By Ben Robinson
PITSBURG — It was a historic night for Covington basketball on Thursday as senior Jessie Crowell became the seventh female and fourteenth athlete to score 1,000 career points in a career.
And she did it in typical Crowell fashion, on a fade away jumper late in the third quarter.
“It was a special moment for us when Jess scored her one-thousandth,” said Covington coach Craig Maschino. “I know Jess, and more importantly to her, our team won the game. That’s just the type of kid she is. I’d like to thank Coach (Abbey) Moore for her generosity in calling that time out to get Jess recognized. I tried getting the timeout, but I guess they (the officials) didn’t hear me. Big thanks to Abbey.”
Crowell finished with a game-high 17 points in leading Covington to a 60-34 win, but it wasn’t the type of performance Maschino expected from his team.
“In my opinion we came out a little flat,” said Maschino. “Not having a JV game tonight, it took us a few minutes to get going and we didn’t shoot particularly well.”
Still, Covington was too experienced and had too much depth for a young and gritty Franklin Monroe squad, which only has eight players in uniform.
The Lady Buccs built a 17-6 lead after one and pushed the margin to 35-14 at the break.
“Midway through the opening quarter I thought our defensive intensity gave them a few problems, which created offensive opportunities, especially in transition,” Maschino said.
But Franklin Monroe wasn’t deterred and played inspired basketball throughout the second half, especially at the defensive end.
The Lady Jets’ relentless effort and hustle led to 18 Covington turnovers.
“We have to stop being careless with the basketball,” Maschino explained. “Too many turnovers. Unacceptable.”
Despite it’s lackluster play in the second half, Covington was still able to outscore Franklin Monroe 25-20 in the second half for the 26-point win.
“I guess it’s a good problem to have when you don’t play your best basketball and still come away with a win,” said Maschino. “We are still looking to get going from the floor. We really haven’t shot the ball well yet this season. Once we get hot, it’ll be very exciting.”
Covington converted on 25 of 61 shots from the floor for 41%, but made just two of 13 attempts from behind the arc for 13 percent. The Lady Buccs also converted on eight of 11 free throws for 73 percent
Franklin Monroe was 14 of 39 from the floor for 36 percent, two of six from three-point range for 33 percent and four of eight from the charity stripe for 50 percent.
Covington held a 38-26 edge on the boards and forced 29 Franklin Monroe turnovers.
The win moves Covington’s record to 5-2 overall and 3-1 in the CCC as it prepares to host Mississinawa Valley on Saturday.
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