Senior Kaylan Shull hit four three-point shots, including the eventual game-winner, in the last 1:52 of the game Thursday night to give the Lady Cougars an exciting, 65-63, come-from-behind win over visiting Ohio County.
Shull had been quiet for the majority of the night. She was scoreless in the first half, and had just two points, on a third-quarter lay-up, before setting the Eagles ablaze in the game’s closing moments.
Shull’s theatrics may have overshadowed the all-around fine performance junior Maddie Stewart had on the night. Stewart finished with a double-double, 26 points and 11 rebounds, and added three assists and a team-high five steals.
A couple of factors played significant roles in a close ball game. The Lady Eagles were nearly perfect from the free-throw line, hitting 13-of-14 shots, 93 percent, while the Lady Cougars hit just 45 percent on 5-of-11 at the line. But Grayson County hit eight three-pointers while Ohio County hit just four.
The game was close from the outset and neither team led by more than six points throughout the contest. In the first period alone there were two ties and six lead changes before the Lady Eagles took a 14-13 lead into the second quarter.
There were four more lead changes in the second period. Two bonus free throws by Ohio County’s Sarah Stone gave the Lady Eagles their largest lead of the first half, five points, at 31-26 with 1:44 left. But the Lady Cougars closed out the half with a 10-5 run, including freshman Allie Horton’s three-pointer with four seconds remaining that tied the game 36-36 at the break.
Grayson County took four-point leads twice in the early moments of the third quarter, only to see the Lady Eagles come back to lead 46-44 with 2:28 left in the period.
A Stewart 10-footer with 1:17 left tied it again at 46-46. Sophomore Sarah Pierce then gave the Lady Cougars the lead with her second three of the night to make it 49-46. Ohio’s Allison Druin closed out the third-quarter scoring by hitting a pair of free throws with 28 second left to make it a one-point game, 49-48 heading into the final period of play.
When the Lady Eagles scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter, they completed a 9-0 run that gave them their largest lead of the night, six points at 55-49 with 5:49 left to play.
Stewart answered with back-to-back baskets to make it 55-53 at the 4:34 mark. Shull went to the line in the bonus with 3:40 remaining with the chance to tie the game again, but missed the first shot.
Ohio’s Sequoya Huff scored on a put-back basket at the 3:14 mark to make it 57-53. Things looked bleak for Grayson County as they turned the ball over on their next three possessions. Druin went to the line with 2:05 remaining and hit 1-of-2 to give her team a five-point lead, 58-53.
That’s when Shull came to life. She took a pass from Horton and buried a three with 1:52 left to make it 58-56. Tailor Turner answered with a rebound basket for Ohio before Shull hit another three with 1:24 left to make it 60-59.
Druin responded with a three of her own to give the Lady Eagles a four-point advantage, 63-59 with 1:15 left.
With 39 seconds left, Shull took a cross-court pass from Pierce and drained another three from the corner to make it a one-point game again, 63-62. Pressing on the inbounds play, the Cougars forced a held ball. With the arrow in their favor, they took possession with 34.5 second remaining.
Then, with 29,5 seconds left, Stewart passed to Shull all alone at the top of the arc and the senior hit nothing but net from about 25-feet to put the Cougars on top 65-63.
Following an Ohio County timeout, the Lady Eagles looked for their shot, but could not find one before taking their last timeout with 17.5 seconds left.
The Lady Eagles took a three-point shot in the waning seconds, then had two put-back attempts bounce off the rim before the final buzzer sounded giving the Lady Cougars the win.
Huff led the Ohio County with 14 points, while Druin had 12 and Stone added 10.
Shull finished the night with 14 points and added three steals. Freshman Grace White had nine points and added two rebounds and three assists. Horton had a good night for the Lady Cougars, scoring seven points and adding three rebounds and three steals.
Pierce hit two threes and finished with six points, while Sloane Embry closed out the scoring with three points.
In the opening game, the Lady Cougar JV squad moved to 2-0 on the year with a 56-39 win over Ohio County. Jodi Decker led the Lady Cougars with 13 points, while Sloane Embry had 12.
The Lady Cougars (2-0) are scheduled to host Owensboro Catholic Monday night in Cougar Gym. JV action is set to begin at 6 p.m.