UNION CITY – Mississinawa Valley outscored Covington 19-9 in the second quarter, and that would prove to be the difference as the Blackhawks recorded a 59-48 Cross County Conference win on senior night win over Covington.
Ethan Bowman led the Hawks in the first quarter, scoring 6 of the 10 team points, but the Buccs hung tough in a 10-10 tie at the end of the period.
In the second frame Mississinawa Valley got hot as Bowman, Trent Collins and Blake Scholl each connected on 3-pointers to go along with a pair of runners by Collins and additional buckets by Bowman, Cody Dirksen and Scholl.
The result was a 19-9 scoring advantage for the Blackhawks, who took a 29-19 halftime lead – a margin Covington couldn’t recover from over the remainder of the contest.
That’s because Blackhawk senior Bowman and junior DJ Howell took over in the second half. Bowman, who scored 12 points in the first half, tallied 11 in the second half with just one field goal – a 3-pointer. The remaining eight points came on eight of nine free throws.
Howell, who was held scoreless in the first half, went to work inside the paint with all 11 of his points coming in the second half.
Still, Covington outscored Mississinawa Valley 15-14 in the third quarter and eventually cut the lead to 6 points midway through the fourth quarter.
But Trent Collins scored on a layup and Howell hit on two short buckets inside the paint and then the free throw line became the friend of Mississinawa Valley as it connected on 10-of-12 free throws down the stretch to seal the deal to prevent Covington from mounting any comeback.
Bowman led Mississinawa Valley with a game-high 23 points, while Howell and Blake Scholl scored 11 points each.
Mississinawa Valley concluded the regular season with an 11-10-1 overall record and 7-5 in the Cross County Conference.
Next up the Hawks will play Jackson Center in the opening round of the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division IV Piqua sectional tournament at 7 p.m. Friday.
Score by quarters:
COV …. 10 … 09 … 15 … 14 – 48
MV …… 10 … 19 … 15 … 16 – 59
Covington – Chad Yohey 3, Andrew Cates 2, Zach Parrett 7, Nathan Lyle 4, Gray Harshbarger 4, Braden Miller 6, Bradley Wiggins 18, Klayton Maschino 4;
Totals 3-16-7/12 – 48
Mississinawa – Max Dirmeyer 1, Ethan Bowman 23, Trent Collins 9, DJ Howell 11, Matt Slob 2, Cody Dirksen 2, Blake Scholl 11; Totals 5-15-14/19 – 59