Facing elimination, the Chargers made the most of home-court advantage Tuesday night in the first round of the District 15-AA Tournament with a 68-57 win over Jackson North Side.
Covington (17-11) opened the game with a 10-0 run and led 18-8 after one quarter.
North Side (11-12) closed the gap to five with two seconds left in the half, but Kaleb Estes got three of his 13 in the game with a 3-pointer from the center circle as time expired to push the lead back to eight.
CHS would lead by as many as 18 as North Side turnovers, 32 in all, derailed any comeback.
The Indians’ Chavis Fuller and CHS’ Malcolm Taylor led all scorers with 24 each. Brandon Cheairs scored 17 for JNS. Bobby Shanks totaled 12 and Derrian Tipton 10 for Covington.
The win assures the Chargers of a berth in the region tournament at Memphis Fairley High beginning Feb. 21.
The Chargers hit the road to Liberty Tech last Friday with the opportunity to win the last two regular season games, improve their district record to 5-5 and secure the number seed for the district tournament.
It was not to be as the Crusaders staged a fourth-quarter comeback for a 68-63 win.
Covington staged a comeback of its own.
Down 11 after one quarter, the Chargers turned up the defense and outscored Liberty 17-10 in the period to hit the locker room down six.
The offense and defense continued to click in the third and a 20-11 period sent CHS to the final frame with a up 48-45.
It all came undone in the fourth.
Leading by five with three minutes remaining, two critical turnovers and missed free throws gave the Crusaders an opening and they roared back for the win, assuring the fourth seed for CHS.
Shanks led the way with 24 points. Three other Chargers hit double digits: K.J. Stowers (13), Kaleb Estes (11) and Malcolm Taylor (10).
Monday’s game at JCM had no seeding effect and the Chargers played loose and free, posting an 81-57 win.
JCM led once at 2-0, before six consecutive turnovers in the backcourt fueled a 17-2 Charger run. It was game over.
The lead eventually expanded to 30 aided by 31 Cougar turnovers that included 17 steals and four chargers taken. CHS had a season low nine giveaways.
Tipton’s best outing of the year led the scoring with 19 points. Jalen Claybon had 13, Damarcus Seaberry 12 and Taylor 11.