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NO EASY WIN...
Nathan Blei scored a game-high 29 points to lead the Covington Buccaneers to a 70-59 win over a very gritty and determined Bradford team on Friday.

Jayce Pond came up big with 21 points.
2016-17 BASKETBALL LINKS

2016-17 SCHEDULE

12/9/16
12/10/16
12/13/16
12/16/16
12/20/16
12/23/16
12/29/16
12/30/16
1/3/17
1/6/17
1/10/17
1/13/17
1/17/17
1/20/17
1/27/17
2/3/17
2/4/17
2/7/17
2/10/17
2/14/17
2/17/17
2/18/17
2/24/17
2/28/17

@ Franklin Monroe
@ Versailles
Newton
Bradford
@ Arcanum
@ Twin Valley South
Lehman @ Piqua
Russia @ Piqua
Milton-Union
Tri-County North
National Trail
@ Miami East
@ Houston
@ Fairlawn
Bethel
@ Ansonia
Coldwater
Tri-Village
@ Newton
New Bremen
Mississinawa Valley
@ Anna
Ansonia (T)
Jackson Center (T)

L 47-54
L 42-70
W 62-45
W 70-59
W 43-41
W 45-43
W 58-48
L 38-52
L 33-36
WIN
L 60-61
W 43-33
W 47-37
L 52-81
L 53-60
W 57-38
L 55-67
L 38-64
W 65-49
W 51-41
L 54-57
L 42-74
W 48-40
L 41-49

2016-17 CCC STANDINGS

Team

CCC

ALL

Bethel 12-0 19-3
Franklin Monroe 10-2 16-6
Tri-Village 9-3 15-7
Covington 7-5 11-11
Twin Valley South 7-5 9-13
Ansonia 6-6 12-10
National Trail 6-6 10-12
Miami East 5-7 11-11
Arcanum 5-7 9-13
Mississinawa Valley 4-8 8-14
Tri-County North 3-9 4-18
Newton 2-10 6-16
Bradford 2-10 2-20

DECEMBER 16, 2016 - COVINGTON
The Covington Buccaneers found themselves in a dog fight against rival Bradford on Friday, but the Buccs were able to pull away down the stretch due to clutch shooting by senior Jayce Pond.

Leading by a slim 55-51 margin with just under three-minutes to play, Pond connected on back-to-back treys to push the Buccaneer lead to ten.

From there the Buccaneers connected on just enough free throws to hold on for a 70-59 win.

Despite playing without Dialaquan Millhouse and Mason Justice, Bradford came out on fire, canning five treys in the opening frame to spark a 21-18 Railroader lead after one period of play. Andy Branson and Parker Smith each connected on two treys a piece in the frame, while Alex Swabb drilled one.

This led to an uneasy feeling the the Covington gymnasium and the Railroaders maintained their lead until back-to-back buckets by Nathan Blei in the waning moments of the half gave the Buccs a narrow 33-32 lead the break.

Blei, who scored a game-high 29 points, put Covington's hopes on his shoulders in the third quarter by scoring 11 of the Buccs' 16 points in the frame to push the advantage to 49-43 with one quarter to play.

Still, Bradford wasn't about to let the game slip away as it battled point-for-point with Covington thanks to a great defensive effort focused on shutting down Blei. The strategy nearly worked as Blei managed just one point on a free throw in the final frame.

With Blei held in check, Covington needed others to step up and hit big shots in clutch situations and it came from the shooting touch of seniors Kenny Atkinson and Jayce Pond.

Atkinson connected on a falling down stick-back that resulted in a three-point play and Pond drilled his only two treys of the contest after Bradford had cut the Buccaneer advantage to juts four points with under three-minutes to play.

The two treys by Pond loomed large as Bradford was forced to foul, hoping Covington would misfire on its free throw attempts.

Unfortunately for the Railroaders, Covington took advantage of its opportunities at the free throw line to pull away for the win - a win that improves Covington's record to 2-2 overall and 1-1 in the CCC.

Covington shot a season's best 60% from the floor (28-47) and made 44% of its attempts from the three-point line (4-9). The Buccaneers made 10 of 14 of their shots from the free throw line (71%) and only had 5 turnovers to 12 for Bradford.

The Buccaneers also dominated inside the paint by scoring 48 points to just 2 for Bradford.

The Railroaders converted on 42% of their shots from the floor (20-48), 27% from behind the arc (6-22) and 81% from the free throw line (13-16). Bradford held a 29-22 edge on the boards.

Covington was led by a 29-point effort by Blei and 21 points from Jayce Pond, while Bradford had three players in double figures - 18 by Andy Branson, 12 by Parker Smith and 10 by Walker Branson.

The Buccaneers look forward to another CCC showdown at Arcanum on Tuesday, while Bradford host Bethel on the same night.


Gray Harshbarger shoots over a Bradford defender during junior varsity action on Friday.


BOXSCORE

SCORE BY QUARTERS:
Bradford - 21 .. 11 .. 11 .. 16 = 59
Covington - 18 .. 15 .. 16 .. 21 - 70

BRADFORD SCORING:
Parker Smith - 12
Andy Branson - 18
Alex Swabb - 6
Walker Branson - 10
Josh Phillips - 13

COVINGTON SCORING:
Jett Murphy - 7
Jayce Pond - 21
Trevor Miller - 4
Nathan Blei - 29
Kenny Atkinson - 7
Tristin Sowers - 2

THREE-POINT SCORING:
Bradford: Andy Brandon (3), Parker Smith (2), Alex Swabb (1)
Covington: Nathan Blei (2), Jayce Pond (2)


Jett Murphy soars over the Bradford defense for two points.