Action images are available in our online store.

| VISIT ONLINE STORE |

Seniors Heather Fields, Audrey Doseck, Meredith Besecker and MaryBeth Bayman sparked a season that ranks with the best seasons in school history.

Untitled Page
Senior Hether Fields was the emotional leader of the Lady Buccs in 2003-04.
Untitled Page
Untitled Page

Team

CCC

ALL

Covington

11-0

18-2

Franklin Monroe

7-1

11-2

Arcanum

3-1

7-3

Tri-Village

8-2

11-8

National Trail

2-1

5-2

Twin Valley South

2-1

5-3

Bradford

1-2

2-5

Ansonia

1-3

2-7

Bethel

0-3

2-5

Mississinawa Valley

0-3

2-4

Tri-County North

0-3

1-8

Newton

0-8

0-13

In the 30-year history of Covington girls basketball there has never been a team quite like the 2003-04 Lady Buccs. This was without a doubt one of the top teams in school history and likely the most dominating defensive team to ever step on the floor.

The Lady Buccs finished the season with a 22-3 record and one step away from the state final-four. Despite their loss to Fort Loramie in the regional finals the Lady Buccs were still one of the top teams in the state of Ohio. This is a given considering the opponents they defeated throughout the year.

After cruising to a 3-0 record with wins over Houston, Fairlawn and Bethel, the Lady Buccs captured an emotional 49-37 win over Versailles. It was the first time in coach Chris Besecker's 15-years on the bench a Covington team has beaten the Lady Tigers.

"I feel like the monkey's off of our backs," said Covington coach Chris Besecker at the time. "Versailles has given us fits over the past 15 years since I've been here. This is personally one of the most gratifying wins we've had in a long, long time."

The Versailles win was big, but the biggest win of the regular season was yet to come.

After destroying Twin Valley South five days later, the Lady Buccs showed any doubters that they were for real with their biggest win of the regular season…a 43-39 win over Minster. Both Heather Fields and Michelle Meyer scored in double figures to lead the Lady Buccs offense, while MaryBeth Bayman shut down Minster's Karen Brackman in the first half and then Kristen Shenk in the second half. Only four Minster players scored points as the relentless Covington defense held Minster to only 15 second half points to spark the win. Minster would go on to win the state title, as Covington was never able to gain a rematch in the regional finals.

"This win is huge," said a delighted coach Besecker. "This is one of our biggest wins ever, even bigger than the Versailles win last week. Minster is really, really good and to beat a team like that is a great accomplishment."

The Lady Buccs continued to roll as they improved their record to 8-0 with wins over Tri-County North and Milton Union. Looking to continue their winning streak, Covington dropped their first game of the season in a disappointing 60-38 loss at the hands of Russia.

It didn't take long for the Lady Buccs to get back to their winning ways as they took care of New Bremen their next time on the floor. Despite failing to score a point in the first stanza, the Lady Buccs battled back to gain an 18-point win, 42-24.

After three more wins over Ansonia, Bradford and Arcanum, the Lady Buccs took on Franklin Monroe in a battle of conference front-runners. Both came into the game unbeaten in the Cross County Conference, but when the dust settled Covington walked off of the floor with a 52-45 win. Heather Fields led the way with 18 points, including 9 of 10 free throws down the stretch, while Michelle Meyer dropped in 13. MaryBeth Bayman held all-conference performer Abby Davenport to only 9 points while scoring 11 of her own.

"MaryBeth (Bayman) played very well defensively," complemented coach Besecker after the game. "We put her on (Abby) Davenport and MaryBeth shut her down pretty well. Davenport had something like 36 3-pointers coming into tonight and Bayman never allowed her to get off many shots from behind the arch. That was very big for us."

After another win over Newton, Covington celebrated "Hall of Fame" night against Miami East. In front of a packed house and a tournament type atmosphere the Lady Buccs ended up on the short end of a 44-41 score. Despite their second loss, coach Besecker was thrilled to have a tournament type game under their belts.

"The girls were maybe a little too excited about this game," said Covington coach Chris Besecker. "We made too many mental mistakes and it cost us in the end. Still, to play in front of all of these people is a plus. This will prepare us for the tournaments."

The loss to East was the last the Lady Buccs would face heading into the tournaments. All that was left was to gain momentum and get a record for their coach.

The Lady Buccs captured their next win over Mississinawa Valley, 51-27 to push coach Besecker's career win total to 228 wins. This tied him with the school's all time leader, Bob Huelsman. Three days later a new record was established as the Lady Buccs scratched and clawed their way to a tough 45-35 win over Tri-Village.

The Lady Buccs closed out the regular season with wins over Jackson Center and National Trail to head into the tournaments with a 18-2 record overall and an unbeaten conference record of 11-0.

The Lady Buccs drew the top seed in the Tipp City Sectionals and was paired with a familiar foe, Mississinawa Valley. The Lady Blackhawks suffered a similar fate as their first meeting as Covington controlled the action for a 49-24 win.

Yellow Springs was next in line and fell by 20 points to set the stage for the big showdown between Covington and Dayton Jefferson for the sectional title.

The game was a point of discussion across the state on message boards and in newspapers as Jefferson's coach felt his team was slighted by being seeded behind the Lady Buccs. The Lady Broncos brought a 21-1 record into the game which promoted their coach to predict his team would show Covington what Lady Bronco basketball is all about during a radio interview.

With the challenge laid down, the Lady Buccs played their best basketball of the season. Heather Fields set the tone with three straight 3-pointers while the Lady Buccs' defense completely shut down and frustrated the Jefferson offense. Leading 18-9 to start the second half, the Lady Buccs put the game away in the third with a 14-6 advantage and then closed the show in the final 8:00 for a 48-27 win.

The big win over Jefferson put the Lady Buccs in the district championship against Southeastern. In a game where both teams were mirror images of the other, the Lady Buccs squeaked by for a 42-40 win. The win was salvaged after Southeastern had a chance to steal the win in the final seconds. Heather Fields, all 5'4" of her, made the play of the game by blocking a 3-point attempt as the clock ran out.

A dream of capturing the school's first ever regional title in basketball never materialized as the Lady Buccs dropped their next game to Fort Loramie. Loramie was then defeated by Minster, who eventually won the state title.

It was a memorable year for Covington basketball and the four seniors who move on to graduation will take memories with them that will last for a lifetime.

Heather Fields was the spark plug of the 2003-04 Lady Buccs. Normally the smallest player on the floor, the Lady Buccs went as Fields went. She was not only the floor leader, but the emotional leader as well. Fields was selected as an all-state performer and conference player of the year.

MaryBeth Bayman made defense something worthy of recognition in girls basketball. She was arguably the best defensive player Covington has had and has been labelled the best defender coach Besecker has coached by the coach himself. Bayman was overlooked in all-state selection, but few on the selection committee have probably seen her play.

Meredith Besecker and Audrey Doseck did the dirty work with a smile. They didn't receive the recognition they deserve by media, but nobody can question their contributions and leadership to the success of the team. Anyone who does needs to watch a tape of the Dayton Jefferson game. Neither scored a point in the game, but they controlled the inside and helped limit all-state performer Leshea Orr to only 5 points.

It's been one heck of a ride for the 2003-04 Lady Buccs and one they will look back on with pride.