Dates for our second annual basketball fund raiser have been set. I can now definitively tell everyone that we will be taking orders from September 22nd- October 3rd.
Last year's fundraiser was a huge success. We were able to help fund many of the extra leagues and tournments in which our teams participate throughout the off season. We had kids from the 6th grade through the varsity benifit from last year's laundry detergent sales. It itsn't very often that we are able to sell an item in a fundraiser that every body wants! The fact that you an save money, make fewer trips to the store, and help the basketball team in the process is a "win-win" propostion for everyone involved. Please spread the word as we will only be placing one order this year. I don't want anybody to miss out on a great deal!
It has been quite some time since I have had the chance to report on the happenings in and around Covington Basketball. Quite honestly the month of July was a blur for me and August has been more of the same.
We have been back at school for three weeks now and things seem to be running smoothly so far. Our students all received Chromebooks this year, so there has been an adjustment period for them, but so far the new technology seems to be working very well. This has been the smoothest starts to a school year that I can remember (knock on wood). Hopefully this is a sign of good things to come.
Our guys had a very busy and productive month of June. We played in a tournament every weekend, and Monday-Friday we had practice, skill workouts, or strength training. It really was a grueling month, but our players were committed and brought energy and passion to the gym every day. I was really pleased with how much our team progressed.
July is a very busy month for basketball as well, but in a different way. I don’t typically schedule games for our team during this month. Many of our guys play on “AAU Teams” and Coach Brown likes to do quite a bit of 7 on 7 and 11 on 11 scrimmages in July. I think it works best for everybody if we schedule our games in June and let Football schedule their games in July. We still conducted morning skill development workouts and our guys continued to participate in our school-wide strength and conditioning program. As for me, I ran those workouts when I was in town, but I spent a lot of time on the road following my daughter, my son, and our high school players play for their AAU teams. (During one stretch of July Avery played 16 games in 8 days in three different cities.) I also had the opportunity to watch Jordan Ahrens and Chandler Spring participate in the IBCA Top 100 workout in Indianapolis. A special thank you to Travis Brown, Troy Bever, and Chad Tanner for covering for me when I couldn’t be there.
I have been just as busy in August as I was in June and July. Our family put off our family vacation until the first week of the month so that it wouldn’t interfere with the many basketball activities we had scheduled throughout the summer. That worked out well, but we went pretty much from vacation to right back to school. It was a whirlwind of a summer for me, but it was really productive.
As most of you have already heard, we did get two move-ins who happen to be really good basketball players. Bryce and Luke Cooper (formerly of Attica) moved to town in late June. They have been cleared by the IHSAA and have full eligibility. They seem to be adjusting well to life in Covington and they already are developing a chemistry with their new teammates.
We head to Eastern Illinois University on Friday to play 3 games. The schedule is listed below. All times are "Illinois Times."
Game One (1 pm)- Covington vs. Carbondale High School (IL)
Carbondale HS is a school of 1100 students. They have a very solid basketball program. Last year they went 23-4 and won the South Seven Conference Championship. In 2012-13 they finished 23-11.
Game Two (4 pm)- Cape Central High School(MO)
Cape Central HS won their district championship last year in class 4A (5 classes in MO). They return 3 starters and look to be big and athletic. It should be another big challenge for our team.
Game Three (6 pm)- Mendota High School (IL)
It was a little harder to find information on Mendota, but they did finish 19-10 last year. Theyhave 620 students in the high school.
The varsity traveled to Wheeler last weekend for their 6th annual shootout. Although we didn't win the tournament, we did play fairly well. It was definitely good competition for our guys and an experience that we can use to improve in the future. Monday we threw together a double header with South Central (LaPorte) and Danville High School (IL). These games weren't originally on our summer schedule but South Central wanted to play us and we were able to get DHS to come over to Covington on the same night. It ended up being a pretty good evening for the Trojans.
At Wheeler we finished pool play 2-1. We started the day with a 6 point victory over a very solid Portage team. We lost in overtime to Andrean in the second game, and rebounded with a 20+ point victory over Mishawaka in game three. We finished tied for the best record in our pool with Portage and Andrean. Portage received the number one seed based on point differential, and we got the number 2 seed. Pool play decided the seeding for the 12-team, single elimination tournament on Sunday. We stomed out the gate Sunday morningwith a 30+ point win over Highland. Our guys shot "lights out" in that game as we had 9 different guys hit 3 pointers. In the second round we played Merrilville. Like most 4A schools, they were very quick and physical. After being down 9 at half our guys settled in and really dominated the second half. The game was tied with 50 seconds to go. We were down 2 with 8 seconds to go, had a 3 point shot for the win with 3 seconds on the clock, but we couldn't get it to fall. It certainly was a tough loss for our guys, but an "eye opener" as we found out the at we can play with just about anybody regardless of class.
Monday night we opened up play vs South Central. They are a 1A school from up north. I thought they were very fundamentally sound and well coached. They finished 6-16 last year, but they return everybody. After seeing them play, I would expect them to drastically improve that record this year. We didn't start too well, but our second unit came in and gave us a real spark. We had a 15 point lead at half and bumped that up to around 30 by the end of the game. The second game vs DHS was a lot more fast paced than game one. DHS quickness and athleticism was definitely a concern heading into the game, but I think our experience playing against very talenented teams this summer really showed in this game. We certainly were firing on all cylinders from the start and were able to jump out to an early double figure lead. The final score ended up being 87-54. Our depth was very impressive again as we played 11 different guys significant minutes. Unofficially we made 14 three pointers in the contest.
It was great to see so many people from the community at Monday's games. It was an eye-opener for me. We may not have the chance to play anymore home games this summer, but with the turnout we had, we will try to schedule some home games next summer.