Head coach: Katrisha Glass (8th season)

Last season: 28-6, lost to Westview in sectionals

Starters lost: 2

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Starters returning: 3

Players to watch: G Kalynn Howard, F Felia Fayne, F DaNiyasia Robinson, G Nakya Gilliam, G Cortayza Flowers

The Lady Chargers accomplished just about everything a high-level team could last year except make the state tournament.

Covington won 28 games, picked up some impressive non-league wins and won another district title while going undefeated in league play.

The season ended on a major downer, though, when Covington lost to Melrose in the region title game, which forced them to travel to Westview to earn a state berth. Westview edged them 50-45 in a sectional game.

As we know now, COVID-19 cancelled the state tournament so Covington would not have gone to Murfreesboro anyway, but it still stung and still stings.

“We still talk about the last two games of the season,” said Covington head coach Katrisha Glass. “We talk about how close we were to getting there and what we need to do different this year.”

The good news is that the key players from that squad return and Covington is excpected to have a lot of depth this season.

Back for their seniors seasons are Felia Fayne, Kalynn Howard and DaNiyasia Robinson, all of whom  have been key players for two-plus years.

Fayne, a dominant 6-0 post player, led the team last year in scoring (15.2) and rebounding (7.2). Howard averaged 14 points and three assists per game and made a team-high 36 3-pointers last year. Robinson, a forward, scored 7.7 points and 6.2 rebounds per game.

Howard, who has played point guard since her freshman season, will slide over to shooting guard this season. Junior NaKya Gilliam will take over at point guard.

“That will really open the floor for us,” Glass said. “Gilliam will work on getting the ball to our shooters. She’s been pretty solid.”

Several other players, including some newcomers, are expected to make an impact this season as well.

Cortayza Flowers is a sophomore guard who transfered from Brighton and freshmen Alana Whiten and Kendall Narcisse are two promising freshmen.

Sophomores Shamya Butler and Kayla Pitts, both guards, are expected to see their roles expand this season. Juniors Audrey Glass and ShaNiah Wiliams and sophomores Zakaria Culp and MaLiyah Gilliam wil be pushing for playing time as well.

The goal of this team, which went to state two seasons ago, is crystal clear: Get back to Murfreesboro.