Tanner Palsgrove had a career-night with 17 points against Northridge. ©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo

COVINGTON – There are five games left in the regular season for Covington and hopefully the Buccaneers can use Tuesday’s overall team effort they put forth against Northridge as a springboard for success heading into the tournament.

Even though Covington came up short 66-61, it was the best performance of the season for the Buccaneers.

The Buccaneers started off hot by building an 8-4 lead on a a pair of threes and a stick back by Tanner Palsgrove. After a Northridge bucket, Brogen Angle hit a three to push the lead to 11-6.

Northridge responded to tie the score at 12-12 before Britton Miller scored on a traditional three-point play to take the lead back for Covington, 15-12.

Back-to-back baskets by Northridge followed to give the Polar Bears a one-point lead, but Tanner Palsgrove closed out the first with a layup to put the Buccs up 17-16 after one.

Northridge opened the second period on a 7-0 run before Humphrey scored on a layup and hit a free throw after being fouled. The Polar Bears pushed their lead to 29-23 before Brogen Angle hit a three-pointer to cut the deficit to 29-26.

Back-to-back buckets by Northridge forced a Covington timeout with 2:17 left in half and the Polar Bears holding a 33-26 advantage. The Buccaneers responded with a Tanner Palsgrove jumper and Brogen Angle layup to cut the deficit to 33-30.

Northridge hit on a free throw and a layup, but once again the responded with buckets by Britton Miller and Tanner Palsgrove to cut the deficit to 36-34 at the break.

The third period was much of the same as Northridge went on small runs and Covington responded each and every time. Britton Miller and Brogen Angle connected on two buckets each, while Bryson Hite and Tanner Palsgrove hit a shot a piece. Palsgrove also converted a free throw to help cut the Northridge advantage to 48-47 wit one quarter to play.

Northridge pond the fourth with a basket and Brogen Angle tied the score at 50-50 on his third three-pointer of the game.

From there the game was back and forth thanks to three baskets by Britton Miller, a basket by Bryson Hite and three free throws by Gunner Kimmel. Northridge was able to hold on for a 62-61 lead with just under 2:00 left and the Polar Bears moved the ball around to force Covington to foul.

Still, Covington had two possessions with opportunities to stay with the Polar Bears, but both possessions ended with turnovers. Northridge was able to connect on four of six free throws in the waning moments to secure the victory.

Covington was led in scoring by Britton Miller, who tallied a game-high 19 points. Sophomore Tanner Palsgrove had a monster night by scoring a career-high 17 points, while Brogen Angle finished with 15 points.

Bryson Hite, Gunner Kimmel and Connor Humphrey contributed offensively by combining for nine points, but their overall performances at both ends of the floor were outstanding. Kimmel had arguably the best game of his career due to the many rebounds and defensive stops against a very athletic Northridge team.

The loss drops Covington’s record to 4-13 overall and 9-10 in the TRC, but if the Buccaneers can build on this game they will be a dangerous team from here on out.

Gunner Kimmel showed toughness and put forth a great effort against an athletic Northridge team. ©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo

Northridge – 16 – 20 – 12 – 18 = 66
Covington – 17 – 17 – 13 – 14 = 61

Britton Miller – 19
Tanner Palsgrove – 17
Brogen Angle – 15
Bryson Hite – 4
Gunner Kimmel – 3
Connor Humphrey – 3

Chris Evans – 17
Baron White – 16
Adreyan Davis – 12
Deonte Smith – 10
Sirrell Alexander – 5
Macrus Tyree – 4
Jeremy Henry – 1

Covington – Brogen Angle (3), Tanner Palsgrove (2)
Northridge – Sirrell Alexander (1)

Bryson Hite scores on a layup on Tuesday. ©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo
Britton Miller gets by two Northridge defenders for a layup. ©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo