The fans in a nearly packed Munford gym saw a typical down-to-the-wire rivalry game Tuesday night filled with emotion.
One fan was ejected in the second quarter, Munford’s Jordan Bell and Covington’s Elijah Ford got into a shoving match and Covington head coach Charles Mitchell and some Munford fans exchanged some less-than-friendly words.
In the end, Covington erased a 10-point halftime deficit to pull out a 53-49 win and remain undefeated in District 14-AAA.
“We were struggling a little bit early, we were out of order,” Ford said. “At halftime we had a talk in the locker room. We came out in the second half and got it together. It was an intense game. You have to ignore the people in the crowd and keep playing.”
“It’s a rivalry game,” Mitchell said. “Emotions got in the way. At halftime I told them you have to control this before it gets out of control. These kids know each other, went to middle school together.”
Covington (7-7, 2-0) deployed a full-court press to start the third quarter and the results were good for the Chargers. When Tylan Holland converted a 3-point play with 12 seconds left in the third, the scored was tied at 32.
The lead swapped hands several times in the fourth quarter before Covington’s Tylan Rivers hit a 3-pointer and scored again moments later to give the Chargers a 47-42 lead with 1:51 left in the game.
With eight seconds left Levi Poindexter hit a contested 3-pointer from the corner to trim Covington’s lead to 51-49. On the ensuing inbounds play Holden Warmath broke Munford’s press and made a layup to seal the game.
Munford fell to 9-8 overall and 1-2 in district play.
Ford led Covington with 12 points, all in the second half. Rivers added 11, including nine in the fourth quarter. Warmath finished with 10.
D’Cameron Haynes paced Munford with 13 and Michael Lee had nine.
“It’s a good win for us to learn to play here,” Mitchell said. “We’re young. Munford’s a good team and I’m sure we’ll see them again down the road.”