Aarika McKinsey scored 17 points and grabbed 13 boards on Senior Night.
Aarika McKinsey scored 17 points and grabbed 13 boards on Senior Night.
NEW MARKET - Coming off Monday night's come from behind victory over North Montgomery, Southmont showed no signs of fatigue early on Tuesday hosting the Covington Trojans. It was their fifth game in eight days, and their third since Saturday. In the end, however, Covington hit their free throws to escape with the 60-49 victory.

Kasey Burton scored Southmont's first four points, and Aarika McKinsey added six more in the first quarter, as the Mounties stormed out to a 14-4 advantage.

They played stellar defense holding Covington's leading scorer, Avery Chezem, scoreless in the first.

"We came out inspired and played great at the beginning," said Mountie mentor Susan McVay. "I'm not sure we thought we would play that well, and I know that Covington didn't expect that.

"I was thrilled with our start," continued McVay. "Covington's a good team, and I knew they would make their way back."

Covington extended their defense to full court in the second, giving the Mounties trouble. After two baskets by McKinsey gave South a 12-point lead, at 18-6, the Trojans went on an 11-0 to close the gap to one.

An Avery Hess runner stopped the bleeding at the 2:30 mark of the second. After a short lived 21-20 lead for Covington, Hess would hit three of four free throws for a 23-21 advantage. However, Chezem would hit 4-4 from the line to give Covington a 25-24 lead headed to the break.

"We didn't handle their pressure well," remarked McVay.

Southmont would knot the game at 25 seconds into the third, but Covington would go on two runs, one of 6-0, and the other 10-0, to take a 14-point lead to the fourth.

The Mounties closed the gap to nine several times in the fourth quarter, but couldn't get any closer. Covington would ice the game from the line hitting 15-22 in the quarter, including Chezem's 11-16.

McKinsey paced the Mounties (4-15, 1-4 SAC) with a double-double of 17 points and 13 rebounds. Hess came off the bench for 12 and Reagan Case scored 8.

Covington (15-7) was led by Chezem's 34. She was 20-26 from the line. Macie Cooper had 12 points and 8 boards for the Trojans only other double figure scorer.

The Mounties honored McKinsey during halftime of the game as their lone senior.

"Aarika had a great game," said McVay of her post player. "She's been our leader all year. We're a young team, and we haven't won a lot of games. However, she's never failed to support the younger kids and does a great job of setting an example. I've been thrilled with her leadership, and she's done so much for this team and program."

The Mounties will travel to Lebanon on Friday as part of a girl/boy Sagamore Athletic Conference double header. The girls game will start at 6 p.m., with the boys game to follow.