By Rob Kiser
VERSAILLES — It was as simple as 1-2-2.
For one quarter, the Covington girls basketball team was able to handle the Versailles girls basketball team’s 1-2-2 full-court press — but, the final three quarters were a very different story.
The Lady Buccs were leading 8-6 late in the first quarter, before the Lady Tigers’ pressure sparked a 17-2 run and Versailles went on to a 49-25 victory that left both teams at 3-1 on the season.
With Jessie Crowell and Brooke Gostomsky scoring four points each, Covington had a two-point lead late in the opening quarter.
“We knew weren’t going to come in here and dominate Versailles,” Covington coach Craig Maschino said. “I felt like we had to play our very best today — anything less wasn’t going to do against them. And I thought we played a pretty good first quarter.”
Versailles’ Kristin Langston had hit a jumper with 10 seconds to go in the opening quarter to tie the game.
Then, in the first 52 seconds of the second quarter, Versailles scored eight straight points to make it 16-8 and Covington never really recovered.
After Danielle Winner had started the quarter with basket, the Lady Tigers forced three straight turnovers, with Danielle Winner, Kami Ording and Kami McEldowney all cashing in at the Versailles end to force a Covington timeout.
“I know they beat us a few times on the press in the first quarter,” Versailles coach Jacki Stonebraker said. “But, I told the girls they needed to stick with it. I felt like in the second quarter, we closed some of the gaps and our guards did a good job clamping down on them (on defense).”
Covington had just one field goal in each of the final three quarters, going three for 22 from the floor in that stretch as Versailles pushed the lead to 25-13 at halftime and 41-17 after three quarters.
“I have been talking to the girls since the beginning of the season about not trying to throw over the top of a press,” Maschino said. “When you do that and they have a 6-foot-2 girl, that is what is going to happen. The second and third quarters especially, when you are not getting shots because of turnovers, it is hard to score.”
Stonebraker was pleased to see the progress of her young team and the way they responded to Tuesday’s loss to Tippecanoe.
“It is a lot of fun watching these girls as they grow and learn their roles and to play with each other,” she said. “But, they have a lot more growing to do — with Minster and New Bremen coming up this week.”
McEldowney led Versailles with 12 points, while Danielle Winner had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, Emily Marshal netted eight points and Ording added seven.
Brooke Gostomsky had six points and six rebounds for Covington.
Rayna Horner and Jessie Crowell had six points each and Carly Shell grabbed five rebounds.
Versailles was 19 of 50 from the floor for 38 percent and nine of 13 from the line for 69 percent.
Covington was seven of 33 from the floor for 21 percent and six of 10 from the line for 60 percent.
Versailles won the battle of the boards 32-28 and had 13 turnovers to Covington’s 23.
Both teams will face a big challenge Tuesday night.
Covington hosts Tri-Village and Versailles plays at Minster.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Piqua Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.