Playing in the semi-final round of the Green River Valley Conference Tournament, the seventh-grade Lady Cougars saw their season come to a close Monday night with a 27-24 defeat at the hands of the lower-seeded Ohio County Lady Eagles.
The seventh-graders had advanced to the semis on Saturday as they held on for a one-point, 31-30 win over host McLean County.
In the other opening round game, Hannah Saltsman’s double-double performance drove the eighth-grade Lady Cougars to a 45-28 win over Muhlenberg South. Grayson County was scheduled to play its semi-final match Tuesday evening at McLean County Middle School.
SEVENTH-GRADE vs McLEAN
Kaylee Masden just missed a double-double for the day as she hit three three-pointers and finished with a game-high 19 points while pulling down nine rebounds.
Bailey Snyder also had a good game for the Lady Cougars as she finished with seven points and nine rebounds.
This was a close game from the outset. Masden’s second three-pointer of the first period gave the Lady Cougars their largest lead of the game, six points at 9-3, but McLean pulled back to within a point of the lead, 12-11 at the end of the first period.
McLean County took its largest lead of the game, five points at 23-18, on a 15-footer from Nicki Morris with 1:53 remaining in the second period, but the Lady Cougars closed out the half by scoring the last five points, including another Masden three, to tie things 23-23 at the break.
The Lady Cougars held McLean to just four points in the third quarter and took a four-point lead, 31-27 into the final period of play. They would not score in the fourth quarter.
McLean’s Gracie Arnold hit a jumper at the 4:34 mark to make it 31-29, then Charlie Settle went to the line in a bonus situation with 2:41 left to play with the chance to tie it again. Settle hit the first free throw, but missed the second, leaving the Lady Cougars in front by a single point.
Grayson County went to the free throw line three times in the final 2:28, including two bonus opportunities, but could not get anything to fall.
Meanwhile McLean put up nine shots in the last two minutes, any one of which would have given them a lead, and could not get any of them to fall.
Kenzie Renfrow scored three points for the Lady Cougars and added eight rebounds, while Keragan Collard scored two to complete the scoring.
SEVENTH-GRADE vs OHIO
Three factors led to this loss for the Lady Cougars. Inside the game’s first minute, center Kandler Lindsey went out of the game with an ankle injury and her presence on the boards was sorely missed.
Second, Kaylee Masden picked up her second foul early in the first period and sat out the rest of the first half. When she returned to the game in the second half, she was ineffective.
Finally, the Lady Cougars lost any opportunity to pull this one out with horrible free throw shooting, especially in the fourth quarter. For the game, Grayson County shot 26 percent from the line on 4-of-15. In the fourth quarter alone, they were just 3-of-10, including two bonus opportunities. Of a potential 12 points they could have gotten at the line, they got just three. In a three-point game, that was key.
The Lady Cougars led by as many as six points in the first period, but led by five, 12-7 at the end of the period. They scored just two points in the second period and led by three, 14-11 at the half.
Ohio County took its first lead of the night, 19-18 at the 4:05 mark of the third quarter following a Faith Adams jumper. The game was tied 21-21 at the start of the fourth quarter.
Masden hit 1-of-2 at the line at the 4:21 mark to put Grayson County up by one, but Ohio responded with six straight to lead by five, 27-22 with 1:04 left to play. During that stretch, the Lady Cougars had two bonus opportunities but missed the front end both times.
Kenzie Renfrow went to the line in the bonus with 53.8 seconds left and hit both to make it 27-24. Following a Collard steal, the normally reliable Bailey Snyder went to the line for two shots with 26.8 seconds left, but missed them both.
Collard came up with another steal and was fouled with 11.9 seconds left, but missed both shots in the double bonus. Ohio County was then able to run out the clock to preserve their win.
Ohio’s Yvonne Hunt led all scorers with 10 points. Renfrow led the Lady Cougars with nine points, just missing a double-double as she gathered in 10 rebounds. She also had four steals in the game.
Snyder finished with six points and five rebounds, while Masden finished with five points. Collard and Laura Vincent completed the Lady Cougar scoring with two points each, and Collard led the team with eight steals.
EIGHTH-GRADE vs SOUTH
Grayson County trailed just once in this game, 2-0 just 15 seconds into the game. Saltsman answered with eight straight points and the Lady Suns would never be closer than six points the rest of the way. The Lady Cougars led by six, 14-8 at the end of the first period.
South’s Kenzie Dixon scored on a runner at the 4:36 mark of the second period to make it 18-12, but they Suns would never get closer. Grayson County reeled off 14 unanswered points to lead by 20 points, 32-12 with 50 seconds left. They led 32-14 at the break.
A Saltsman lay-up with 1:47 left in the third period gave the Lady Cougars their largest lead of the game, 23 points at 39-16. They led 39-19 heading into the fourth quarter.
Six straight South points at the start of the fourth quarter cut the lead to 14 points, 39-25 with 3:35 left to play, but they would get no closer.
Dixon led the Lady Suns with 10 points.
Also scoring in double figures for the Lady Cougars was Brandi Minton, who finished with 11 points. Mackenzie Edwards scored eight points, while Breanna Frank and Brooke Simpson had four each. Simpson also added six rebounds and led the team with five steals.