The Grayson County Middle School boys basketball teams went on the road for its first two games of the regular season and came home with sweeps of both contests.
On Tuesday, the Cougars traveled to Whitesville to take on the St. Mary Angels. The seventh-graders recorded an easy 45-15 win, while the eighth-graders were tested before coming away with 46-34 victory.
On Thursday, the teams traveled to Cloverport, where they took on the Frederick Fraize Aces. They both had mercy-rule wins on the night, with the seventh-graders prevailing 48-6, and the eighth-graders winning 61-26.
Grayson County never trailed in this game, though they were tied once at the start at 2-2. The Cougars followed with eight unanswered points to lead 10-2.
The Angels stopped the run when Ben Goetz scored at the 1:51 mark to make it 10-5, but the Cougars closed out the period with a Miles Hornbeck lay-up and a three-pointer from Jaxon Higdon to take a 15-4 lead at the start of the second quarter.
A 7-2 run at the start of the second period was capped off by Keegan Sharp’s second three-pointer of the night and the Cougars held their largest lead of the first half, 16 points at 22-6. They led by 13 points, 22-9 at the half.
Grayson County’s defense held the Angels to just two third quarter points as they increased their lead to 27 points, 38-11 as the fourth quarter began.
Even though coach Kevin Johnston emptied his bench in the fourth quarter, the Cougars still outpointed the Angels 7-4 to make the final margin of victory 30 points. Goetz led the Angels with nine of his team’s 15 points.
Evan Clark led the Cougars in scoring with 11 points and he added four rebounds. Three players, Higdon, Sharp and Hornbeck all finished with six points. Brett Payton had five points and he led the Cougars on the glass with six rebounds.
Evan Hayse scored four points, Zeb Bratcher had three, and Zak Bratcher and Mason Miller had two apiece to complete the Cougar scoring.
This was a close game throughout, with the two teams trading the lead through the first quarter-and-a-half. But the Cougars closed out the second quarter with six straight points to erase a two-point deficit and take a 19-15 half-time lead, one which they would not give back.
St. Mary’s Ethan Howard hit a three-pointer at the 1:55 mark of the third quarter to pull the Angels to within two points, 27-25, but they would never be closer. Howard hit four three pointers on the night and finished with a team-high 14 points.
The Cougars led by just four points, 31-27 heading into the fourth quarter, but when they opened with a 7-2 run, they increased the lead to nine points, 38-29 with 4:32 left in the game.
Nolan Shartzer scored seven of his game-high 19 points in the fourth quarter as the Cougars pulled away down the stretch. Shartzer also led the Cougars on the glass with six rebounds.
Spencer Cannon scored eight points and grabbed three boards, while Tyler Williams scored seven and added three rebounds. Cameron Wells had six points, while Wyatt Schultz and Jude Oller had three apiece to round out the Cougar scoring. Schultz also added four rebounds to his totals.
The Cougars got scoring from 15 different players in this runaway game that saw the clock begin to run continuously by the mercy rule at the 3:15 mark of the fourth quarter when Jonathan Henning scored on a lay-up to put the Cougars ahead by 35 points, 40-5.
The Aces got a lay-up from Garrett Townsend at the 3:19 mark of the first quarter which made it 4-2, but they would not score again until there was 1:20 left in the third quarter. The Cougar led 33-4 at that point.
Evan Clark had a fine game for the Cougars, leading all scorers with 14 points, and also leading the Cougars on the boards with eight rebounds. There was no doubt Clark would have recorded a double-double had he stayed in the game, but with his team leading by nearly 30 points in the third period, coach Kevin Johnston took his starters out in favor of his long bench.
Brett Payton scored six points, while Miles Hornbeck had four and Hunter Tomes had three. Ten players scored two points each: Henning, Jaxon Higdon, Evan Hayse, Jacob Conder, Matthew Loughran, Zeb Bratcher, Braxton Rainey, Grayson Payton, Cody Simpson and Chase Richardson. Keegan Sharp added one points to complete the scoring.
Grayson County never trailed after scoring the first four points of the game. A lay-in by the Aces’ Xander Jennings with 2:25 left in the first period made it a three-point game, 8-5. The Aces would not score again until the 3:44 mark of the second quarter when Garrett Bradley hit a three pointer to make the score 29-8 in favor of the Cougars.
Grayson County scored the final 14 points of the first quarter and led by 17 points, 22-5 at the start of the second period. They then scored the first seven points of the second quarter before Bradley hit his three-pointer. The Cougars led by 32 points, 37-15 at the half.
Grayson County outscored the Aces 15-3 in the third period to take a 52-18 lead into the final period of play. When J. J. Tomes hit the second of two free throws with 3:49 left to be played he put the Cougars up by 35 points and the clock began to run continuously by the mercy rule.
The Cougars got scoring from 11 different players and were led by Cameron Wells, with 19 points. Wells added five rebounds on the night. Nolan Shartzer had a fine all-around game for the Cougars, finishing with 11 points and adding seven rebounds, four assists and five steals.
Tyler Williams just missed double figures with nine points. Spencer Cannon scored six and dished out five assists. Jude Oller and Brady Whobrey had four points apiece, and Oller added five rebounds.
Kyler Embry, Miles Hornbeck and Brett Payton all scored two points, and Tomes had one to complete the scoring.
The Cougar middle schoolers will be on the road again on Monday as they travel to Brownsville to take on the Edmonson County Wildcats. Game time there will be 5 p.m.
Reach Don Brown at 259-9622, ext.2016.