Covington Lady Charger basketball coach Katrisha Glass wants to make one thing clear.
Despite being very unhappy with the way things unfolded Tuesday afternoon at Collierville High School in the Dragon Fire Classic semifinals, her team has done some good things over the first 15 games of the season.
“I don’t want to sound too negative,” Glass said following her team’s 38-33 loss to Briarcrest, “because we’ve done some good stuff this season. When my team shows up I feel really good about them. Today we just looked like we had no identity, just going through the motions.”
Early in the third quarter, with Covington (12-3) leading 16-14, Glass called a timeout. In a mostly empty gym because of COVID-19 restrictions, she could be heard yelling at a couple of players for lack of effort.
The talk seemed to work for a while as Covington built a five-point lead and led by four early in the fourth quarter as the Lady Chargers’ full-court press defense gave the Lady Saints problems.
But with 5:43 left in the game, Ella Fite, who led Briarcrest with 10 points, hit a 3-pointer to put her team ahead 28-27. It was Briarcrest’s first lead since since the second quarter.
Covington regained the lead moments later on a bucket by Felia Fayne, but a 7-0 Briarcrest run followed and the Lady Saints never trailed again.
The Lady Chargers had two chances in the final 1:11 to tie the game, but 3-pointers by Shamya Butler and Kalynn Howard were off the mark.
The game started pretty well for Covington when Howard assisted Fayne on a bucket in the opening minute and Howard followed that with a 3-pointer.
Howard, the team’s leading scorer, scored seven points in the first quarter but finished with just eight. Fayne, who led all scorers with 11 points, picked up two early fouls and sat on the bench the entire second quarter. Nine of her 11 points came in the second half.
“I felt like we took plays off on offense and defense,” Glass said. “There was no sense of urgency, but we were still in the game, which is the crazy thing. They still never picked it up.”
Covington beat Bartlett on Monday to advance to Tuesday’s semifinal and will play Collierville today at 1:30 p.m. in the winners’ bracket consolation game.
Last week the Lady Chargers travelled to Maryville and took second place in a tournament there, beating Knoxville Catholic and Cumberland County before falling to Heritage 49-44 in the title game.