By Rob Kiser
PITSBURG — Covington girls basketball coach Jim Meyer summed it up pretty well after a 51-35 loss to Franklin Monroe Monday night in Cross County Conference action.
“You are not going to win every night,” he said. “We ran into an exceptionally hot Franklin Monroe team in the first half.”
The loss dropped Covington to 6-2 overall and 4-1 in the CCC, while Franklin Monroe improved to 7-1 overall and 3-1 in the CCC.
The Lady Jets were 4-for-4 on 3-point attempts in the opening half — withe Belle Cable, Corina Conley, Kennedy Morris and Tara Goubeaux all hitting from long range.
At the same time, Covington was struggling to get anything to fall and the result was a 30-12 Franklin Monroe lead.
“The things we talked about being able to do — or gets stops with — we didn’t do,” Meyer said. “We wanted to stop them in transition and we pretty much did that We talked about having to keep them off the boards and we didn’t do that.”
It was a different Covington team in the second half.
While FM could only manage two free throws in the third quarter, Sammi Whiteman scored 12 points for Covington to get the Lady Buccs back within 32-24.
Whiteman then had an assist tot Lillian Hamilton and hit a jumper to cut the deficit to 34-28 with 6:15 remaining.
“We talked about getting it back under 10 by the end of the third quarter,” Meyer said. “Sammi (Whiteman) is the girls that makes us go.”
But, Audrey Cable scored four points sandwiched around a three by Chloe Brumbaugh to take the lead to 41-28 and the Lady Jets held on from there.
“We had numerous chances to cut the lead to six for four and were unable to it,” Meyer said. “We used up a lot of energy making that comeback and that catches up with you. But, I am proud of the way we battled back in the second half.”
Whiteman led all scorers with 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for a double-double.
Hamilton added nine rebounds to the Lady Buccs cause and Tori Lyle grabbed seven, but no other player scored more than four points.
Audrey Cable scored 16 points for FM, while Conley had 11 points and 11 rebounds and Brumbaugh and Morris both scored nine.
Covington was just 17 of 58 from the floor for 29 percent and missed its only free throw attempt.
Franklin Monroe was 20 of 43 from the floor for 47 percent and six of 10 from the line for 60 percent.
Covington won the battle of the boards 36-24, but had 14 turnovers to the Franklin Monroe’s 13.
“I don’t think Franklin Monroe is 16 points better than us,” Meyer said. “But, they were tonight. We won the second half by two points.”
And the Buccs will look to win the whole game Thursday, when Mississinawa Valley visits.
Makenzie Long 1-0-2, Sammi Whiteman 11-0-22, Lillian Hamilton 2-0-4, Jordan Crowell 1-0-3, Tori Lyle 1-0-2, Lauren Christian 1-0-2, Morgan Lowe 0-0-0, Morgan Kimmel 0-0-0. Totals: 17-0-35.
Franklin Monroe (51)
Chloe Brumbaugh 1-6-9, Belle Cable 1-0-3, Corina Conley 5-0-11, Kennedy Morris 4-0-9, Audrey Cable 8-0-16, Chloe Peters 0-0-0, Tara Goubeaux 1-0-3. Totals: 20-6-51.
3-point field goals — Covington: Crowell. Franklin Monroe: Brumbaugh, B. Cable, Conley, Morris, Goubeaux.
Score By Quarters
Covington 6 12 24 35
Franklin Monroe 14 30 32 51
Records: Covington 6-2 (4-1), Franklin Monroe 7-1 (3-1).
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.