VEEDERSBURG — It might not have been on the bulletin board, but the Fountain Central girls basketball team were looking for, and got, a little revenge with a 30-22 win over Covington.
A last-second, come-from-behind win by the Trojans in the Bi-County consolation game was on the minds of the Mustangs, who move to 9-9 on the season and into a second-place tie in the WRC at 3-1.
“First, I knew we would play a lot harder than we did against them the first time,” FC coach Sam Karr said. “I’m really pleased with tonight. Our defense was so much better, and we were able to speed up the game in places to our advantage. We have gotten so much better in so many ways from the start of the season - I’m really proud of the girls.”
That Mustang defense put the brakes on the Trojans offense, limiting them to 15 points under their season average.
“Give Fountain Central credit for their defense,” Covington coach Travis Brown said. “We got good looks, but shots wouldn’t fall. We moved the ball well, but we couldn’t get a shot to go down, which was different the last game (in the Bi-County game). We held them to 30, but you don’t win many with 22 points.”
The Mustangs never trailed, although the visitors tied the game at 2 and were within one a couple times. They scored the last two points of the second quarter and the first three of the third to be down 17-16, but FC reeled off the next nine to make things more comfortable. The Mustangs also dropped four free throws in the fourth quarter to set their final score, while limiting the Trojans to only two buckets.
“We haven’t played in a while, so I was a little concerned about the offense,” Karr said. “The offense might have been a little ugly, but effort is never ugly. I’m really proud of the defensive effort tonight. Covington is a hard team to guard.”
The Mustangs were led in scoring by KayLee Spragg, who made four of her five free-throw line jump shots and finished with eight points.
The sophomore also drew the inside defensive assignment on Covington center Kali Pettit.
“KayLee did a great job on Pettit,” Karr said. “She also came out on their top three-point shooter (Peyton Brown) and got a hand in her face. We kept Pettit from a lot of her shots, and managed to distract Brown.”
Pettit finished with seven points and a team-best six rebounds. Brown hit only one three.
Next up for the Mustangs was Brailey Hoagland with seven points. The sophomore added four steals and two assists. Both she and Spragg had six rebounds to lead FC.
The leading scorer for Covington was Sydni Crain with seven points.
The Trojans were 8-of-39 from the field, 2-of-12 from long range and 4-of-8 from the line. They had 15 turnovers that became a dozen Fountain Central points.
The Mustangs were 10-of-29 from the floor, 2-of-9 from deep and 8-of-16 from the line, including four of their last six in the final minute. They won the rebound battle 33-29 and had 15 turnovers, but the Trojans were only able to convert them into five points.
“Lilly Hacquet had a good defensive night for us,” Brown said of the junior. “It’s a good night to hold (Hannah) Prickett to five points.”
The season continues to look up for the Mustangs as they even their record and stand near the top of the conference.
“There has been such a huge change in this team since the start,” Karr said. “It was a physical game tonight, and early in the season, we would have turned the ball over 30 or more times. We put in a 1-3-1 defense early in the fourth quarter that really bothered Covington, and early in the season, we couldn’t have made an in-game change like that. These girls have worked so hard.”
Both teams have Thursday games ahead.
The Trojans stay in conference with a home game against Parke Heritage. The Panthers have one loss.
The Mustangs are also at home, but against Tri-County, who will bring an 8-9 record in after a loss to Seeger Tuesday.
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