BY CHAD DARE
ATTICA, Ind. —
While the Covington Trojans have won the most Bi-County Holiday Tournament titles, seniors Alex Frechette and James Foley have never cut down the nets.
That changed on Saturday night when Covington held off Attica 63-58 to claim their 22nd tournament championship.
“Our senior group has never won one of these, and it’s a great honor to do it this year,’’ said Frechette, who had 16 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.
Covington coach Kent Chezem couldn’t say enough good things about his senior duo.
“Those guys have done a tremendous job of leading us,’’ he said, noting that neither player was 100 percent on Saturday night. “Alex was a little banged up after Friday night, but he gutted it out. And James was battling flu-like symptoms.’’
But Chezem knew that his Trojans, who improved to 5-3, needed both players on the floor.
While Frechette finished with a double-double, Foley had just one basket, but the senior forward did other things like pull down 10 rebounds.
“We are so much better when he is on the floor, because he rebounds, defends and he is a leader,’’ Chezem said. “He does all the little things that don’t show up in the box score. Without him, there is no way we win this title.’’
That senior duo also got a little bit of help from a trio of sophomores.
“We are getting better every game as a team,’’ Frechette said. “Jordan (Ahrens), Travis (Coleman) and Chandler (Spring) made some really big plays when we needed them.’’
In the fourth quarter, Ahrens and Coleman combined to score 18 of their team’s 22 points. Ahrens also had three assists, two steals and two rebounds in the final eight minutes after spending much of the first three quarters on the bench with foul trouble.
“All I could do is sit there and cheer my team on from the bench,’’ Ahrens said. “In the fourth quarter, I had to make for lost time and be a leader for this team.’’
Ahrens started the final quarter with a steal and three-point play and Coleman sealed Covington’s first Bi-County title since 2006 by making 5-of-6 free throws in the final 10 seconds.
“I thought Travis Coleman had another great game off the bench. He was a big spark for us,’’ said Chezem as Coleman got the Trojans into Saturday’s title game with his game-winning layup in Friday’s 66-64 win over Fountain Central.
Coleman was the leading scorer for the Trojans with 17 points, followed by Frechette with 16, Ahrens had 13 and Spring finished with 10.
Attica, which falls to 3-5, had a 33-28 lead with 5 minutes, 7 seconds left in the third quarter, but the Red Ramblers saw it disappear with a Trojans 11-3 run.
Frechette had seven of his 12 third-quarter points during that stretch.
“Coach wanted us to take it right at them,’’ Frechette said. “We wanted to either get some easy baskets or get to the foul line.’’
Covington did both, making 14-of-19 at the charity stripe in the second half and the Trojans were 12-of-25 from the field.
But the biggest difference in the halves was Attica converted 16 Covington turnovers into 12 first-half points, but in the second half the Red Ramblers had just 5 points on 11 turnovers by the Trojans.
“Our defense was great all night,’’ said Attica coach Chuck Hutchins, whose team had 12 steals with Carson Davis picking up a game-high five. “In the first half, those turnovers led to points and they didn’t as much in the second half.’’
Instead, the Red Ramblers were forced to play more half-court offense and they made just 12-of-30 shots in the final two quarters.
“More than anything that has to do with Covington’s length,’’ Hutchins said. “They have kids that are 6-2 or 6-3 with long arms and our guys have trouble finishing against that length.’’
Sophomore Bryce Cooper and Kenny Little shared team-high honors with 16 points each, while junior Brady Sheridan scored 12 of his 14 in the first half for the Red Ramblers.
Fountain Central 46
ATTICA, Ind. – Free throws proved to be the difference between the Mustangs and the Patriots in the consolation game of the Bi-County Holiday Tournament.
Fountain Central (7-1) was 8-of-14 at the charity stripe with Luke Davenport making two in the final 30 seconds, while Seeger (7-2) made just 2-of-8 and the Patriots were 0-for-4 in the fourth quarter.
Ethan Woodrow was the leading scorer for the Mustangs with 15 points, eight of those coming in the first half, while Sam Woodrow had eight and Michael Duane finished with seven.
The Patriots were led by Jordan Stover with a game-high 18 points, including six in the fourth quarter, while Isaac Foxen chipped in with 10.
These two teams are both idle until Friday, Jan. 4 when Fountain Central faces Seeger in a Wabash River Conference contest.