Avery Koffer scores two of her game-high 14 points in a 44-37 win over Russia. ©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo

RUSSIA – In what was a hard-fought, physical game, the Covington Lady Buccs defeated Russia 44-37 on Monday to improve their record to 7-1 overall.

Russia gave the Lady Buccs all they could handle and then some with aggressive defense and an offensive strategy that was disciplined and extremely patient. The Lady Raiders ate up the clock by passing the ball many times to find open looks on so many possessions.

This led to a low scoring first half as the score was tied 12-12 at the break.

What hurt the Lady Buccs the most was Maggie Anderson being forced to sit on the bench with two quick fouls early in the opening frame. Covington only made four buckets and two free throws in the first half.

Maggie Anderson ignited Covington to start the second half as she knocked down two straight three-pointers and then her sister Gracie Anderson followed with two more treys to give the Lady Buccs a 12-point lead.

Another trey and two free throws by Avery Koffer, along with a bucket by Delaney Murphy and a free throw by Carlie Besecker kept Covington in control with a 32-22 lead at the end of three.

Unfortunately for Covington, Maggie Anderson picked up her fourth foul early in the final frame and Russia was able to battle its way back to cut the margin to four points with 3:34 left in the game.

After a Covington timeout, Delaney Murphy turned the momentum quickly with a three-pointer with just over two-minutes left, which forced Russia to start fouling.

The Lady Buccs converted on seven of twelve free throws in the final frame that sealed the seven-point victory.

Overall, its was a complete team effort for Covington despite some adversity the Lady Buccs faced throughout the contest. Maggie Anderson was in foul trouble the entire evening and fouled out late in the game, but Gabrielle Hartwig picked up the slack, especially at the defensive end with several rebounds and some blocked shots in critical situations. Avery Koffer, Gracie Anderson, Delaney Murphy and Carlie Besecker all made huge plays as well.

Avery Koffer led the way offensively with a game-high 14 points, while Gracie Anderson had 13 points.

Next up for Covington is a huge TRC match-up at home against Lehman.

Covington – 8 – 12 – 32 – 44
Russia – 7 – 12 – 22 – 37

Avery Koffer – 14
Gracie Anderson – 13
Delaney Murphy – 7
Maggie Anderson – 6
Carlie Besecker – 4

A. Shappie – 9
R. Poling – 8
J. Shappie – 7
H. Frantz – 6
C. Hoehne – 3
F. York – 2
C. Borchers – 2

Covington: Gracie Anderson (3), Maggie Anderson (2), Avery Koffer (2), Delaney Murphy (1)
Russia: A. Shappie (3), J. Shappie (1)

Gracie Anderson knocks down one of her three treys on the night. ©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo
Delaney Murphy connects on a huge three-pointer in the fourth period to turn the momentum into Covington’s favor. ©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo