By Rob Kiser
Piqua Daily Call
COVINGTON — The scoreboard may have showed a 68-35 Versailles girls basketball victory over Covington Saturday afternoon.
But, both coaches felt like it was a victory.
Versailles is now 4-0, while Covington drops to 3-1.
“I am really happy with the way we played today,” Versailles coach Jacki Stonebraker said. “Our posts did a nice job and we were able to get our transition game going.”
And Covington coach Jim Meyer thought his team handled things about as well as they could have.
“That (Versailles) is a great team,” he said. “I thought our triangle-and-two early (On Danielle Kunk and Caitlin McEldowney) was effective, but they adjusted and we knew they would. As opposed to Thursday (a 43-17 win over Tri-County North), I feel much better about the effort we gave out there today. The intensity the game was played with and the kids battled the whole game.”
And it is not hard to point out the turning point.
After an early 3-pointer by McEldowney gave Versailles a 9-2 lead, Covington battled back to take the lead 17-16 with 5:10 remaining in the half behind senior guard Sammi Whiteman.
Whiteman had 13 of Covington’s 17 points and Stonebraker decided she had seen enough.
“We decided to bring a second girl from the side over on her,” Stonebraker said. “We had two and at times three girls guarding her. That’s how good she (Sammi Whiteman) is. She is a great player. We wanted to win the game, but at the same time we wanted to stop her.”
The result was the Tigers were able to force three quick turnovers and go on a 19-0 run, before Makenzee Maschino’s basket just before half got Covington within 35-19 at the break.
Liz Watren started the run with a three, followed by a Liz Ording 3-point play.
Watren and Lindsey Winner scored off steals and Ording scored off another Bucc turnover to make it 28-17 and force a Covington timeout with 3:35 to go.
Caitlyn Luthman added four points after that and Winner scored three, before Maschino finally stopped the run with 17 seconds remaining in the half.
“Versailles did what Versailles does and had that big run,” Meyer said. “I know Sammi (Whiteman) was tired out there, but she is a gamer,” he said. “She lives for those kind of moments and she did a great job all game.”
Versailles increased the lead to 56-27 after three quarters and maintained it in the final eight minutes.
Ording had 18 points and seven rebounds to pace the Tigers, while Winner added 13 points and seven rebounds.
Hannah Barga scored nine points, McEldowney netted seven and Brooke Stonebraker grabbed five rebounds.
“I know we got in some foul trouble early today,” Stonebraker said. “I thought our subs came in and handled things and played well.”
Whiteman led all scorers with 24 points and was the only Covington player to make more than one field goal and score more than three points.
Maschino and Lilly Hamilton each grabbed six rebounds.
“I know we have work on getting scoring from the other players,” Meyer said. “But, we had a lot of shots from close in that didn’t go in the last two games. And those shots will start to fall. I thought we adjusted (when Versailles started doubling Whiteman), but we just couldn’t get the shots to fall.”
Versailles 23 of 43 from the floor for 54 percent and 18 of 29 from the line for 62 percent.
Covington was 15 of 50 from the floor for 30 percent and five of 11 from the line for 45 percent.
Versailles won the battle of the boards 38-26 and had 17 turnovers to Covington’s 16.
Versailles will play at Fort Recovery Thursday in MAC action, while Covington will host Twin Valley South Monday.
After both coaches left the gym happy Saturday.
Caitlin McEldowney 3-0-7, Danielle Kunk 1-0-2, Liz Ording 5-8-18, Lindsey Winner 6-1-13, Kelsey Custenborder 1-0-3, Brooke Stonebraker 1-1-3, Liz Watren 2-0-5, Hannah Barga 2-4-9, Savannah Toner 0-0-0, Caitlyn Luthman 2-1-5, Rachel Lyons 0-3-3. Totals: 23-18-68.
Morgan Lowe 0-0-0, Sammi Whiteman 10-4-24, Morgan Kimmel 1-0-2, Claudia Harrington 1-0-2, Lauren Christian 1-0-2, Makenzee Maschino 1-1-3, Lilly Hamilton 1-0-2, Brenna Miller 0-0-0, Leah Poling 0-0-0. Totals: 15-5-35.
3-point field goals — Versailles: McEldowney, Custenborder, Watren, Barga.
Score By Quarters
Versailles 12 35 56 68
Covington 11 19 27 35
Records: Versailles 4-0, Covington 3-1.
Reserve score: Versailles 48, Covington 11.