By Rob Kiser
and Josh Brown
COVINGTON — Covington girls basketball coach Jim Meyer was happy with the way his team gutted its way through a 50-21 win over Bradford in Cross County Conference action Monday.
And Bradford coach Patrick McKee, while disappointed with what he saw from his young team, can’t wait to see where his squad goes from here.
“This was our third game in a four-games-in-eight-days stretch,” Meyer said after watching the Buccaneers have an atypical shooting night while improving to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the CCC. “I think the biggest thing was we were tired. We had a long bus ride Thursday (to Twin Valley South), and then Versailles made us play hard for four quarters Saturday.
“That being said, I thought we were outstanding on defense and did a great job rebounding the ball.”
While McKee knows there will be growing pains, he was surprised by his team’s play Monday as the Railroaders dropped to 2-2 overall and 1-1 in the CCC.
“That was not by any means the best Bradford team out there tonight,” McKee said. “People can make any kind of judgments they want on one viewing, but that was not our best team. Turnovers, not rebounding, I can go on and on.
“But I am excited to practice tomorrow, because I know what kind of kids we have. It wouldn’t be a surprise if some of them are in the gym tonight when we get back. That is the kind of kids these kids are.”
Bradford had 13 turnovers in the first quarter alone — and Covington opened a 20-2 lead early in the second quarter, with Sammi Whiteman scoring 10 points in the opening quarter.
The Railroaders settled down and got some shots from Emma Canan and Chelsea Gill on the perimeter — and the game was fairly evenly played over the last three quarters.
“It was a lot like the Twin Valley South game,” Meyer said. “I think it was 16-2 after one quarter and 7-6 in the second quarter. Tonight, it was 18-2 in the first quarter and then 10-7 in the second quarter. I think we came out really fired up with it being a rivalry game, and we knew Bradford was a good team.”
Whiteman led Covington with 14 points and seven rebounds, while Tori Lyle had 14 rebounds and eight points.
“That doesn’t surprise me,” Meyer said about Lyle’s numbers. “She is a 5-foot-6 post who plays 6-2. She just finds a way to get things done and works so hard in there. I thought Mak (Makenzie Long) did an incredible job on Skipp Miller. We don’t normally play a lot of man, but that just seemed like a good matchup against Bradford.”
Jordan Crowell hit three 3-pointers for nine points, Lillian Hamilton had eight points and eight rebounds and Long added seven points.
Emma Canan was one of the bright spots for Bradford with 10 points, while Gill scored five and Miller grabbed 12 rebounds.
“I wasn’t expecting us to play like we did tonight,” McKee said. “It was a big rivalry game. We will come back from this. Unfortunately, we don’t get another chance against Covington this year.”
Covington was 23 of 63 from the floor for 37 percent and missed both free throw attempts.
Bradford was nine of 33 from the floor for 27 percent and made 1 of 4 free throws for 25 percent.
Covington led the Railroaders on the board 39-24 and had 14 turnovers to Bradford’s 23.
“That will complete our four-games-in-eight-days stretch,” Meyer said. “We are really happy to get this win. It is a rivalry game, and Bradford is going to beat a lot of teams this year.”
Bradford hosts Arcanum Thursday after getting back to work on a bright future, while Covington will go to Arcanum Thursday — looking to gut out another win before a break in the schedule.
WEST MILTON — Milton-Union’s defense held Brookville in check Monday night, helping the Bulldogs (1-2) claim their first victory of the season, 35-21.
Kristen Dickison led the Bulldogs with 12 points, five rebounds and six steals, Beyonce Bobbitt added seven points, 12 rebounds and two assists and Annika Hutchinson had seven points and five rebounds.
Milton-Union hosts Newton Thursday night.
Newton 35 OT
PLEASANT HILL — Newton’s Tatum McBride scored a game-high 18 points Monday night, but it wasn’t enough in an overtime loss to visiting Russia, 38-35.
Laurissa Poling led the Raiders with 17 points.
Newton (1-1) travels to Milton-Union Thursday.
Other scores: Piqua (2-1) 54, Urbana 20.
Rob Kiser can be reached at (937) 451-3334. Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.