete and improve with hopes of peaking at tournament time.
Growing pains will happen along the way, but rest assured this group of kids will not concede anything to anybody.
The Buccs will focus on the next challenge and next opportunity to get better, which happens to be at practice on Monday in preparation for a home game against Newton on Friday.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Houston - 14 .. 22 .. 11 .. 17 - 64
Covington - 6 .. 13 .. 9 .. 20 - 48
Jordan Maschino - 12
Drew Shaurer - 9
Andre Benedict - 6
Austin Lefeld - 5
Tyler Henry - 4
Tyler Clark - 4
Ty Boehringer - 4
Nathan Blei - 2
Sam Sherman - 2
Braun - 24
Philpot - 15
Winner - 14
Freytag - 4
Jolly - 3