By Rob Kiser
Piqua Daily Call
BROOKVILLE —- It had to end sometime.
But, Covington girls basketball coach Jim Meyer was hoping it wouldn’t be this soon.
But, Franklin Monroe’s 42-34 upset of Covington in a Brookville D-IV sectional final was in a sense the end of an era in Covington girls basketball.
Covington, who had defeated Franklin Monroe 59-47 in the regular season, finished 20-4 while Franklin Monroe improved to 19-6.
And it was the final game for Covington’s all-time leading scorer Sammi Whiteman, along with Lauren Christian, Lillian Hamilton and Leah Poling.
“Really, I feel so blessed to have been around the four seniors,” Meyer said.
Whiteman finished her career with 1,893 points.
“She has been the face of Covingtongirls basketball for the last three years,” Meyer said. “You mentioned Covington girls basketball and they would say, ‘Samantha Whiteman’. You couldn’t ask anything more from a player. She worked so hard and she deserved everything she got.”
And Franklin Monroe was determined not to let Whiteman get any rhythm going —- playing a triangle-and-two with both guards on Whiteman, while the other three defenders defended the paint.
And the Jets ran the defense to perfection, as Covington couldn’t throw it in the ocean —- making just 14 of 68 shots.
“I can’t recall a game like this,” Meyer said about Covington’s offensive frustrations. “Other than the Fort Loramie game at regionals last year, where we left a bunch of points on the court and only lost by five points.”
The hot shooting of sophomore guard Chloe McGlinch got Franklin Monroe off to a fast start.
Covington’s only leads were 4-3 after a Whiteman three and 6-5 after a Whiteman steal and layup.
But, McGlinch’s second three erased that lead an FM led 13-8 after one quarter and 22-14 at halftime.
“We were hoping she would hit a couple shots early and then cool off,” Meyer said. “But, that didn’t happen.”
And Covington was 6-for-36 in the opening half.
“The early shot charts had us missing 19 shots from point-blank range in the first half,” Meyer said.
Covington closed to within 30-25 after three quarters and had several opportunities in the fourth quarter down five but couldn’t convert.
“Too many empty possessions,” Meyer said.
Christian hit a three to get Covington within 38-34 with 1:21 to go, but Covington could not score again and FM made enough free throws to finish off the win.
Whiteman led Covington with 11 points and six rebounds.
Morgan Kimmel had six points and five rebounds, Christian had six points and six rebounds, Hamilton had seven rebounds and four blocked shots and Makenzee Maschino had five rebounds.
McGlinch led all scorers with 19 points, while Corina Conley had 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Belle Cable and Chloe Peters had five rebounds each.
Along with its 21 percent field goal shooting, Covington was just three of eight from the line for 38 percent.
FM was 14 of 41 from the floor for 34 percent and 10 of 22 from the line for 45 percent.
Covington won the battle of the boards 33-28 and had six turnovers to the Jets 11.
“If you had told me we would hold Franklin Monroe to 42 points, I would be we would win, because that’s a good time,” Meyer said. “But, give FM credit. They did a great job defensively.”
Which meant the final game for the Buccs.
“I am really proud of this team,” Meyer said about a squad that tied the regular season record for wins. “People thought we were going to be okay and we were a lot better than that. This group of seniors is probably the closest I have been to a group (of seniors). They were sophomores when I took over.”
Which is why he wasn’t read for it to end this soon.
Franklin Monroe (42)
Belle Cable 2-0-4, Corina Conley 3-5-11, Chloe McGlinch 7-2-19, Stella Shellabarger 1-3-5, Chloe Peters 0-0-0, Skylar Bauman 1-0-3. Totals: 14-10-42.
Morgan Lowe 2-0-4, Sammi Whiteman 5-0-11, Morgan Kimmel 2-2-6, Claudia Harrington 2-0-5, Lauren Christian 2-1-6, Makenzee Maschino 0-0-0, Lillian Hamilton 1-0-2. Totals: 14-3-34.
3-point field goals —- Franklin Monroe: McGlinch (3), Bauman. Covington: Whiteman, Harrington, Christian.
Score By Quarters
Franklin Monroe 13 22 30 42
Covington 8 14 25 34
Records: Franklin Monroe 19-6, Covington 20-4.