After starting the season with six straight wins, the eighth-grade Cougars suffered their first loss last Tuesday, 60-55 against the visiting Ohio County Eagles.
The Cougars then got back on the winning track on Thursday as they defeated Edmonson County 46-19 at Cougar Gym. The seventh-grade team suffered a pair of defeats, losing on Tuesday 34-24 to the Eagles, then absorbing a 28-19 loss on Thursday to Edmonson County.
8th-grade vs Ohio County
The Cougars fell behind by 18 points early in the third quarter before putting together a furious rally that saw them close to within four points of the lead twice in the fourth quarter. But the Eagles were able to hold them off and send the Cougars to their first loss of the year.
Grayson County scored the first five points of the game on a three-pointer and a lay-up by guard Tyler Williams, and they led by as many as six points, 9-3 before the Eagles started to roll.
Ohio County’s Anthony Skipworth hit three three-pointers in the first period to bring his team back. The Eagles’ Chris Whittier scored on a lay-in with 1:24 left in the period to give the Eagles their first lead, 12-10. They would not trail again the rest of the game.
Grayson County’s Nolan Shartzer hit a pair of bonus free throws with 49 seconds left that cut the lead to three points, 15-12, but Hunter Pharris hit a 10-footer with 35 seconds remaining and the Eagles took a 17-12 lead into the second quarter.
Ohio’s Tripp Manning buried a three-pointer opening the second period to make it an eight-point game, 20-12, but Shartzer cut it back to six with a rebound basket at the 4:56 mark.
The Eagles responded with an 11-0 run that saw them take control of the game. Skipworth’s fourth three of the game put the Eagles up by 17 points, 31-14 with 2:11 left in the first half. Skipworth finished with five threes in the game and the Eagles had eight altogether. Ohio County led by 15 points, 33-18 at the half.
A Manning lay-in and 1-of-2 free throws by Skipworth starting the third quarter saw the Eagles take their largest lead of the game, 18-points at 36-18, but that’s when the Cougars started to battle back.
A lay-up by Cameron Wells with 35 seconds left in the third period, capped a 19-6 Grayson County run that saw them pull to within five points of the lead, 42-37, but Shane Frady closed out the period by burying a three with 18 seconds left to increase the Eagle lead to eight points, 45-37 heading into the final period of play.
Skipworth opened the fourth quarter with his fifth three of the night, and Pharris followed with another trey to push the Eagle lead back up to 14 points, 51-37.
Grayson County responded with eight unanswered points to close to within six points, 51-45 with 2:36 left to play. A Wells lay-up with 1:55 left cut the margin to four points, 53-49, but Ohio scored four straight to push it back to eight points, 57-49 with 49 seconds left.
The Cougars cut the lead to four points one last time by hitting 4-of-5 at the line, but they would not get closer.
Skipworth led the Eagles with 18 points, while Manning finished with 10.
Williams led all scorers on the night with 26 points, including three shots from behind the arc. He also added four rebounds. Shartzer and Wells joined Williams in double figures with 11 and 10 points respectively and both players shared the rebounding lead with eight each.
Spencer Cannon scored six points and Kyler Embry had two to complete the Cougar scoring.
7th-grade vs Ohio County
This was a close game all the way until the Eagles closed out the fourth quarter with a 10-2 run that salted the game away.
The score was tied twice in the first period before Hunter Saltsman hit a pair of free throws with 1:26 left that put the Cougars in front 6-4. Ohio County’s Reece Sandefur then closed out the period with a three-pointer and the Eagles took a 7-6 lead into the second quarter.
The lead changed hands four straight times in the second period, which closed with the Eagles retaining their one-point advantage, 11-10.
Ohio County scored the first four points of the third quarter to lead by five, 15-10, but baskets by Miles Hornbeck and Evan Clark closed it back up to a single point, 15-14 with 3:44 left in the period.
Ohio County then closed out the period with a 7-4 run that saw them leading by four points, 22-18 at the start of the fourth quarter.
The Cougars pulled to within two points of the lead twice in the final period, the last time coming at 24-22 on a Clark lay-up with 4:04 left to play. The Eagles then went on their 10-2 run to put the game away.
Grant Tichenor led the Eagles with 10 points. Clark led Grayson County, also with 10 points, and he added four rebounds.
Hornbeck scored eight points for the Cougars and led the team on the glass with six rebounds. Saltsman scored four points, and Keegan Sharp had two to complete the scoring.
8th-grade vs Edmonson County
After the Wildcats’ Gabe Lindsey opened the scoring with a lay-up, the Cougars reeled off 12 unanswered points to take a 10-point lead, 12-2 with 1:25 left in the opening period. Grayson County led by nine, 14-5 at the start of the second period.
Grayson County then scored 10 straight points, including back-to-back three-pointers by Jude Oller and Cameron Wells, and the Cougars were in complete control, 24-5 with 2:49 remaining in the first half. They led by 17 points, 26-9 at the half-time break.
The Wildcats were able to pare their deficit to 14 points twice in the third quarter, but the Cougars held a 16-point advantage, 32-16 at the start of the final period of play. When the Cougars opened the fourth period with seven unanswered points, the lead had ballooned to 23 points, 39-16, and they cruised home with the win.
Grayson County dressed nine players in this game and all of them cracked the scoring column, led by Wells with 12 points and Shartzer with 11. Wells led the team on the boards with seven rebounds and Shartzer added six.
Tyler Williams scored seven points and added four rebounds, and he led the team in steals with four. Wyatt Schultz and Logan Kopp both scored four points, while Oller finished with three.
Kyler Embry and J. J. Tomes both scored two points and Brady Whobrey had one to round out the scoring.
7th-grade vs Edmonson County
The Cougars never led after scoring just a single point in the first quarter. The Wildcats led 14-9 at the half.
A lay-in by Jaxon Higdon cut the Wildcat lead to just four points, 17-13 with 3:01 left in the third quarter, but the Wildcats answered with five straight to lead by nine, 22-13 with 1:21 left.
A three-pointer by Higdon with 22 seconds left cut the Cougar deficit to six points, 22-16 heading into the fourth quarter.
Grayson County was able to pull to within five points, 23-18 on a Higdon 15-footer at the 4:18 mark, but that would be as close as they would get the rest of the way.
Higdon led the Cougars with seven points. Evan Clark scored six and led the Cougars on the boards with five rebounds. Miles Hornbeck scored three points and grabbed four rebounds. Hunter Saltsman scored two points and Brett Payton had one to complete the scoring.
Reach Don Brown at 259-9622, ext.2016.