By Rob Kiser
Piqua Daily Call
BROOKVILLE —- It is not easy to make a 45-minute drive on a rainy, foggy night to see a 77-8 game worth the trip.
But, Covington senior guard Sammi Whiteman has a way of doing those kind of things.
And as the Buccs romped over Jefferson in Brookville D-IV sectional action Wednesday much of the crowd was there to see one thing —- Whiteman break an Covington’s amazing career scoring record held by Lynnette Roeth that many thought of as unbreakable over the years.
And Whiteman didn’t disappoint.
Needing 29 points to tie Roeth’s record of 1,879 points that has stood for 17 seasons, Whiteman didn’t waste any time against a scrappy, but overmatched Bronco team.
She came down midway through the second quarter, took one quick look at the basket from the top of the key and drilled a three.
The ball went through the net at the 3:52 mark and one second later the game was stopped to present Whiteman with the ball. She is now the second all-time leading scorer in Miami County behind Kelly (Lyons) Cash of Bethel, who scored 2,212.
“I knew I needed three points (to break the record),” Whiteman said. “I wanted to get it on that shot.”
Both Roeth and Judy Miller, whose record Roeth broke, were in attendence and posed for photos with Whiteman after the game. Roeth went on to a standout career at the University of Cincinnati after leaving Covington.
“I always talk about her (Sammi Whiteman) being a generational player,” Meyer, who has coached her for the last three seasons, said. “It was the same way with Lynnette (Roeth). It says a lot about Sammi that both of them (Judy Miller, Lynnette Roeth) came to see her break the record.”
Ironically, Meyer coach Roeth during her freshman season at Covington during the 1988-89 season.
“I got to coach Lynnette for one year and follow her career,” Meyer said. “I saw my niece (Michelle Meyer) who is third on Covington’s scoring list. And now, I have gotten to coach Sammi (Whiteman) for three years. I feel really blessed.”
Whiteman admitted it wasn’t her focus coming into her freshman season.
“It wasn’t one of my main goals,” she said. “I told my mom at the time my number one goal was to make Covington girls basketball big in Covington. As my career went along, I realized I was going to have a chance (to break the scoring record). Lynnette (Roeth) has always helped me and push me, so it means a lot to break her record.”
After hearing Whiteman’s response, Meyer was not surprised.
“She talked to you about being a team player,” he said. “And that sums up Sammi (Whiteman). She is more upset that the Greenville game was not made up because the team could have broken the regular season record for wins (rather than a chance to add more points to to her total).”
Whiteman admitted that breaking the record was a weight off her shoulders.
“I had been (thinking about it the last couple of games),” she said. “But, I just tried to focus on the game. When you talk about players like Judy Miller and Lynnette Roeth, those were great players.”
As for the game itself, you might think a 77-8 win would make Meyer happy —- but that wasn’t the case.
“I had been worried abut the mentality of the game all week,” Meyer said. “And that played out in the first half (when Covington led 56-7). I told the girls at halftime, ‘We can’t win a sectional title missing five or six layups and shooting two of 10 from the foul line.
“But, the game is over now and we have a chance to play for a sectional title Wednesday,” Meyer said about a second game with Franklin Monroe. The Jets defeated Troy Christian 43-28 in Wednesday’s second game. “And we have another 20 win season.”
Covington will play FM at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Brookville.
Whiteman was 15-for-20 from the floor in scoring 32 points and bringing her total to 1,882.
Morgan Kimmel added 15 points as Covington put 12 players in the scoring column.
Covington was 33 of 63 from the floor for 52 percent and six of 18 from the line for 33 percent.
Jefferson was two of 22 from the floor for nine percent and three of eight from the line for 38 percent.
Covington had three turnovers to Jefferson’s 19 and won the battle of the boards 25-13.
Now, the Buccs prepare for a sectional title game —- after another game where Whiteman made sure everyone got their money’s worth.
Morgan Lowe 1-1-3, Sammi Whiteman 15-0-32, Morgan Kimmel 7-1-15, Claudia Harrington 1-0-2, Lauren Christian 2-0-4, Makenzee Maschino 1-2-4, Lillian Hamilton 2-0-4, Leah Poling 1-0-2, Brenna Miller 0-0-0, Josie Crowell 2-0-5, Autumn Rich 0-0-0, Autum Wright 0-2-2, Ellie Hedges 0-2-2, Claire Fraley 1-0-2. Totals: 33-8-77.
Evra Taylor 1-0-2, Charyel Jordan-Harrison 0-2-2, Jewel Allen 0-0-0, Mia Allen 0-0-0, Bre’asia Burton 0-0-0, Jadah Smith 0-0-0, Sheridan Jordan 1-1-4, Lauren Sellers 0-0-0. Totals: 2-3-8.
3-point field goals —- Covington: Whiteman (2), Crowell. Jefferson: Jordan.
Score By Quarters
Covington 35 56 71 77
Jefferson 3 7 8 8
Records: Covington 20-3.