Playing against the top-rated team in the 3rd Region and one of the best in the state, the Lady Cougars suffered their second straight loss Monday night in Cougar Gym, 54-46 at the hands of the Owensboro Catholic Lady Aces.
In the JV contest, Grayson County moved to a perfect 3-0 on the season with a 30-23 win.
The Lady Aces are always a sound team and this year’s version is no different. Trapping full court and playing a nearly impenetrable 3-2 half-court zone, the long-armed Lady Aces deflected ball after ball, frustrating the Lady Cougars as they tried to get it to the basket.
The only Lady Cougar who seemed to figure out what she needed to do against the Lady Aces’ defense was junior guard Allie Horton, who sliced and diced her way to a game high 18 points. Horton had a number of length-of-the-court rambles in which her cross-over dribble left defenders standing helplessly as she went in for lay-ups.
The Lady Aces never trailed after scoring the first six points of the game. Horton hit a lay-in at the 3:55 mark to get Grayson County on the board at 6-2, but Makayla Barry and Mackenzie Kaelin hit back-to-back threes to give the Lady Aces a 10-point lead, 12-2. Catholic led 12-4 heading into the second quarter.
Despite a first half in which the Lady Cougars turned the ball over 10 times shot just 29 percent from the field, hitting just 5-of-17 shots, they trailed by just seven points at the break. The Lady Cougar defense kept them in the game as they held the high-scoring Aces to just 18 points.
When the Lady Cougars opened the third quarter on a 6-2 run, they had cut the Catholic lead to just three points, 20-17, but they would get no closer the rest of the way. A 9-2 Lady Aces run gave them a 12-point lead 35-23 at the 1:48 mark, and they led by 10 points, 37-27 heading into the fourth quarter.
A lay-up by Caroline Hayden at 3:52 gave the Lady Aces their largest lead of the night, 14 points at 43-29. Shannon Smith buried a three with 12 seconds left that cut the deficit to five points, 51-46, but it was a case of too little, too late.
The Lady Aces put four players into double figures, led Barry’s 14 points. Ellie Marshall had 11 points, while Hayden and Annabel Moore had 10 each.
In addition to her 18 points, Horton led the team with three assists and added two steals. Hannah Saltsman scored 10 points for the Lady Cougars and led the team on the glass with six rebounds.
Grace White, saddled with foul trouble for the whole game, scored just nine points. Three players, Smith, Sarah Pierce and Breana Minton all had three points to round out the scoring.
The game was tied 6-6 after the first period of play. The game was tied twice more in the second period and the teams traded the lead twice before the Lady Cougars took a 16-14 lead heading into the locker room at the half.
Grayson County still led by two, 18-16 with 2:08 left in the third quarter, when they put their stamp on the game. Shannon Smith’s three-pointer kicked off a 12-0 Lady Cougar run that saw them expand their lead to 14 points, 30-16 with 3:10 left in the game.
The Lady Aces scored the last seven points of the game to make the final score a little closer, but they could never catch up.
Mackenzie Edwards and Brandi Minton shared the scoring lead for Grayson County with nine points apiece, and Edwards led the team with five rebounds and three assists.
Smith and Kaylee Masden both scored three points, and Smith led the team with five steals. Three players, Kenzie Renfrow, Bailey Snyder and Kennedi Cave scored two points each to complete the scoring.
Reach Don Brown at 259-9622, ext. 2016.