By Ben Robinson
COVINGTON — The Covington Buccaneers found themselves in an early hole and never could dig their way out of it in a 55-45 loss to Marion Local on Saturday.
The visiting Flyers jumped out to a 19-6 lead by the end of the first quarter as Covington could only manage a pair of treys in the frame by Jordan Maschino and Trevor Miller.
The Buccaneers found some offense in the second quarter as Miller scored on another trey and a runner, while Jayce Pond and Maschino hit on a pair of three-pointers to keep Covington within striking distance at the break, 29-17.
But the tone of the game was established as Marion Local wasn’t about to let Covington get to the rim. Instead, the Buccaneers were forced to settle for shots from the perimeter as all but two first half points came as the result of treys.
The trend continued in the third as the Buccaneers scored just five points in the frame – three coming off a trey from Pond.
And after three quarters the Buccaneers had only made two buckets from inside the three-point line and trailed 37-22.
In an attempt to get back into the game, the Buccaneers were finally able to get to the rim in the fourth quarter – several times resulting into traditional three-point plays or free throws. In all, Covington made five shots from inside the paint in the fourth quarter and converted on 10 of 11 free throws in the frame.
Still, it was too little, too late as Marion Local was able to hang on for the ten-point win.
The statistics tell the entire story as Covington was 14 of 45 from the floor for 31% and Marion Local was 25 of 54 shooting for 46 percent. The Flyers also held a 15 to 9 advantage in transition points, 14 to 6 advantage in points off of turnovers and a 12 to 8 edge in second chance points.
The Buccaneers shot 50 percent from the three-point line (7-14), which kept Covington in the game as Marion Local was 0 for 15 from behind the arc.
Covington converted on 10 of 13 free throws (10 of 11 in the fourth quarter), while Marion Local made 5 of 7 from the line.
Marion Local dominated the glass, pulling down 35 rebounds to 24 for Covington and holding a 12 to 8 advantage on the offensive boards.
Covington committed 12 turnovers in the contest, while Marion Local had 11.
The Buccaneers had just four players contribute to the scoring with Jordan Maschino leading the way with 15 points, Trevor Miller knocking down 12 points, Nathan Blei scoring 10 points and Jayce Pond connecting for 8 points.
Marion Local had seven players score points, but the heavy lifting was done by Tyler Mescher and Nathan Bruns. Mescher killed Covington inside the paint with a game-high 26 points, while Bruns used the midrange jumper and drives to the rim to account for his 16 points.
With its fourth straight defeat, Covington drops below the .500 mark as it dips to 7-8 on the season. The Buccaneers hope to rebound on Tuesday at home against Ansonia.