Connor Humphrey and the Buccaneers battled hard against Bradford, but came up short of winning the Buccaneer Holiday Classic.

COVINGTON – The sixth annual Buccaneer Holiday Classic is in the books, but unfortunately for the host Covington Buccaneers, neighboring rival Bradford was able to hand the Buccs a 56-40 defeat.

“Super proud of our effort, but it just wasn’t our night,” said Covington coach Logan Carey. “Winning is hard. Playing extremely well two days in a row is hard. We looked like we exerted a lot of energy last night and just couldn’t quite bounce back. When we are tired physically and mentally, that’s when turnovers and missed layups occur.”

Bradford junior Owen Canan was the achilles heel for Covington. Canan scored a game-high 24 points and had a huge impact on defense where he was able to force several turnovers.

The Railroaders’ defense as a team made things difficult for Covington, but Canan’s relentless performance was phenomenal.

Still, the Buccaneers were able to get some open looks, but just couldn’t knock down as many shots as they were able to make 24 hours ago against Arcanum – especially from behind the three-point line. Last night Covington made 12 three-pointers, but tonight only three treys dropped through the net.

Another difference in the game was the conversions from the charity stripe. Bradford made 16 of 20 free throws, while the Buccaneers only converted on nine of 15 attempts.

Even with the shooting struggles, Covington was able to stay within striking distance heading into the final frame. The score was knotted at 12-12 after one and Bradford held a 31-25 lead at the break and a 41-35 lead after three.

The Buccs were able to cut the margin to 41-37 in the opening seconds of the fourth, but Bradford went on a rampage throughout the remainder of the game by outscoring Covington 15-3 down the stretch.

Britton Miller led the Buccs with 13 points and Brogen Angle scored 12.

As previously mentioned, Owen Canan dropped in a game-high 24 points, while Landon Wills contributed with 15 points for Bradford.

“Super proud of all of our guys,” Carey said. “We’ve had a nice stretch here (winning three of the last five). We know what we’re capable of and we know there is still work to be done. We’re never satisfied, but we are happy with where we are as a unit. We’ve got a great group of young men.”

Covington drops its record to 3-5 on the season, while Bradford improves to 7-2.

Covington – 12 – 25 – 35 – 40
Bradford – 12 – 31 – 41 – 56

Britton Miller – 13
Brogen Angle – 12
Tanner Palsgrove – 6
Bryson Hite – 4
Connor Humphrey – 4
Gunner Kimmel – 1

Owen Canan – 24
Landon Wills – 15
Hudson Hill – 9
Dalton Branson – 6
Zage Harleman – 2

Covington – Brogen Angle (2), Bryson Hite (1)
Bradford – Dalton Branson (2), Hudson Hill (2)

Bradford’s defense made things difficult for Brogen Angle and the Buccs, but Covington was within striking distance early in the fourth period.
Britton Miller connects on a runner for two of his 13 points.