Covington girls use fast start in win over Newton

COVINGTON — The Covington girls basketball team played a nearly flawless first quarter Thursday night.

And, while Newton played them evenly the rest of the way, it was more than enough for the Buccs to come away with a 51-36 victory.

Gracie Anderson started the game with a layup in the first 10 seconds and found the bank open for a 3-pointer on the Buccs next possession.

By, the end of the first quarter, the Buccs were up 23-4.

“We hadn’t played (in nine days),” Covington coach Brandon Studebaker said. “I was hoping we would come out just like we did against Milton-Union in the holiday tournament.”

The Lady Buccs did exactly that, hitting nine of 18 shots from the floor and allowing just two field goals at the defensive end.

“We came out and did exactly what we wanted in the first quarter,” Studebaker said. “We did a great job of sharing the ball.”

But, Newton outpointed the Buccs 11-9 in the second quarter to get within 32-15 at halftime.

“Covington is a good team and they hit some shots on us early,” Newton coach Ryan Fiely said. “I thought we did a better job after that. But, the bottom line is we are just not playing consistent enough to win. We have to become more consistent.”

Studebaker didn’t like the second quarter.

“That (the first quarter) gave us a chance to relax,” Studebaker said. “But, I told the girls you have to keep playing. You can’t have a quarter like that against a Tri-Village. What we are looking for is a complete game. But overall, I thought we played pretty well.”

Claudia Harrington hit four of five shots in the third quarter as Covington went up 46-21, before Newton closed the gap in the fourth quarter.

“She is really good at creating space for her shots,” Fiely said about Harrington.

Studebaker agreed.

“That is something that has come for her (Claudia Harrington) this year,” Studebaker said. “She struggled a little bit with that last year, being a point guard for the first time.”

Harrington led the Buccs with 20 points and six rebounds, while Anderson had 12 points and six rebounds.

Claire Fraley pulled down 14 rebounds, while Carlie Besecker had six points and seven rebounds.

“Carlie (Besecker) came in averaging 19 points a game,” Studebaker said. “She only had six points tonight and we still scored 51 points. I feel good about where we are at heading into National Trail Saturday.”

Camryn Gleason paced Newton with 14 points.

Reese Hess had eight points, Tori Benedict scored six points and Katelyn Walters pulled down six rebounds.

“We just have to find a way to play more consistently,” Fiely said.

Covington was 19 0f 55 from the floor for 35 percent and eight of 12 from the line for 67 percent.

Newton was 15 of 49 from the floor for 25 percent and five of 10 from the line for 50 percent.

Covington won the battle of the boards 39-23, but had 21 turnovers to Newton’s 17.

Covington, 8-2 overall and 5-1 in the CCC, will travel to National Trail Saturday.

Newton, 3-7 overall and 1-3 in the CCC, will go to Russia Monday.

Newton (36)

Tori Benedict 3-0-6, Camryn Gleason 5-3-14, Jade Stine 1-2-4, Mercedes Craig 2-0-4, Reese Hess 4-0-8. Totals: 15-5-36.

Covington (51)

Ellie Hedges 2-0-4, Gracie Anderson 4-1-12, Claudia Harrington 9-0-20, Carlie Besecker 1-4-6, Claire Fraley 1-3-5, Parker Metz 1-0-2, Payton Nicholas 1-0-2. Totals: 19-8-51.

3-point field goals — Newton: Gleason. Covington: Anderson (3), Harrington (2).

Score By Quarters

Newton 4 15 21 36

Covington 23 32 46 52

Records: Newton 3-7 (1-3), Covington 8-2 (5-1).