Buccaneer legend Gene Studebaker (left) hands a game ball to Britton Miller (right) who broke the school record for career assists. ©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo

COVINGTON – Tuesday was a special night for the Covington Buccaneers as they defeated Milton-Union 61-52 after honoring senior Britton Miller for breaking the career assist record at Ansonia last Saturday.

Basketball is a team game, but honoring a player for setting a school record is something that reflects the hard work put in over the years by himself and his teammates. Plus, the passion in Covington runs deep, which makes it gratifying for the fans to witness a player like Britton Miller being recognized for an amazing accomplishment.

Prior to the game Britton’s career assist record was announced and Buccaneer legend Gene Studebaker, the former record holder of 300 career assists, presented Miller a game ball. Britton’s parents then joined him on the floor to be recognized as well.

“A big thank you to Gene Studebaker for handing the ball to Britton,” said Covington coach Logan Carey, who planned out the presentation to Britton Miller. “That’s something he didn’t have to do, but was elated to be a part of it. Big thank you to him.”

Britton Miller is honored with his parents for setting the standard in career assists. ©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo

The Buccaneers started the game amped up with energy, but the early going didn’t go well for Covington as Milton-Union built a 21-9 lead early in the second period. The problem was missed shot opportunities for Covington and several uncharacteristic turnovers.

“It would be nice to come out ready to play one of these games, but these guys are taking years off of my life when we come out flat like we have been,” Carey said.

Fortunately the Buccs settled in and started protecting the basketball, which led to more successful shot opportunities. This led to a 19-2 run for the Buccs to take a 28-23 lead at the break.

What was big for Covington in the second period was seven points scored by Bryson Hite, a pair of treys by Brogen Angle, two buckets by Britton Miller and a basket by Tanner Palsgrove.

The third period was tight as both teams battled hard in an effort to gain some momentum. Fortunately Covington was able to outscore the Bulldogs 13-12 in the frame to take a 41-35 lead with one quarter to play.

With the game within reach for both teams, Milton-Union was able to close the gap to 52-48 with just under four minutes left on the clock.

But that was as close as the Bulldogs could get as Covington pulled away down the stretch by outscoring Milton-Union 9-4 the rest of the way for the nine-point win.

Bryson Hite led Covington with a game-high 19 points, while Brogen Angle scored 17 points and Gunner Kimmel contributed with 10 points. Britton Miller tallied eight points, but his impact on the game wasn’t all about putting the ball through the net.

“Britton (Miller) has carried us quite a bit this year offensively,” said Carey. “Thankfully we had a bunch of guys step up and Britton kept finding the open man like he has for three-hundred-plus times. Gunner (Kimmel) finished on his looks around the rim. Bryson (Hite) did what he does well and Brogen (Angle) made shots like we know he’s capable of. Everybody that played tonight played their role well, but they know we still have things to fix defensively. Great team win, and we plan on keeping this thing rolling.”

The victory boosts Covington’s record to 7-10 overall and 3-7 in the TRC. The Buccs travel to Lehman-Catholic on Friday.

Britton Miller goes up for a bucket over a Milton-Union defender. ©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo

Covington – 9 – 28 – 41 – 61
Milton-Union – 18 – 23 – 35 – 52

Bryson Hite – 19
Brogen Angle – 17
Gunner Kimmel – 10
Britton Miller – 8
Tanner Palsgrove – 5
Connor Humphrey – 2

Braden Schaurer – 13
Tyler Combs – 13
Titus Copp – 11
Zach Lovin – 10
Wyatt Kimmel – 5

Covington: Brogen Angle (5), Bryson Hite (1), Britton Miller (1)
Milton-Union: Braden Schaurer (1), Zach Lovin (1), Titus Copp (1), Wyatt Kimmel (1)

Bryson Hite led the Buccs with a game-high 19 points. ©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo