BY GREG FLINT
ATTICA, Ind. —
The Covington boys’ basketball team won their first game of the year, using good ball movement and a physical defense to beat Attica by the score of 52-41.
Neither team could find the basket to start the game as Covington took 90 seconds before putting their first points on the board. They added a trey by Alex Frechette to lead 5-0 before giving up a 3-pointer to Brady Sheridan of Attica at the 4:10 mark.
The next four baskets, two by each team, were all treys as the teams took turns bombing from beyond the arc. Chandler Spring and Frechette hit for Covington while Bryce Cooper dropped in a pair for Attica.
When that game of H-O-R-S-E finished, Covington led 11-9 and the two teams began to play real basketball.
The Ramblers tied the game on a short jumper by Kenny Little and took the lead into the second quarter when Cooper drove to the basket to make the score 13-11.
Covington raced back into the lead as they started attacking the basket getting a lay-up and a dunk. Frechette added a trey and, in just over a minute, the Trojans were up 20-13.
Attica responded, getting baskets by Davis and Little, but could not string enough together to reel in the Trojans.
“I thought we made some small runs when we hit our jumpers,” said Rambler head coach Chuck Hutchins, “but we couldn’t get inside enough to keep it going.”
He would not make excuses about getting inside, but Covington coach Kent Chezem noted that the Ramblers were without a couple of their players. Both starting center Keetin Arnold and his backup Tyler Jordan were out sick with mono and their absence certainly aided the Trojan cause.
Covington got one last basket in the second quarter and led 22-17 going into halftime.
The Trojan defense came on strong in the third quarter, but so did that of the Ramblers. Covington did not allow a basket until Little hit a trey at the 3:53 mark, but in that same span, the visitors only scored three points themselves.
Attica closed the gap to four when Little hit another from beyond the arc, but Covington closed on a 7-2 run to lead 34-25 after three quarters.
The Trojans finally managed to get their lead to double figures in the final period at 40-30, but they could never really shake the Ramblers. Attica, as Hutchins noted, made some small runs, but Covington always seemed to find an answer, winning 52-41.
“Our ball movement and player movement without the ball was better,” said Chezem, “but we still had too many turnovers. Of course, part of that was a good Attica defense, but I think we could do better. Still, I’m happy with our offense.”
Chezem said his defense was okay, saying that Attica liked to play quickly and he thought his team did a good job of slowing the pace down to the speed the Trojans wanted.
Hutchins thought his team was pushed around, saying, “We got outplayed on both sides of the ball. They were more physical than we were and got a lot of rebounds and putbacks.”
He added, “You live by the three and you die by the three. We could not get inside at first, so we settled into being a jump shooting team instead of moving the ball for a better shot. That’s just poor play we need to fix.”