By Rob Kiser
Covington boys basketball coach Matt Pond’s thoughts weren’t so much about the game Wednesday night after the Buccs lost to top seed Jackson Center 55-31 — but on what the Buccs team showed, as they had all season.
“We were down 27-6 at halftime and we came out for the third quarter like it was a one possession game,” Pond said. “They have done it all year. That says a lot about the character of this team. The second half was 28-25. That shouldn’t fall on deaf ears. This team is a special group.
“They have shown me that all year. I am just proud of these kids.”
Covington finished the season at 10-14, while Jackson Center improved to 21-3.
“That’s a really good team — they are a number one seed for a reason,” Pond said. “Scott (Elchert) does a great job with those kids.”
And the Tigers 6-1 guard Drew Sosby did what he has done all season — make plays.
Sosby was 10-for-13 from the floor — and five of seven on threes — scoring 27 points for the Tigers.
He scored 10 points in the opening quarter as Jackson Center jumped in front 15-4.
“That’s we talked about — Sosby, Wildermuth and Zorn (who combined for all Jackson Center’s points),” Pond said. “The (Drew) Sosby kid put us in a whole we couldn’t get out of. There is a reason he was Shelby County League Player of the Year.
“We missed some shots early, which we knew we couldn’t do. But, you have to give Jackson Center some credit for that. Some of that is the defense making you play faster.”
Covington held the Tigers without a point for the first five minutes of the second quarter — but could only score two themselves.
“I thought we did a great job on (Brady) Wildermuth,” Pond said. “He is one heck of a player. But, you can’t have empty possessions. They are long and play great defense, which makes it tough.”
The Tigers scored 12 points in the final three minutes to take a 27-6 halftime lead, before Covington battled with them the final two quarters.
Jordan Mashino had eight points and 10 rebounds for Covington.
Wildermuth complimented Sosby with 16 points and six rebounds, while Ethan Zorn scored 12 points.
Covington was 11 for 42 from the floor for 26 percent and five of 11 from the line for 45 per1 percent.
Jackson Center was 19 of 31 from the floor for 61 percent and 11 of 13 from the line for 85 percent.
The Tigers won the battle of the boards 20-19 and had 12 turnovers to Covington’s nine.
“I thought we did a good job limiting our turnovers,” Pond said.
Maschino was the lone senior for the Buccs.
“Sometimes, when you have a lot of guys coming back, everybody wants to talk about next year,” Pond said. “This was a great group. We had double-digit wins. We had a season that can allow us to move forward and that’s important. Let’s not forget this year’s team. We shouldn’t forget what this team did.”
Jayce Pond 1-0-3, Jordan Maschino 3-2-8, Trevor Miller 2-0-5, Nathan Blei 2-2-7, Tristin Sowers 0-0-0, Kenny Atkinson 1-0-2, Jett Murphy 0-0-0, Zach Parrett 1-0-3, Adam Lefeld 1-1-3, Mason Dilley 0-0-0, Nathan Lyle 0-0-0, Brayden Miller 0-0-0. Totals: 11-5-31.
Jackson Center (55)
Gavin Booser 0-0-0, Drew Sosby 10-2-27, Ethan Zorn 4-3-12, Bryce Sosby 0-0-0, Brady Wildermuth 5-6-16, Trent Platfoot 0-0-0, Chayce Hickman 0-0-0, James Gambrel 0-0-0, Braden Heitkamp 0-0-0, Jeremy Burch 0-0-0. Totals: 19-11-55.
3-point field goals — Covington: Pond, T. Miller, Blei, Parrett. Jackson Center: D. Sosby (5), Zorn.
Score By Quarters
Covington 4 6 20 31
Jackson Center 15 27 42 55
Records: Covington 10-14, Jackson Center 21-3.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.