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Sammi Whiteman showed why she is a special player and the Lady Buccs showed why they are a special "TEAM" with the way they played in a 61-37 win over Newton.

Jordan Crowell was once again "Clutch" for the Lady Buccs.

2017-18 SCHEDULE

Nov 24
Nov 25
Nov 30
Dec 2
Dec 4
Dec 7
Dec 12
Dec 18
Dec 21
Dec 27
Dec 30
Jan 4
Jan 8
Jan 11
Jan 16
Jan 18
Jan 20
Jan 25
Jan 27
Jan 30
Feb 1
Feb 8
Feb 17
Feb 20
Feb 27

Mar 1
Mar 8

@ Houston
@ TV South
@ Versailles
@ Arcanum
@ Newton (No JV)
@ Franklin Monroe
Mississinawa Valley
Springfield Shawnee
@ Troy
@ Milton Union

@ Ansonia
@ Russia
@ Miami East
Jackson Center
National Trail
TC North (Sen. Night)
National Trail
Twin Valley South
Franklin Monroe
Legacy Christian
Fort Loramie

W 45-41
W 60-29
W 53-25
L 39-60
W 50-21
W 34-32
W 46-42
L 35-51
W 66-40
L 36-51
W 42-28
L 42-52
W 43-35
W 67-51
L 36-38
W 50-33
W 61-37
L 40-52
W 36-27
W 64-42
W 71-44
W 68-34
W 57-40
W 44-24
W 56-44
W 54-42
L 27-32





Miami East



Tri-Village 11-1 18-4
Franklin Monroe 9-3 19-3
Covington 9-3 16-6
Arcanum 8-4 12-9
Newton 7-5 15-6
Bethel 4-6 11-9
Bradford 4-8 7-13
Twin Valley South 4-8 7-13
Ansonia 3-9 5-17
Tri-County North 2-8 8-11
National Trail 2-10 5-16
Mississinawa Valley 0-12 0-21

It was a special afternoon for the Covington Lady Buccs on Saturday as they put together arguably their best all-around performance of the season in a 61-37 win over rival Newton.

"Our kids came out and really got after it - played with a lot of energy," said a very pleased Covington coach Jim Meyer. "It was a really, really strong effort across the board for us at both ends of the floor."

The two teams met once before this season at Newton on December 12th with Covington jumping out to an early lead and eventually holding on for a 46-42 win thanks to clutch free throws by Lauren Christian in the waning moments.

But on Saturday, Covington never let Newton get its footing as the Lady Bucc defense smothered the Indians all afternoon - including leading scorer Tatum McBride, who entered the contest leading the Cross County Conference in scoring with just over 22 points-per-game.

Today, she was held to just 11 points by the Covington defense - primarily sophomore Kenzie Long, who was tagged with the responsibility of guarding McBride one-on-one.

"Kenzie, holy cow was that a tremendous defensive effort on McBride," said Meyer, beaming with pride. "Kenzie was relentless - followed her all over the court."

In the last meeting in December, Long held McBride to just three points in the first half before finding herself in foul trouble. McBride then broke free for 20 points in the second half of that contest.

Today, Long held McBride scoreless in the first half while staying out of foul trouble. She eventually held McBride to just six points in the second half until Meyer took her out of the game with 2:30 left. McBride then hit a three and a runner to finish with team-high 11 points for Newton, but by then Long's job was already done as Covington had put the game out of reach.

"She is a great player, there's no doubt about that," said Meyer of Tatum McBride. "It's impossible to shut her down, but Kenzie did a great job of staying in front of her and making her earn it (points)."

Covington's leading scorer also earned her points, but Sammi Whiteman's points came through opportunities presented by her teammates' ability to hit clutch shots.

And Whiteman made a statement as one of the premier players in the area by scoring a game-high 28 points, pulling down 11 rebounds and recording 5 assists.

