Covenant boys accelerate past North Cross

In late January, Covenant was searching for answers. The Eagles lost five straight games to close out the month and needed something to change fast.

Now they’re rolling again, riding a five-game win streak after a 72-59 victory over VIC Division 2’s No. 1-seed in next week’s tournament, North Cross, on senior night for the Eagles.

But memories of that January slide are forcing the Eagles to savor every victory.

“For us it’s just about getting a win,” said Covenant coach Travis Johnson. “It’s nice that it was North Cross but we’re just trying to get some positive steps going into the tournament. To be able to turn it around this month is huge.”

The victory over the 15-7 Raiders was particularly sweet though as Covenant picked up a big jolt of momentum going into the VIC bracket where a first round win — if they can claw past Eastern Mennonite — would setup another clash with North Cross who has a bye in the first round.

Things didn’t go exactly as planned for Covenant in the first half though. With a system built on defense, Johnson wasn’t particularly pleased with what was happening before the break despite the fact that the Eagles held a 42-33 lead.

“My biggest concern going into halftime was that we gave up 33 points,” Johnson said. “I don’t want our scoring to keep us in it or give us a slight lead, I want our scoring to pull us away. I got after them a little at halftime and they responded.”

When the Eagles’ defensive intensity stepped up they didn’t lose a step on offense either. As a team, Covenant shot 30 of 53 on field goals and went 10 for 20 from beyond the arc in a lights out shooting performance.

Boo Agee’s double double led the way for Covenant as he came up with 13 points (with the majority coming in the second quarter) and 11 assists on the night. Jeremiah Morris led the way with 19 points, 15 of them before halftime.

“They did everything we asked them to do,” Johnson said. “They got after it.”

He hit three 3-pointers in the first half as part of a perimeter barrage that included seven team long balls for Covenant. Agee hit two, Hernon Henderson knocked down another and Austin Diduch also got in on the action with one of his own.

Henderson finished with 14 points on the night while Nick Krstich pulled down nine of Covenant’s 25 total rebounds in a game where there weren’t many boards as neither team missed many shots.

Bryce Woodliff led North Cross with 17 points while Sam Lawrence had 15, with 12 coming before the break.