COVINGTON — In a wild girls basketball team where Houston had rallied from a 16-point deficit and trailed Covington 43-42 in the final 30 seconds, a Covington freshman guard made a piviotal decision.
Gracie Anderson let fly with a 3-pointer from the right of the key with 16 seconds to go and it was a perfect swish to put the Buccaneers up 46-42. They held on for a 48-45 win over the scrappy Wildcats.
Houston’s Megan Maier answered with a 3 at the other end to make it 46-45.
Covington’s Ellie Hedges was fouled with 2.6 seconds left and hit both free throws for the final margin.
The Buccaneers improved to 9-2 on the year. Houston fell to 5-7.
It didn’t seem like it would be such a dramatic finish.
With Anderson, Carlie Besecker and Claudia Harrington combining for 25 first-half points, Covington led 27-11 late in the half. But Houston closed to 29-17 by halftime and the Buccaneers’ lead was down to 35-32 going to the fourth quarter.
The Wildcats were frustrating Covington with their defense every time the Buccaneers tried to enter the ball into posts Besecker and Claire Fraley. Covington finished with 21 turnovers on the night.
Covington never led by more than five in the fourth quarter.
It was 43-42 Covington with 1:15 remaining after a basket by Amber Stangel. After the two teams exchanged turnovers, Houston called timeout with 29.8 seconds left — setting up the no, no yes 3-pointer from Anderson.
Anderson, Besecker and Harrington all finished wit.h 13 points for Covington. Fraley had 12 rebounds, Besecker pulled down 10 and Anderson added six.
Maier had 20 points and five rebounds for Houston, while Stangel had 11 points and six rebounds.
Covington was 15-of-37 from the floor for 41 percent and 13-of-21 from the line for 62 percent. Houston was 15-of-45 from he floor for 33 percent and 10-of-18 from the line for 56 percent. Covington won the battle of the boards 34-25, but Houston had only 13 turnovers.
The Wildcats are scheduled to host Houston on Thursday.
Reach Miami Valley Today sports editor Rob Kiser at (937) 552-2132 or at email@example.com.