COVINGTON – Rachel Kerns was happy with the shots the Greenville girls basketball team took Thursday night, but not enough of them fell as the Lady Wave lost 50-33.
“I think we played really hard and we gave great effort,” the Greenville coach said. “We left a lot of shots out on the court. A lot of shots kind of went around the rim, looked really good and they were the right shots to shoot. I think it could have been a different game had some of those shots went in. To get those looks, I want them to shoot it 10 out of 10 times. It was just unfortunate some of ours just kind of rimmed out. I don’t know, we probably had six, seven, eight shots that just kind of went around.”
Greenville had to play from behind most of the night with Covington grabbing a 6-0 lead early in the contest.
Morgan Gilbert got the Greenville offense going with a 3-pointer then drove to the basket for 2 more points to cut the deficit to 6-5. Cassie Cromwell also added a basket late in the opening quarter, which ended with Covington leading 13-7.
The Wave started the second quarter strong with a 3-pointer from Jada Garland. Cromwell and Gilbert then each made a basket, giving Greenville its lone lead of the night at 14-13 with just over six minutes to go in the first half.
But midway through the second quarter Covington’s Samantha Whiteman took over the game. The Buccaneer junior scored 12 of the final 16 points in the first half to help put Covington up 26-17.
“She’s skilled,” Kerns said of Whiteman, who scored 16 of her game-high 22 points in the first half. “There’s a reason she’s as good as she is. You can’t necessarily set a game plan for how it’s going to go. She just understands the game, and she plays a lot, and that’s obvious. She makes the right pass when she’s supposed to. When she has the opening she takes it. We just really tried to make her take tough shots. In the first half we didn’t do that. The second half she finished only with 6 (points). She’s a terrific player – I’m not going to take anything away from her – but I think we did make the right adjustments in that second half.”
Garland made a 3-pointer early in the third quarter that cut Covington’s lead to 29-20, but then the Buccs went on an 8-0 run and led by double digits the rest of the game. At the end of the third quarter they were up 43-28.
“Probably the biggest disappointment is we have to do a better job on the defensive end as far as finishing a possession,” Kerns said. “We let them get too many offensive rebounds and scores, and a lot of times it was on that third chance. We really need to do a better job from one through 10, or whoever gets in the game, we need to do a better job of finishing a possession.”
Neither team got much offense going in the fourth quarter, which ended with Covington on top 50-33.
“At times when we would say we’re not looking as good we were still getting great looks,” Kerns said. “It’s again they were just going in and out or we miss a second-chance basket.
“We hit a few of those shots and our conversation is probably different right now, but credit to Covington, they played great defense. Again, we got great looks. We just have to find a way to finish.”
Gilbert led Greenville with 11 points in Thursday’s game. Also for the Wave, Cromwell scored 9 points, Garland scored 9, Saki Nakamura scored 3, and Koryann Elliott scored 1.
Whiteman led Covington with her game-high 22 points. Also for the Buccs, Victoria Lyle scored 10 points, Jordan Crowell scored 6, Lillian Hamilton scored 6, Lauren Christian scored 2, Morgan Kimmel scored 2, and Makenzie Long scored 2.
Greenville fell to 9-6 with Thursday’s loss. The Lady Wave will return to action on Saturday when they play host to Miamisburg.