By Ben Robinson
and Josh Brown
NEW MADISON — Fielding a 10-1 record on the season, the Covington girls basketball team traveled to New Madison to play unbeaten Tri-Village in a huge Cross County Conference showdown Thursday night.
And despite a gallant effort from top to bottom, the Buccs came up just short on the scoreboard, 57-55 after Tri-Village got hot late to erase an 11-point deficit with five fourth-quarter treys.
“They live by the 3 and die by the 3, and tonight they died by the 3 for three-and-a-half quarters,” Covington coach Jim Meyer said. “But 3s get you back in the game, and they hit some big 3s down the stretch.”
Leading 48-37 with 3:54 left in the contest it appeared as though the Buccs were on their way to an impressive win — but back-to-back 3s by Emma Printz and Allie Downing gave the Patriots new life, and two minutes later Tri-Village had tied the score at 52-52.
Another trey by Printz and a stickback by Danika Mann gave Tri-Village a 57-52 lead with 29 seconds left, but Jordan Crowell quickly answered with a 3-pointer for Covington to make it a two-point game with 18 seconds left.
On the ensuing possession Covington forced a Tri-Village turnover, giving the Buccs the ball with 12.9 left on the clock. And Covington went to what had worked throughout the contest — putting the ball into the hands of sophomore Sammi Whiteman.
Whiteman, who had scored a game-high 18 points, was looking for two more, but her shot from the baseline bounced off the back of the rim as time expired.
“Sammi played a great game and Jordan played well too, hit some big shots throughout the game,” Meyer said. “Really, everyone played well. But the outcome just wasn’t what we wanted it to be.”
Still, it was a monumental effort for Covington in a gym where it is tough to win against a good basketball team.
“We thought we had a great game plan going in and the girls executed it to perfection,” Meyer said. “We held Danika Mann and Allie Downing in check, and that was our primary focus going in.”
Covington held to duo to just 13 combined points as Mann had seven and Downing had six.
This forced Tri-Village to find other ways to score, which it did with a combined nine treys from Rachel Miller, Emma Printz and Trina Porter to go along with the one 3-pointer made by Downing.
“Late in the game they had some other girls step up for them to hit big shots,” Meyer said. “Good teams find ways to win, and they found a way.”
Still, it didn’t take away from an outstanding performance by a Covington team who has been with their new coach for just a little over two months.
“Our girls played well,” praised Meyer. “There are a lot of sad faces in the locker room, but they left it on the floor. I talk all the time about their heart and it showed again tonight.”
The Buccs, now 10-2 on the season and 5-1 in the CCC, look to rebound Tuesday at home against Milton-Union.
OAKWOOD — Milton-Union’s Maddie Brown knocked down six 3-pointers Thursday night at Oakwood, leading a 19-9 third-quarter barrage that propelled the Bulldogs to their fourth straight victory, 50-40 over the Jills.
Brown finished with 18 points and two assists to lead the Bulldogs (6-3) and went 6 for 10 from 3-point range on the night. Taylor Jacobs added nine points, nine rebounds, four assists and three steals, Liz Renner had seven points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots and Beyonce Bobbitt chipped in six points.
Milton-Union travels to Waynesville Saturday to face the Southwestern Buckeye League Buckeye Division leader.
Other scores: Bethel 34, Ansonia 33.
WEST CARROLLTON — The Troy boys and girls bowling teams swept West Carrollton in Greater Western Ohio Conference American League crossover play Thursday, with the undefeated girls winning 2,345-1,790 and the boys winning 2,197-1,964.
The Trojan girls (6-0, 4-0 GWOC American North Division) were led by A’leigha Smith’s 233-218—451. Cassidy McMullen rolled 196-211—407, Jennica Funderburg rolled 202-162—364, Alyssa Shilt rolled 207-150—357, Jenna Stone added a 237 game and Kirsten McMullen a 169.
For Troy’s boys (4-2, 3-1 GWOC American North), Landon Flory led the way with a 192-177—369, Logan Jones rolled 170-155—325, Jason Shiltz rolled 160-157—317, Aaron Stone added a 244 game, Carson Rogers and Hayden Jackson each rolled a 191 game and A.J. Kendall rolled a 139.
Troy travels to Trotwood Monday for another crossover matchup.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.