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Lady Chargers see late lead, state bid slip away

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Covington's Precious Harvey hits one of her five 3-pointers during the sectionals against Westview Saturday night in Covington. Photo by Jeff Ireland

The Lady Chargers came into their sectional home game Saturday night riding a four game winning streak against Westview. 

Westview coach Sean Stephenson was concerned about rebounding.

“If we don’t get on the boards," he said before the game, "we’ll get blown out."

Rebound they did and, in doing so, sunk Covington's hopes of a second consecutive trip to the state tournament, posting a 69-60 overtime win. 

Westview (24-12) ran out to an early lead in the first period. Covington tied it at 10 and then went cold to trail 18-12 at the end of one quarter. 

A 14-7 second period gave the Lady Chargers a lead that they would hold until Westview tied the game at 52 with .6 seconds left in regulation. 

CHS (26-9) suffered a major blow when LeShaundra Somerville, who had 16 points, was whistled for her fifth foul midway through the fourth period. 

Her absence gave Westview the rebounding/scoring edge they needed in the low lost and they took advantage. 

Covington held an eight-point lead with 5:05 remaining in regulation but could not hold it. 

Despite shooting a respectable 78 percent at the free throw line, two crucial misses on the front end of one-and-ones left the door wide open for Westview.

The first miss came with 17 seconds remaining and a four-point Covington lead. The second came five seconds later with Covington ahead by two. 

While Covington struggled on the boards with Somerville on the bench in the OT period, Westview ran away with the win, outscoring CHS 17 to nine in the extra period. 

CHS was outscored 30-13 in the final 9:05 of the fourth period and OT.

Covington senior Precious Harvey was an offensive force in the first half. She scored 14 of her game and season high 23 points before halftime, which included five 3-pointers. 

Janeika Mason closed out her CHS career with 11 points. 

Westview focused on her all night, keeping her out of the paint and off the boards for the most part. 

Tiffany Rechis burned CHS with 22 points and four 3-pointers. Senior twin guards Kendall and Kaley Leyhue chipped in 10 points and Dianna Flipping had 18.

CHS committed 13 turnovers, including seven in the fourth period.

Somerville, Harvey, Treasury Poindexter and Mason were named all-region. 

In another game:

• It is hard enough to beat a team once in a season. How about four times? 

The Lady Chargers faced that task in the Region 8-AA championship last Wednesday and passed the test, drubbing Jackson North Side, 66-40. 

The win gave CHS its second consecutive regional title and advanced them to the sectionals for the third straight season.

Covington led 22-8 after one period and, despite an offensive lull in the second quarter, still led by seven at the half. 

The walls caved in for JNS in the second half. The Lady Chargers outscored the Indians 34-15 and were not challenged.

Somerville led the scoring with 21 points, validating her regional MVP/all-region selection. She was district tournament MVP as well. 

Harvey and Mason added 13 each.

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