COVINGTON — For Lehman Catholic and Covington’s boys basketball teams, just getting to the season opener was a relief in a sense.
And the Cavaliers rallied from an early deficit and led most of the game in a 47-37 victory over the Buccaneers on Saturday night.
It was the Buccs who jumped out to an early 10-4 lead with Jake Hamilton opening the scoring with a 3-pointer and Wes Gooding added a 3-pointer and a four-point play.
“We prepared for man and they were playing a zone,” Lehman Catholic coach Pat Carlisle said. “And we finally figured out you can’t give 12 (Wes Gooding) every free look in the gym.”
Lehman then ran off 16 unanswered points to go up 20-10.
Luke Frantz hit two 3-pointers as Lehman scored the final 12 points of the opening quarter to go up 16-10 and he hit two free throws to open the second quarter and Justin Chapman followed with a basket to make it 20-10.
“It took us a little while to understand what passes weren’t going to work against a zone,” Carlisle said. “Luke Frantz, Justin Chapman and M & M (Michael McFarland) was a force in there all night.”
Covington was able to get back within 27-21 at halftime. The Buccs, which made just six two-point field goals all night, got as close as 32-29 midway through the third quarter. Gooding hit a 3-pointer and Hamilton found the mark from long range to make it 32-29.
But Lehman went on a 9-1 run and Covington scored just eight points in the last quarter and a half.
After Jaden Barhorst hit a free throw to cut the deficit to 34-30, Lehman closed the quarter with a 3 by Frantz and a putback by Landon McIver, then got a basket by James Larger to open the fourth quarter and make it 41-30 and Covington never got closer than nine the rest of the way.
“Landon McIver does all the dirty work,” Carlisle said. “He does all the things nobody wants to do and he is a joy to coach because of it. I can’t tell you how many points they had, but Luke Frantz, Justin Chapman and M & M (Michael McFarland) did a great job all night.
“I tip my hat to Covington and their coach (Matt Gibbins). They did a great job getting ready for this game. Give them credit.”
Frantz had 16 points and six rebounds, Chapman added 15 points and 11 rebounds and McFarland had seven points and nine rebounds.
Gooding led Covington with 14 points. Hamilton had eight points and six rebounds, Owen Boehringer had six points and six rebounds and Carter Maxson scored six points.
“There was a point where we weren’t even sure this season was going to happen a few weeks ago,” Gibbins, a first-year coach, said. “So, it is just good to be having a season and getting out here and playing.
“… The positive of this was the kids really came out and play hard. They gave a great effort. We will get back in the gym Monday and work on what we need to fix.”
Lehman was 15-of-41 from the floor for 37 percent and 14-of-27 from the line for 52 percent. Covington was 12-of-46 from the floor for 26 percent and 7-of-10 from the line for 70 percent.
Lehman won the battle of the boards 35-25 and had 11 turnovers to Covington’s 15.
Contact Miami Valley Today sports editor Rob Kiser at (937) 552-2132 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.