Familiar Path: Covenant girls beat Atlantic Shores in first round of states

Photo by Bart Isley

Last season, across six divisions in boys and girls private school basketball, only one team seeded outside the top three advanced to the state championship game.


The No. 6 seeded Covenant girls team in VISAA’s Division II.


So, yeah, Covenant girls basketball has been here before. They know the path. Now they have to try and navigate it again. 


They took step one on Tuesday night, beating Atlantic Shores 51-34 in the VISAA D2 first round. The Eagles face a quick but local turnaround as they matchup with Miller School in Crozet, a rematch of last year’s state title game. 


“They just enjoy playing together and every game is a blessing,” said Covenant coach Caroline Wilke. “Every time we play Miller we learn something new about ourselves and that makes us better.”


The Eagles started slow Tuesday and trailed 8-4 at the end of the first quarter. But from there, Covenant ratcheted up the defensive pressure and started creating easy baskets on the other end. 


“We’re fueled on offense by our defensive pressure,” Wilke said. “When we upped the ante so to speak on defense, we got more excited on offense, started following our shots and started going into the contact and making our lay-ups.”


Kerrigan Poindexter, who has recently gotten healthy and returned to the lineup, scored six of her 10 points in the second quarter while Delaney Poindexter led the Eagles with 12 points. Makyla Hargrove did most of her damage at the free-throw line, going 6-for-8 at the line while also hitting a three to finish with nine points. CeCe Corbey’s two second quarter 3-pointers were huge in that run that created separation. She finished with nine points on the night on three total 3-pointers. 


Wednesday’s 5 p.m. tipoff will be the fourth meeting between Miller and Covenant, with Miller having won all three matchups including last week’s win in the Blue Ridge Athletic Conference championship game. It’s a slightly more challenging path than last year as the Eagles have to fight through the defending state champion Mavericks led by BRAC player of the Presleigh Braxton.