By Thomas Sellers Jr.
There are three high schools in Tipton County.
Therefore there are a trio of rivalry games on the schedule in any sport throughout the TSSAA calendar. Last Friday was one of those nights in the Munford Gymnasium when the familiar foe Covington Chargers came to town. You would expect the host Cougars to be hyped when they see either Covington or the Brighton Cardinals on the opposing bench.
But that wasn’t the case when Munford took on Covington Dec. 8. The Chargers jumped out 17-6 after 8 minutes leading to a 70-39 victory.
“We didn’t have the effort nor the energy it takes to win tonight,” Munford Head Coach Ryan Ross acknowledged. “Much less winning against a really good Covington team. We didn’t have it. I thought we were timid. I thought we were on our heels early in the game.
“They came in here hungry and we were not tonight,” he added. “And that’s on me. It’s my job to get us ready to play. I have to do a better job because we were not ready to play tonight.”
The Chargers were attacking the boards for rebounds, first to loose balls and using pressure defense to cause Munford turnovers. The Cougars fell behind 17-3 early in the game before Kylan Cunningham closed the first quarter with a three-point play.
Behind 17-6 entering the second quarter, the Cougars endured a Covington 8-4 run to see the deficit grow to 15 points at 25-10.
Munford displayed some fight when Kyree Cunningham drained back-to-back triples to make the score 25-16. Then the Chargers bolted out to a 34-17 halftime lead.
With a nice margin to work with, Covington kept pace with the Cougars in the third quarter outscoring Munford 16-12 to take a 50-29 advantage into the final quarter.
Then the Chargers doubled up Munford in the fourth quarter 20-10 to earn their second victory over their county rivals this young season.
The Cougar players walked off their home court dejected. Ross addressed his team about picking themselves up quickly with a game the following afternoon against Dyersburg.
“What I told them, ‘You don’t fail unless you quit,” he concluded. “Even in a loss as long as you keep fighting. You keep fighting throughout a season to get better, you’re not failing. But the minute you quit, so we talked about that.”
By Thomas Sellers Jr.