Carlie Besecker scored 15 points despite being in foul trouble most of the night. (©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo)

NEW BREMEN – It was a rough night for the Covington Lady Buccs on Tuesday as they dropped their first game of the season to New Bremen 55-46.

Several things factored into the defeat – New Bremen’s defense, foul trouble for Covington and New Bremen’s advantage at the free throw line in the fourth quarter.

Covington found itself in foul trouble early as the Lady Buccs’ two leading scorers, Maggie Anderson and Carlie Besecker, spent a significant amount of time on the bench in the first half after picking up two fouls each.

New Bremen’s defense was relentless, which made it difficult for Covington to get open looks with Besecker and Anderson out of the lineup.

Still, the Lady Buccs were able to stay with New Bremen and scored with seven seconds left in the half to make it a one-point game 24-23. But New Bremen went into the half with a huge amount of momentum as it took a 27-23 lead with a half court buzzer-beater.

The Cardinals maintained the momentum early in the second half as they increased their lead to 31-25 to force a Buccaneer timeout. After adjusting, Maggie Anderson scored six straight points to tie the score, but once again was forced to the bench for the remainder of the third by picking up another foul.

Covington led 35-33 heading into the final frame, but New Bremen had a huge advantage as it entered the fourth period in the bonus.

The Cardinals took advantage of Covington’s foul trouble by knocking down 10 of 13 free throws in the final frame to pull away for a nine-point win.

For Covington, despite suffering through foul trouble most of the contest, Carlie Besecker and Maggie Anderson led the Lady Buccs in scoring. Besecker tallied 15 points and Anderson scored 13.

Despite the defeat there were huge positives for Covington it can build on for the remainder of the season. The biggest positive was the effort of Gabrielle Hartwig, Erika Gostomksy and Delaney Murphy off the bench. All three players helped keep Covington in the game when the two leading scorers were on the bench in foul trouble.

Plus, freshman Avery Koffer made a lot of big plays in critical situations.

Up next for Covington, now 4-1 on the season, is a huge TRC showdown against Bethel on Thursday. Covington and Bethel shared the league title a year ago and both teams have a lot of players back from last year.

Covington – 13 – 10 – 12 – 11 = 46
New Bremen – 16 – 11 – 6 – 22 = 55

Carlie Besecker – 15
Maggie Anderson – 13
Avery Koffer – 9
Erika Gostomsky – 4
Gabrielle Hartwig – 4
Meg Rogers – 1

M. Nelson – 23
C. Homan – 17
A. Powers – 13
A. Hays – 2

Covington – Avery Koffer (1)
New Bremen – M. Nelson (3), C. Homan (1)

Freshman Avery Koffer stepped up with some big plays at critical times. (©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo)
Elizabeth Coblentz and the JV team was fun to watch in a 39-22 win. (©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo)