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No matter the situation, Morgan Kimmel and the Covington Lady Buccs give reason to believe, which was proved Tuesday night with a huge second half after being down to Twin Valley South 20-12 at haltime in the sectional tournament.

Jordan Crowell knocks down a trey to spark Covington to a 32-4 scoring advantage in the second half.

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

The first half of the second round sectional tournament contest against Twin Valley South couldn't have gone any worse for the Covington Lady Buccs as they found themselves in a 20-12 hole against a team they had beaten 53-25 earlier in the year.

Shots wouldn't fall, which led to frustration - which led to unforced turnovers and undisciplined fouls.

Yes, it was ugly and the frustration showed on the faces of each and every one of the Lady Bucc players and coaches as they walked off the floor at the half.

The immediate reaction for any ordinary coach after such a horrid half of basketball would be to rip into the team.

But Jim Meyer isn't an ordinary coach. He's played the game and coached the game for a long time. And he's been in this situation many times before. So, instead of ripping into the kids, Meyer chose a much different approach.

"Believe it or not, it was very calm at halftime," Meyer said. "Me ripping into them wasn't what they needed to hear because they were already pretty down on themselves. I just told them that they were better than that (how they played in the first half) and that I believed in them. That was about the extent of it."

Meyer's strategy worked as his team was a totally different unit when it took the floor in the second half. The emotion and intensity had risen to another level, which led to the girls playing - well, Lady Buccs basketball.

"It really couldn't get much worse than it did in the first half," said Meyer. "If we were going to play poorly collectively, fortunately it was in the first half. Luckily were were only down eight and had the time to respond in the second half."

Respond Covington did as it outscored Twin Valley South 32-4 in the second half with much of the damage coming in a 23-point third quarter.

Sammi Whiteman was the spark plug, scoring 15 of her game-high 25 points in the twelve minutes she was on the floor in the second half. Whiteman also kept Covington in the game early by scoring 10 of Covington's 12 first half points.

"She was solid throughout the game," praised Meyer of his floor general. "She sees the floor so well and was able to make the right decisions with the basketball."

Covington also received a huge performance by sophomore Morgan Kimmel, who saw significant action in place of Lillian Hamilton, who was out with an illness.

"Morgan Kimmel came in and played very well again tonight," Meyer said. "She's not a natural post player, but she's a lot like Tori (Lyle) because she will give you all she's got the entire time she's on the floor. Like Tori, she's not very big, but she just does her job.”

Each player doing their job is what Lady Bucc basketball is all about and the girls did that in the second half, which led to the 44-24 win.

And much of the success was due to a relentless defensive effort.

"To hold them to four points in a half was unbelievable," said Meyer. "It wasn't just one or two girls - it was everybody. That was a great defensive effort in the second half."

And it all came down to a belief Jim Meyer has in his kids.

"You know, I believe in these kids no matter the situation," he said. "They never cease to amaze me."

Covington improves to 18-6 with the win to set up a sectional final showdown with Franklin Monroe, who defeated Bradford 50-29 in the nightcap.

And it's the same Franklin Monroe team that defeated Covington 51-35 on December 18th.

"We have a lot to get ready for before next Tuesday," Meyer said of facing Franklin Monroe for the second time this season and with a sectional title on the line. "The kids are excited about the opportunity and we'll see how it goes. I know one thing, I believe in these kids."

The game will be at 6:00 on Tuesday, February 27 at Brookville High School.

Tori Lyle goes up for a shot with two Panther defenders around her.

Covington - 6 .. 12 .. 35 .. 44
TV South - 7 .. 20 .. 22 .. 24

Sammi Whiteman - 25
Jordan Crowell - 5
Morgan Kimmel - 4
Tori Lyle - 3
Lauren Christian - 3
Makenzie Long - 2
Josie Crowell - 2

Milan Crews - 12
Kelsie Shafer - 4
Taylor Bowers - 2
Madison Johnson - 2
Abby Bingham - 2
Maegan Carson - 2

Covington - Jordan Crowell (1)
Twin Valley South - Mylan Crews (1)

Sammi Whiteman scored a game-high 25 points to help lead the Lady Buccs to a big tournament win over Twin Valley South.

Lauren Christian battles her way to the basket against a double team.