ANSONIA – Covington’s Lady Buccs, behind the one-two punch of freshman Samantha Whiteman and senior Jessie Crowell, defeated the Ansonia Lady Tigers 58-41 Monday evening in Cross County Conference action.
Whiteman led all scorers with 25 while Jessie Crowell contributed 22 for Covington.
“We couldn’t get anything to fall down in the first half, especially the first quarter, and I attribute that to Covington’s defense,” Ansonia girls basketball coach Jim Bolin said. “We knew they were going to be like that the whole game. The play sticky defense. They play that way.”
The Lady Tigers could only muster one point until nearly 2:30 left in the first quarter when Abby Helmke connected on a 3-pointer. Ansonia stopped nearly everyone except Whiteman, who would score nine consecutive points to help give the Lady Buccs a 11-6 lead after eight minutes.
The Ansonia offensive struggles continued into the second period as the Lady Tigers opened with three consecutive turnovers. To make matters worse, Jessie Crowell took over the scoring duties for the Lady Buccs, netting seven straight points to push the lead to 18-8. Bailey Stammen, Jailyn Thwaits and Helmke went to work for Ansonia to counteract Crowell and when the intermission hit it was 24-17 Covington.
The Lady Buccs started quickly in the third quarter by scoring the first six points of the period, opening a 30-17 lead. Ansonia would play them even the remainder of the third despite continued scoring of Whiteman and Crowell. Going into the final period it was 36-24 Covington.
The defenses had dominated this game to this point, but each team would nearly duplicate its scoring of the first half in this quarter. The Lady Tigers had to play an all-or-nothing defense that was trying to steal the ball, but if it didn’t was susceptible to easy baskets. Whiteman poured in 12 of her team’s 22 for Covington. Brooke Neal scored her nine points in the period for Ansonia.
“The last three minutes we played our best basketball,” Coach Bolin said. “Dribble drive, penetrate and kick like we were supposed to be doing all along. We’re still learning.
“We’ve got a lot of things to straighten out, and we’re learning each game. We’re getting better, hopefully, and we’re going to win our share of ball games.”
The loss dropped the Lady Tigers to 6-5 on the season and 3-3 in the CCC. Covington moved to 9-3 and 6-1 in the conference.
Ansonia won the junior varsity contest 36-30.
Covington – 58
Gostomsky 9, Whiteman 25, Je Crowell 22, Lyle 2.
Ansonia – 41
Barga 4, Thwaits 9, Neal 9, Helmke 10, Stammen 9.
3-pointers: Cov: 3 (Whiteman 3); Ans: 3 (Neal 2, Helmke).
Free throws: Cov: 5-9; Ans: 8-12.