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2017-18 Lady Buccs...
Seniors Jordan Crowell (#14) and Tori Lyle (#34) lead the Covington Lady Buccs into another season with exciting expecations.


2017-18 SCHEDULE

Nov 24
Nov 25
Nov 30
Dec 2
Dec 4
Dec 7
Dec 12
Dec 18
Dec 21
Dec 27
Dec 30
Jan 4
Jan 8
Jan 11
Jan 16
Jan 18
Jan 20
Jan 25
Jan 27
Jan 30
Feb 1
Feb 8
Feb 17
Feb 20
Feb 27

Mar 1
Mar 8

@ Houston
@ TV South
@ Versailles
@ Arcanum
@ Newton (No JV)
@ Franklin Monroe
Mississinawa Valley
Springfield Shawnee
@ Troy
@ Milton Union

@ Ansonia
@ Russia
@ Miami East
Jackson Center
National Trail
TC North (Sen. Night)
National Trail
Twin Valley South
Franklin Monroe
Legacy Christian
Fort Loramie

W 45-41
W 60-29
W 53-25
L 39-60
W 50-21
W 34-32
W 46-42
L 35-51
W 66-40
L 36-51
W 42-28
L 42-52
W 43-35
W 67-51
L 36-38
W 50-33
W 61-37
L 40-52
W 36-27
W 64-42
W 71-44
W 68-34
W 57-40
W 44-24
W 56-44
W 54-42
L 27-32





Miami East



Tri-Village 11-1 18-4
Franklin Monroe 9-3 19-3
Covington 9-3 16-6
Arcanum 8-4 12-9
Newton 7-5 15-6
Bethel 4-6 11-9
Bradford 4-8 7-13
Twin Valley South 4-8 7-13
Ansonia 3-9 5-17
Tri-County North 2-8 8-11
National Trail 2-10 5-16
Mississinawa Valley 0-12 0-21

By Rob Kiser, Piqua Daily Call

At the very least, the Covington girls basketball team and second-year coach Jim Meyer are a lot more comfortable than they were a year ago at this time.

Meyer took over the program less than a month before the season started and led the Lady Buccs to a 20-6 season and the D-IV district finals.

"The thing that has been helpful is the process, getting to know the players, coaching style expectations, we don't have to deal with any of that," Meyer said. "Mainly, we have been working a lot on conditioning and getting up and down the floor. The biggest thing right now is we are not real deep. We are going to have a lot of kids play a lot of minutes."

The Lady Buccs return some key players led by 5-7 junior Samantha Whiteman, who led the Lady Buccs in just about every statistical category. Whiteman had more than 200 rebounds, more than 100 assists, 75 steals and averaged 18.7 points per game.

"Sammi (Whiteman) is a really special player," Meyer said. "It is not a secret anymore. She led us in scoring, rebounding and assists last year.The thing is she is one of the hardest working players I have ever been around. She is a gym rat."

Jordan Crowell, a 5-4 senior, had 68 steals a year ago despite missing five games at the end of the season with a torn ACL and averaged 10.4 points per game.

"Jordan (Crowell) is working on trusting her brace right now," Meyer said. "I had that very same injury and the biggest thing is learning to trust the knee brace. Jordan and I have had that conversation. Because, if you don't trust your brace, you can ended being a little tentative. She has played well in the early going."

Tori Lyle, a 5-6 senior post, had 130 rebounds and 30 steals a year ago. The stat sheet doesn't really reflect her contributions to the team.

"We play Tori inside, even though she is 5-6," Meyer said. "She is so technically sound, she plays a lot bigger than she is. She just does so many things for us. She does a lot of things that don't show up in the scoreboard. She does all the little things that are so important."

Two post players that return are 6-foot junior Lillian Hamilton and 5-11 junior Lauren Christian.

"Lauren (Christian) is very athletic and has the size to play inside," Meyer said. "She is not afraid to get physical and set a pick in there. And she is capable of stepping out and hitting a jumper. Lillian (Hamilton) is one of the few rim protectors. Most of my post players have been a little bit shorter. She is capable of setting a pick or stepping out and hitting a jumper at any time."

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Makenzie Long, a 5-9 sophomore, is the final returning letter winner, who got some valuable experience in the postseason a year ago.

"She has stepped in and played very well for us early on," Meyer said. "She has good size for a guard and she is very good shooter. She can step out and hit the jumper."

Morgan Lowe, a 5-5 sophomore, and 5-8 sophomore Josie Crowell also figure to be in the rotation this year.

"Morgan (Lowe) has good quickness she is a good defender and aggressive," Meyer said. "Josie (Crowell) is a post player, but she can also step out and hit three."