"Sammi is Sammi - she's a special player," Meyer said. "She had her points, but her ability to make the right pass at the right time and rebound the basketball from the back side is amazing. She makes everyone around her better."

At the other end of many of Whiteman's timely passes were Lilly Hamilton, Jordan Crowell and Tori Lyle.

Hamilton finished the game with 12 points and was an imposing presence inside the paint with 10 rebounds and six blocked shots.

"We've seen that ability in Lilly since last year," Meyer said of Hamilton's dominance inside the paint. "She can be a difference maker at both ends of the floor. She exerted herself at the offense end more today and was an intimidating presence at the defensive end."

Which Meyer and the coaching staff have been waiting to see more of on a consistent basis.

"If there is one kid on our team who doesn't have a complete understanding of her talent - it's Lilly," continued Meyer. "She's struggled at times with that (confidence), but when she plays like she did today we are a much better team."

Tori Lyle once again put together a stellar effort at both ends of the floor by doing the little things well - things that aren't always reflect in the stat sheet.

"Tori is solid night end and night out," praised Meyer. "You can always count on Tori to give you the same effort every night."

Lyle finished the game with seven points to go along with 11 rebounds, while Jordan Crowell came through with big shots for seven points and played a whale of a game at the defensive end despite missing several minutes of the contest after twisting her ankle.

"Jordan played a solid game defensively and hit some big shots," said Meyer. "She's just a tough kid."

Lauren Christian, Morgan Kimmel and Morgan Lowe didn't score for Covington, but all three came off the bench to provide quality minutes throughout the contest.

"Lauren exerted herself inside and the two Morgans gave us great minutes when we needed them," Meyer said.

Three of those minutes came in the third quarter when Whiteman picked up her third foul with 3:23 left in the clock and Covington holding a 41-22 lead.

Morgan Kimmel entered the game in Whiteman's absence and did her job defensively to prevent Newton from mounting a comeback as the Lady Buccs went into the fourth quarter with a commanding 44-27 lead.

And once Whitemen returned to the floor the offensive output increased as the junior standout scored eight points in the final frame to go along with four points by Hamilton and three by Lyle.

This allowed Meyer to empty his bench in the final two minutes as Covington cruised to the 24-point win - a win that showed the Lady Buccs are coming together as a unit.

"Our kids just really came out with a lot of energy and focus and at this point of the season that's what you want," said Meyer of his team's 12th win on the season. "We started seeing signs of us coming together against Russia and Greenville, but we put it all together today."

Covington improves to 12-5 on the season with a huge showdown at Miami East next Thursday awaiting.

But at the end of the day, basketball is just a game. There are much more important things in life as evident by the way Covington and Newton came together to raise awareness on the battle against cancer through the Coaches vs Cancer fundraiser. Both teams and communities should be very proud of the way the kids on both teams came together for a common cause.

Kenzie Long (right) put together one of the most impressive individual defensive efforts in recent memory for the Lady Buccs on Saturday.

Newton - 9 .. 17 .. 27 .. 37
Covington - 16 .. 31 .. 44 .. 61

Sammi Whiteman - 28
Lilly Hamilton - 12
Tori Lyle - 7
Makenzie Long - 7
Jordan Crowell - 7

Tatum McBride - 11
Michaele Kirk - 8
Anna Wolfe - 8
Mallory Dunlevy - 3
Brooke Deeter - 3
Rachel Kirk - 2
Treanna Lavy - 2

Covington - Sammi Whiteman (3), Jordan Crowell (1)
Newton - Tatum McBride (1), Michaele Kirk (1)

The Covington Lady Buccs (in blue) and the Newton Lady Indians (in yellow) put their rivalry aside to promote cancer awareness during the Coaches vs Cancer funbdraiser. Even though winning is important and should be strived for, the actions of these girls from both communities proved there are much more important things in life - HELPING OTHERS.

Tori Lyle...well, being Tori Lyle - "Pound-for-pound, inch-for-inch the toughest post player around".