The Covington Buccaneers celebrate a huge win over Legacy Christian on Saturday. ©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo

PIQUA – The Covington Buccaneers entered the sectional tournament seeded 15th, but a complete team effort led to a thrilling 54-50 victory over fifth-seed Legacy Christian at Piqua High School on Saturday.

Covington coach Logan Carey had a strong belief in his team throughout the entire season and several times he expressed that the Buccaneers could compete and possibly beat any team if the players were able to believe in themselves and each other.

Carey’s belief in his team came to fruition on Saturday as the Buccaneers were able to overcome some adverse situations throughout the game by sticking together and executing the game plan implemented by the coaching staff.

“Our guys trusted everything we had talked about all week and executed the game plan to perfection,” said Carey.

The early stages of the game wasn’t ideal for the Buccs as Legacy Christian jumped out to an early 12-5 lead. But Covington didn’t relent and was able to close the gap to 19-18 at the end of the first period thanks to two huge three-pointers by Connor Humphrey.

The Buccaneers carried the momentum into the second period by taking a 27-21 lead midway through the frame. Unfortunately, Legacy Christian was able to go on an 8-0 run to close out the half with a 29-27 lead.

Both teams scored 14 points in the third and the fourth period started with Legacy Christian clinging to a two-point lead, 45-43.

The determination, toughness and team unity raised to the highest level of the season for the Buccs in the final period as the players executed exactly what Coach Carey wanted.

The execution led to a 51-47 lead for Covington with just under two-minutes left, which is when adverse situations challenged the Buccaneers down the stretch.

The first situation came when Gunner Kimmel made an amazing defensive play for a steal, but he was called for a foul on the play. Legacy Christian followed with a three-pointer to cut the Buccs’ advantage to 51-50.

Still, Covington executed greatly by spreading the ball around to take time off the clock and forcing Legacy Christian to begin fouling. But once again, a situation where Covington was called for over-and-back led to Legacy Christian having the ball with 26 seconds left with a chance to take the lead.

A few seconds later the Buccaneers forced a loose ball and Gunner Kimmel dove in to get his hands on the ball to give the Buccaneers a critical possession with 19 seconds left on the clock.

Bryson Hite was then fouled and he connected on two free throws to push Covington’s lead to 53-50 with 13 seconds left.

Legacy Christian attempted a three-pointer just beyond mid-court with 3 seconds left and Hite pulled down the rebound and was fouled once again. Hite connected on one of two free throws to end the game with the Buccs on top 54-50.

Hite put together a great performance offensively as he led the Buccs with a game-high 22 points on four two-point buckets, three treys and 5 of 6 free throws.

Brogen Angle scored 13 points, Britton Miller had 10 and Connor Humphrey finished with nine points.

“Super proud of the effort tonight,” Carey said. “Super proud of the guys. Super proud of the community for showing up. The outpouring of support was awesome. Awesome win for everybody in Covington. A message for everyone that showed up tonight. whatever you wore tonight, don’t wash it and wear it again on Wednesday.”

The Buccs will play Jackson Center at 7:30pm on Wednesday at Piqua High School.

Brogen Angle knocks down a three-pointer against Legacy Christian. ©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo

Covington – 18 – 27 – 43 – 54
Legacy Christian – 19 – 29 – 45 – 50

Bryson Hite – 7-5-22
Brogen Angle – 6-0-13
Britton Miller 4-0-10
Connor Humphrey – 3-1-9
Totals: 20-6-54

Justin Graves – 1-0-2
Nathan Hess – 1-0-3
Blake Schwartzkopf – 2-0-5
Parker Burke – 8-5-22
Jacob Thompson – 5-0-10
Tommy Michael – 1-0-2
David Cancino – 2-0-6
Totals: 20-5-50

Covington: Brogen Angle (1), Bryson Hite (3), Britton Miller (2), Connor Humphrey (2)
Legacy Christian: Hess, Schwartzkopf, Burke, Cancino (2)

Britton Miller elevates for a bucket in a 54-50 victory over Legacy Christian. ©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo
Bryson Hite had a huge night with a game-high 22 points. ©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo