By Ben Robinson
COVINGTON — The Covington boys basketball team has had its fair share of heartbreak in close games this season, but Tuesday night the Buccaneers made their own breaks in capturing a thrilling 67-60 overtime victory over Brookville.
And the victory came after the Buccaneers squandered a five-point lead with 50 seconds left in regulation thanks to a pair of turnovers on back-to-back possessions – turnovers Brookville capitalized on to tie the score at 56-56.
But in the overtime session it was all Covington as Kleyton Maschino and Jake Hamilton scored on layups off of cuts to the basket on consecutive possessions.
After a Brookville bucket, Covington responded once again with a layup by Kadin Presser to push the Buccaneer lead to 62-58 with just under 2:00 left on the clock.
Covington then forced a Brookville turnover and Kleyton Maschino was immediately fouled and made both free throws. From there all a deflated Brookville team could muster was two more points as Covington held on for the 67-60 win.
The Buccaneers started the game on fire by jumping out to a 7-2 lead in the first three-minutes of the game. But Brookville outscored Covington 10-2 over the remainder of the opening stanza to take a 12-9 lead.
A pair of big three-pointers by Jake Hamilton and Zach Kuntz, along with three buckets by Presser and five free throws on six attempts led to a 26-23 Covington lead at the break.
Covington clung to the slim lead through the third period and eventually pushed its advantage to eight points midway through the fourth.
But Brookville was able to battle back and send the game into overtime, despite Covington being able to knock down eight of ten free throws in the final frame.
And after being able to get to the rim fro three huge buckets in the overtime session, the Buccaneers sealed the deal at the free throw line by making five of eight attempts.
In all, Covington converted on 20 of 26 from the line, while Brookville made 11 of 16.
The Buccaneers received a balanced scoring effort as four players scored in double figures with Kadin Presser leading the way with 15 points. Kleyton Machino had 14, Jake Hamilton scored 13 and Spencer Brumbaugh dropped in 10 points.
Brookville was led by A.J. Eller, who tallied a game-high 33 points, while Daniel Dominique scored 10.
The win boosts Covington’s record to 7-10 on the season with a huge showdown at Bethel slated for Friday.