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'08-'09 Lady Buccs...

The health of senior Renee Otte will be critical to Covington's success this season.
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2008-09 BASKETBALL LINKS
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2008-09 SCHEDULE

11/28/08
11/29/0
8
12/04/08
12/06/08
12/11/08
12/16/08
12/18/08
12/20/08
12/27/08
01/3/09
01/06/09
01/13/09
01/22/09
01/24/09
01/26/09
01/31/09
02/02/09
02/05/09
02/09/09
02/12/09
02/26/09

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

18-39
L
L
15-66
27-22
30-43
34-42
L
34-41
22-50
17-41
15-40
27-63
60-50
18-63
L
52-53
36-32
L
37-46
34-48

2008-09 CCC STANDINGS

Team

CCC

ALL

Miami East

12-0

15-5

Arcanum 10-2 14-6
Bethel 10-2 14-6
Tri-County North 8-4 13-7
Ansonia 8-4 10-10
Tri-Village 7-5 12-8
Franklin Monroe 6-6 7-12
National Trail 5-7 10-10
Mississinawa Valley 3-8 5-14
Covington 3-9 3-17
Newton 3-9 6-14
Twin Valley South 2-10 7-13
Bradford 0-11 1-18

After an 8-15 season a year ago in which a young Covington girls basketball team advanced to the sectional final, the Lady Buccs have higher expectations this season as more experience returns to a young roster.

"We have some quality kids who work hard," said Covington coach Chris Besecker, who returns for his 20th season and is the schools all-time leader in wins with 304. "I'm very excited about these kids and the new challenges ahead."

One challenge is finding a replacement for junior Shelby Hoblit, who will miss the entire season due to injury. Her absence under the basket will be greatly missed as she was Covington's second leading rebounder (152 boards) and second leading scorer (127 points) last season.

"That hurts," Besecker said. "We'll have to find someone who can step in and replace Shelby. She gave us a big presence in the paint with her physical play and athleticism."

Another question is the health of senior leader Renee Otte, who suffered an injury during a recent scrimmage.

"Her status as of now is unknown," Besecker explained. "We're keeping our fingers crossed, but there's nothing we can do but wait. Hopefully things will work out in our favor."

Otte sparked Covington last season with 14.5 points-per-game (344 points) and 8.7 rebounds-per-game (200). Her leadership and competitive nature is contagious and having those tangibles on the floor will be critical in Covington's success in '08-'09.

"Losing Hobs and possibly Renee, we still have to stay positive," said Besecker. "Other kids will just have to step in and contribute."

Besecker has to look no further than junior Alyssa Angle, who was third on the team in rebounds (110) and fourth in scoring (86 points) a year ago. Angle has a knack for doing the dirty work - diving for loose balls and challenging opponents on the defensive end.

With the injuries suffered to Hoblit and Otte, she may be counted on to contribute at the offensive end much more this season.

"Alyssa handles the point really well," Besecker explained. "She has a nice touch from the perimeter. She hustles, defends well and understands the things we're trying to do. She's fully capable of being our floor leader."

Senior Katie Dickey contributed greatly last season and finished fourth on the team in rebounds with 103. She also led the team in field goal percentage with 44%.

"Katie is another one with a nice touch," said Besecker. "We just have to get her more confident and hopefully she can knock down a few more shots for us this year."

Perhaps filling in the void left by Shelby Hoblit will be junior Halley Roberts and three freshman; Shelby Kihm, Caitlyn Crawford and Julianna Simon.

"All three of those kids have nice size," said Besecker. "I'm really excited about Shelby Kihm. She can be a good one."

Pushing for varsity time will be a host of players led by junior Erin Waterfall, along with sophomores Tabitha Smith, Carrie Spurgeon, Emily Fields and Chloe Shell.

"On any given night we can start a different group," Besecker said. "That's a great luxury to have. Our opponent could dictate who we start. If we need to start size, we can start size. If we need to have a line-up to handle the pressure, we can do that too. We're much deeper than we were last year."

As with any other year, challenging for the CCC title will be the first goal the team would like to accomplish.

"Hopefully we'll be right there in the league," Besecker said in regards to team goals. "Miami East has the be the heavy favorite. They have most of their kids back from last years team that nearly went to the state tournament. Their only loss was to the state champion (Versailles)."

For Covington to challenge East and other quality teams in the league, Besecker knows it will have to be his bread and butter that gets the job done.

"We'll have to be very sound defensively," he said. "Other than Renee, we don't have what you'd call a true scorer. So we'll have to defend well and keep the scores down in order to beat some of the better teams in the conference."

There are plenty of new challenges ahead for a youthful Covington team. But if the improvement since last season is any indication, the Covington Lady Buccs will be up to the task.


2008-09 COVINGTON LADY BUCCS - Left to Right: Coach Steve Burnett, Chloe Shell, Carrie Spurgeon, Emily Fields, Tabitha Smith, Alyssa Angle, Caitlyn Crawford, Shelby Kilm, Julianna Simon, Renee Otte, Halley Roberts, Katie Dickey, Erin Waterfall and Head Coach Chris Besecker. Kneeling: Managers Cassidy Cain and Carly Shell.

2008-09 COVINGTON LADY BUCCS JV SQUAD - Left to Right: Chloe Shell, Chelsea Apple, Carrie Spurgeon, Tabith Smith, Julianna Simon, Caitlin Crawford, Coach Steve Burnett, Shelby Kilm, Halley Reames, Emily Fields, Tabitha Snider, Hannah Pond, Kristin Swabb.