Also splitting time between JV and varsity will be 5-7 junior Leah Poling, 5-2 sophomore Brenna Miller, 5-6 sophomore Morgan Kimmel and 5-7 sophomore Haley Houshel.

"We only have 15 girls in the program total," Meyer said. "So everybody should get good playing time on both teams."

The Buccs will mix things up at both ends of the floor.

"We are going to do what is necessary to win the game," Meyer said. "There are games where we are going to feel like we need to slow the game down. There are going to be games where we are going to want to push the ball. We are going to mix up our defenses. We are going to do whatever it takes to win the game."

Meyer knows the opponents focus will be Whiteman every night out.

"There is no question that teams are going to put a lot of pressure on Sammi (Whitman)," Meyer said. "So that will be a key (finding other scorers). We also need to be able to create things for Sammi. To be able to do that, we need to run our offense."

The Buccs will be tested early on when D-III state runner-up Versailles hosts the Lady Buccs.

"The non-conference schedule is pretty tough," Meyer said. "We have D-I Troy, D-IIs Greenville and Springfield Shawnee, we play Versailles You have Milton-Union, who beat us last year. Hopefully by playing these teams, we can get to where we can play at that level after seeing it."

He expects the CCC to be equally challenging.

"I know Tri-Village lost three good players, but that is such a well-run program," Meyer said. "You always have to look at them. Miami East has Morgan (Haney) back. They are going to be very good. You have Newton with Tatum McBride. Franklin Monroe had success last year with a strong group of freshman. Twin Valley South, Tri-County North and National Trail are all teams that have everybody back. So, it is going to be a battle every night in the CCC."

Meyer says last year motivated his team.

"I think they got a taste of that (the tournament run last year) and everyone was excited about that," he said. "Of course, you would like to take the next step. But, that is such a tough sectional. It all comes down to your draw and how you play."

The good news is the "getting to know you" process is out of the way.

2017-18 RETURNING LETTER WINNERS: #14 Jordan Crowell, #14 Victori Lyle, #10 Makenzie Long, #12, Lillian Hamilton, #44 Lauren Christian, #11 Samantha Whiteman.

2017-18 COVINGTON LADY BUCCS:Sitting (L-R) - Lauren Christian, Makenzie Long, Jordan Crowell, Victoria Lyle, Samantha Whiteman, Lillian Hamilton. Standing (L-R) - Brenna Miller, Morgan Kimmel, Josie Crowell, Asst. Coach Adam Sweigart, Head Coach Jim Meyer, Asst. Coach Brandon Studebaker, Leah Poling, Hailey Houshel, Morgan Lowe.

Brenna Miller
Number: 3
Height: 5-2
Grade: 10

Morgan Lowe
Number: 4
Height: 5-4
Grade: 10

Makenzie Long
Number: 10
Height: 5-9
Grade: 10

Sammi Whiteman
Number: 11
Height: 5-7
Grade: 11

Lillian Hamilton
Number: 12
Height: 6-0
Grade: 11

Jordan Crowell
Number: 14
Height: 5-4
Grade: 12

Morgan Kimmel
Number: 20
Height: 5-6
Grade: 10

Leah Poling
Number: 24
Height: 5-7
Grade: 10

Tori Lyle
Number: 34
Height: 5-7
Grade: 12

Josie Crowell
Number: 42
Height: 5-8
Grade: 10

Hailey Houshel
Number: 43
Height: 5-7
Grade: 10

Lauren Christian
Number: 44
Height: 5-10
Grade: 11

2017-18 COVINGTON LADY BUCCS JV SQUAD:Sitting (L-R) - Autumn Rich, Morgan Kimmel, Josie Crowell, Hailey Houshel, Leah Poling, Ellie Hedges. Standing (L-R) - Hallie-Jo Taxis, Head Coach Jim Meyer, Asst Coach Adam Sweigart, Asst Coach Brandon Studebaker, Brenna Miller.

Autumn Rich
Number: 3
Height: 5-4
Grade: 10

Ellie Hedges
Number: 4
Height: 5-4
Grade: 9

Hallie-Jo Taxis
Number: 11
Height: 5-3
Grade: 9

Brenna Miller
Number: 12
Height: 5-4
Grade: 10

Leah Poling
Number: 14
Height: 5-7
Grade: 10

Morgan Kimmel
Number: 20
Height: 5-6
Grade: 10

Josie Crowell
Number: 42
Height: 5-8
Grade: 10

Hailey Houshel
Number: 43
Height: 5-7
Grade: 10

2017-18 GIRLS BASKETBALL COACHES: Adam Sweigart, Head Coach Jim
Meyer, Brandon Studebaker.