BY GREG FLINT
COVINGTON, Ind. —
Seeger used excellent ball movement early in their contest with Covington to open an 11-0 lead en route to a 49-31 win.
“We hadn’t seen them,” said Patriot head coach Brent Rademacher, “But we talked to some coaches and heard what they were doing. So we put in something and it worked several times early in the game.”
Not only were the Patriots getting good looks inside, their defense was denying the Trojans anything good at the other end of the floor – pitching a shutout until Andi Taylor hit a jumper for Covington with 3 minutes, 51 seconds left in the first quarter to stop the run.
That would be the only field goal that Seeger would give up in the period as the only other Covington points came from three free throws made by Aliah Larsen as the quarter ended 17-5.
The teams traded baskets as the second quarter started, but Seeger missed an opportunity to put the game out of reach.
After Hannah Gustus hit three free throws in the opening moments of the period, the Patriots missed their next seven chances from the line until Kiley Swisher made one of two just before half time.
In the second quarter, it looked as if Covington might pull even as they took advantage of the Seeger missed free throws to pull within six with under a minute to go in the half. However, Gustus hit a jumper at the horn that made it 26-17 at intermission.
“I thought after we gave them, what a 12-0 lead [actually 11-0], we settled down and played smarter,” said Covington coach Jeff McCoy. “We made some adjustments against their 1-3-1 to attack it and it helped.”
The third quarter started much as had the first with Covington in a scoring drought and Seeger finding the basket. The Patriots turned a nine-point half time lead into a 17-point lead at 34-17.
The Trojans finally scored almost five minutes into the half when Regan Foster hit a pair of free throws. Their only basket in the third quarter came with 33 seconds left when Madison Hanson hit a jumper.
The final quarter saw the end results of the almost 40 fouls called in the contest. Covington saw several of their players get their fourth foul and Larsen actually foul out.
It also put Seeger to the line, where this time the Patriots did a better job from the line to close out the game.
Both coaches were frustrated by the foul situation as neither could see their team get into any kind of flow with so many whistles.
McCoy also said it hurt his team as he declared they depend on their guards and both his starters picked up two early fouls and went to the bench.
Both McCoy and Rademacher said they saw things they liked and things their teams could improve upon.
Hitting free throws – the Patriots were 13 of 29 for the game – and making baskets on fast breaks were two items that Rademacher said his team must do better.
He liked how his team played defense, noting, “We’re not as quick as we were last year, but we longer – not taller, but a wide wingspan that other teams can’t simulate in practice.”
McCoy noted that his team settled down after their poor start and how they grew more aggressive as the game went on – two points he liked – but said his team “can’t keep playing catch-up – we need to be the ones to make the runs early.”
The Trojans now must get ready to play the No. 6 team in Class 1A when they face Riverton Parke next Tuesday.
“Our focus will be to get ready to play them and Faith Christian,” McCoy said. “We’ve got work to do.”