After overcoming an 11-point, fourth-quarter deficit to force an overtime period, the eighth-grade Lady Cougars were outpointed 9-7 in the extra period by the host Edmonson County Lady Cats in Thursday’s championship game of the Green River Valley Conference Tournament.
The Lady Cougars had reached the final by defeating McLean County by a score of 41-28 in Tuesday night’s semi-final in Brownsville.
Neither team led by more than three points until the LadyCats put together an 8-0 run that gave them a six-point advantage in the third quarter. Edmonson took an 11-point lead, 28-19 at the start of the fourth quarter before the Lady Cougars put on a frenzied comeback that forced the overtime.
In the end, though, poor foul shooting doomed the Lady Cougars to a loss. They shot just 38 percent for the game on 10-of-26 from the line. But in the fourth quarter and overtime alone, they took 21 shots and hit just nine.
The game was tied four times in the first quarter of action before Bailey Snyder buried a three-pointer with 19 seconds left that gave the Lady Cougars a three-point advantage, 11-8 heading into the second period.
The LadyCats came back to tie the score once more at 11-11, before Snyder scored with 1:32 left to put Grayson County up by two, 13-11. Emily Vincent scored for the LadyCats with 14 seconds remaining to tie the game once more, 13-13 heading into the half-time break.
Edmonson County had the ball to start the second half, but Grayson County’s Jenna Nash stole the ball and drove in for a lay-in to give her team a 15-13 lead.
That’s when the LadyCats put together their 8-0 run to take control of the game. Macie McCombs’ 10-footer put Edmonson County up by six, 21-15 at the 2:36 mark.
Snyder stopped the run with a short jumper at the 2:24 mark, but Edmonson County scored the last four points of the period and led by eight points, 25-17 as the fourth quarter began.
When LadyCat point guard Katie Lindsey opened the scoring in the final period with a three-pointer, the already raucous crowd inside the noisy Wildcat Gym went crazy as the LadyCats went up by 11 points, 28-17.
But Grayson County wasn’t done and slowly began to climb back into the game, and they did it with their defense. In the last 4:42 of regulation, the Lady Cougars forced nine Edmonson County turnovers, six of which came on steals.
That enabled the Lady Cougars to hold the LadyCats scoreless the rest of the fourth quarter. Two Kenzie Renfrow free throws brought Grayson County to within three points, 28-25 with 1:32 left to play.
Matte Mae Milam had the chance to bring the Lady Cougars to within a point with two free throws at the 1:04 mark, but she missed both shots.
Lindsey went to the line twice in the last 42 seconds of the game with bonus free throws, but missed the front ends both times.
The Lady Cougars took a shot with under 10 seconds left and missed, but Renfrow battled for the rebound and Grayson County called a timeout with 7.8 seconds left.
The Lady Cougars inbounded the ball to Snyder, who dribbled across the top of the key and passed to an open Nash in front of the Lady Cougar bench. Nash put up a three-pointer that found the bottom of the net just as the buzzer sounded to tie the game 28-28 and sent it into the overtime period as the Grayson County fans rocked the building.
Kandler Lindsey scored first for Grayson County, but Madison Harrison scored for the LadyCats at 2:21 to tie it again at 30-30. Renfrow then scored on a put-back basket and was fouled at the 2:04 mark. Her made free throw gave the Lady Cougars a three-point advantage, 33-30.
Laura Ballance hit 1-of-2 at the line with 1:55 left to make it 33-31. Laura Vincent went to the line for two shots for Grayson County at 1:45, but missed both shots. McCombs then hit 1-of-2 with 1:38 left to make it a one-point affair, 33-32.
Snyder hit a pair of double-bonus free throws at 1:34 to make it 35-32, but Emily Vincent responded with a 10-footer at 1:18 to make it a one-point game again, 35-34.
Renfrow went to the line for two shots with 29 seconds left, but missed both shots. That opened the door for Ballance to score on a lay-up with 17 seconds left to put the LadyCats up by one, 36-35.
At the other end, the Lady Cougars missed a shot and fouled on the rebound attempt. Harrison went to the stripe with seven seconds left and hit 1-of-2 to make it 37-35.
The LadyCats forced a jump-ball situation with 4.9 seconds left. With the arrow in Grayson County’s favor, the Lady Cougars were still alive, but when they turned the ball over, the LadyCats began their celebration.
The LadyCats’ Emily Vincent led all scorers with 12 points. Renfrow and Snyder had 11 points each to lead Grayson County. Snyder added five rebounds and four steals, while Renfrow had four boards and three steals.
Nash finished with five points, three rebounds and two steals, while Hailey Woosley had four points and three steals. Kandler Lindsey and Laura Vincent both had two points and Lindsey led the Lady Cougars on the glass with 10 rebounds while Vincent had four. Milam had one point to complete the scoring.
Playing one of their best games of the year, the Lady Cougars never trailed as they defeated a very good McLean County team.
After Grayson County scored the first five points of the game, McLean pulled back to within a point of the lead, 7-6 at the end of the first period.
Grayson County then put their mark on the game by going on a 10-0 run to lead by 11 points, 17-6 at the 2:42 mark of the second period. Matte Mae Milam beat the half-time buzzer with a three-pointer that gave Grayson County a 13-point lead, 20-7 at the break.
Makesha Rush scored on back-to-back possessions to bring McLean back to within nine points, 20-11 at the 4:17 mark of the third quarter, but that would be as close as they would be the rest of the way. Grayson County led by 16 points, 32-16 at the start of the fourth quarter.
A lay-in by Snyder with 3:05 left pushed the lead to 20 points, 38-18, and two Renfrow free throws with 1:53 left gave Grayson County its largest lead of the day, 21 points at 41-20. McLean then closed out the game on an 8-0 run to make the final score a bit more respectable.
Rush led all scorers for McLean with 12 points. Snyder and Renfrow led Grayson County with 10 points each. Snyder added four steals, while Renfrow had four rebounds and five steals.
Laura Vincent scored six points and added four rebounds and two steals. Hailey Woosley had five points and added three rebounds. Kandler Lindsey scored four points and pulled down five rebounds. Nash and Milam both had three points, and Nash added five rebounds and four assists.
Photos Don Brown | GC News-Gazette Kenzie Renfrow (left) guarded Edmonson County point guard Katie Lindsey in the second half of Thursday’s GRVC championship game.
Reach Don Brown at 259-9622, ext. 2016.