By Rob Kiser
VERSAILLES — Versailles girls basketball coach Jacki Stonebraker liked what she saw from her team at times Saturday — but is still waiting for them to put a whole game together.
Which is a scary prospect for opponents — like Covington on Saturday.
The Lady Tigers jumped out to a 16-3 first quarter lead — and while Covington never stop battling — Versailles was able to run its record to 4-0, with a 60-39 victory, a fourth straight win by double digits. Covington dropped to 3-1.
“Yes, we did,” Stonebraker said about getting off to a fast start. “But, then we sure do coast don’t we. I just didn’t see the firepower once we got the lead.”
Don’t tell that to Covington coach Jim Meyer — who knew exactly what his team was in for and couldn’t have been happier with his kids effort.
“Absolutely,” Meyer said about playing a team like Versailles only making the Buccs better. “We are in a stretch of four games in eight days. And Versailles is one of the premier programs in the state. Jacki (Stonebraker) has really done a great job with this program.”
And after honoring the 2008 state champions before the game, it didn’t take the 2017-18 edition of the Tigers to show why they are held in such high regards.
With Versailles starting 6-foot-2 Danielle Winner and 5-11 Elizabeth Ording and rotating 6-2 Lindsey Winner in off the bench, Covington looked to make the Tigers go to the perimeter.
Versailles responded with three quick threes by the McEldowney sisters — Kami a senior and Caitlin a sophomore — and they combined for seven in the game.
“You know, you have to pick your poison,” Meyer said. “Do you just let them dump the ball inside for easy baskets? We wanted to make them shoot the ball.”
The problem when you play the Tigers is all those options are lethal.
“We have a lot of different weapons,” Stonebraker said. “We have a lot of different ways to score.”
Ellen Peters and Lindsey Winner added baskets, while Danielle Winner scored three points — while Covington’s only basket in the opening period was a three by Jordan Crowell, leaving the Buccs in a 16-3 hole.
Covington responded by playing Versailles nearly even in the middle two quarters — being outscored 31-26 — but never could get closer than 12 in the second half.
“If we could have gotten shots to fall earlier, the game may have been even closer,” Meyer said. “The second quarter was good and the third quarter was good. The thing about playing Versailles is they make you play a little faster — I thought once we adjusted to that, we played pretty well.
“I was really happy with our effort. I know we got beat by 21 points, but I was really pleased with the effort from our kids today.”
Versailles had a balanced attack.
Kami McEldowney led the way with 17 points and Danielle Winner added 16. Caitlin McEldowney had 11 and Lindsey Winner netted 10.
“That sounds good,” Stonebraker said about having four players in double figures.
Sammi Whitmeman scored eight points in the second quarter and finished with 15 for the Lady Buccs, while Crowell added 11.
Covington will host Bradford in CCC action Monday, while Versailles travels to Arcanum on Tuesday — with both looking to build on positive starts to the season.
Makenzie Long 1-1-3, Sammi Whiteman 6-3-15, Lillian Hamilton 2-0-4, Jordan Crowell 4-0-11, Tori Lyle 2-0-4, Lauren Christian 1-0-2, Morgan Kimmel 0-0-0. Totals: 16-4-39.
Kami McEldowney 6-1-17, Caitlin McEldowney 4-0-11, Ellen Peters 1-0-2, Elizabeth Ording 0-0-0, Danielle Winner 6-4-16, Lindsey Winner 5-0-10 Danielle Kunk 0-0-0, Mallory Marshal 0-0-0, Kelsey Custenborder 2-0-4, Hailey McEldowney 0-0-0. Totals: 24-5-60.
3-point field goals — Covington: Crowell (3). Versailles: Kami McEldowney (4), Caitlin McEldowney (3).
Score By Quarters
Covington 3 13 29 39
Versailles 16 28 47 60
Records: Covington 3-1, Versailles 4-0.
Reserve score: Versailles 67. Covington 15.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.