By Rob Kiser
The Covington girls basketball team was in a no-win situation Saturday.
Facing a Versailles team this is amont the best D-III teams in Ohio, the Lady Buccs had to pick their poison.
And while the ending was a 60-30 loss in non-conference action to drop Covington to 4-1, while Versailles improved to 4-0, Lady Buccs coach Jim Meyer couldn’t be more happy with his team.
“We had six healthy girls,” Meyer said. “They outheighted us, they outquicked us — but our girls went out there and battled the whole game. I told them after the game, I have never been prouder of them. That team (Versailles) is just a complete team. They have it all.”
As Covington learned quickly.
Faced with the dilemma of dealing with 6-2 Danielle Winner and 5-11 Elizabeth Ording inside, Covington packed their zone defense around them.
The only problem — guards Kami McEldowney, Camille Watren and Kami Ording combined for eight 3-pointers and Ellen Peters added one.
“We shot the ball really well from the perimeter today,” Versailles coach Jacki Stonebraker said. “It is a work in progress every year with it being a new season, but I am really happy with the way we are playing.”
And Meyer would not have changed his strategy.
“That is what we had to do,” he said about force the shots from the perimeter. “If we don’t, they are going to be shooting layups. I would rather make them make a 20-foot shot than a two-foot shot. My hope was that they would be cold from the outside.”
Instead, the Lady Tigers made six threes in the first half to open a 30-19 lead at the break — then they put the game away with a 18-2 advantage in the third quarter.
“I challenged the girls at halftime,” Stonebraker said. “I challenged them to to move the ball faster and I thought we did a better job of getting the ball inside.”
The third quarter was what Meyer feared.
“The thing you have to watch with teams like Versailles is letting them get on runs,” he said. “And that’s what happened in the third quarter. Teams like that are going to go on a run at some point. But, I thought our kids played well the whole game.”
Winner had 11 points and seven rebounds for the Lady Tigers, while Kami Ording had 11 points and five rebounds and McEldowney also netted 11 points. Elizabeth Ording added eight in a balanced attack as all 10 Lady Tigers scored.
Sammi Whiteman had 13 points and seven rebounds for Covington, while Jordan Crowell also scored 13 and Lexie Long pulled down seven rebounds.
Versailles was 24 of 50 from the floor for 48 percent and three of nine from the line for 33 percent, while Covington was 12 of 44 from the floor for 27 percent and three of four from the line for 75 percent.
Versailles won the battle of the boards 34-20 and had 17 turnovers compared to Covington’s 18.
Covington will host Arcanum in CCC action Tuesday, while Versailles will host Delphos St. John’s in MAC action on Thursday.
Kami McEldowney 4-0-11, Camille Watren 3-3-11, Kami Ording 4-0-11, Elizabeth Ording 4-0-8, Danielle Winner 3-0-6, Ellen Peters 2-0-5, Mallory Marshal 1-0-2, Brynna Blakeley 1-0-2, Clair Schmitmeyer 1-0-2, Emily Langnekamp 1-0-2. Totals: 24-3-60.
Lexie Long 0-0-0, Sammie Whiteman 6-1-13, Justice Warner 0-0-0, Jordan Crowell 4-2-13, Tori Lyle 1-0-2, Addison Metz 1-0-2, Lily Hamilton 0-0-0. Totals: 12-3-30.
3-point field goals — Versailles: McEldowney (3), Watren (2), Kami Ording (3), Peters.
Score By Quarters
Versailles 16 30 48 60
Covington 7 19 21 30
Records: Versailles 4-0, Covington 4-1.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.