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Chargers play for state tourney berth Friday in Jackson

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Jalen Claybon and the Chargers finished second in the region tournament to advance to a sectional game. Photo by Jeff Ireland

Having improbably climbed two mountains assuring a shot at a state tournament berth, the Chargers faced another against Manassas on Saturday for a region championship and one more home game. 

Covington played hard, but 59 points from the Tigers senior starting guards and center were too much for Covington to overcome.

Manassas won 78-71, sending Covington to a sectional match-up at Region 7-AA champ Jackson South Side.

Covington plays South Side Friday night at 7 p.m. 

After falling behind 23-14 after one period, Covington used an 18-9 run in the second to close the gap to 37-32 at the break. 

It was as close as CHS would come for the rest of the game as DeShawn Bell (15 points) ruled the backboards and guards Courtney Smith (17 points) and sweet-shooting Rayford Albright (27 points) were masters in the backcourt. 

Bobby Shanks led CHS with 17 points. Malcolm Taylor turned in another strong performance with 16 and Derrian Tipton had one of his best nights of the year with 15. 

Missed free throws again played a major role in the outcome. Manassas made 17 of 21 attempts and CHS just 13 of 24.

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