Though they battled very hard against a superior team, the Lady Cougars (2-4) dropped their fourth straight basketball game 70-59 to the Bowling Green Lady Purples (5-0) Monday night in Bowling Green.
Bowling Green put four players into double figures to offset huge games by the Lady Cougars’ Hannah Saltsman and Grace White. Saltsman had probably her best game ever for the Lady Cougars, scoring 24 points to lead all scorers and adding five rebounds and two steals.
White finished with a double-double performance, scoring 16 points and pulling down 13 rebounds. White also led the team with four steals.
The difference in the game turned out to be the first quarter when the Lady Purples’ pressure forced Grayson County into turning the ball over six times. Bowling Green converted those turnovers into eight points and held a 13-point advantage, 24-11 heading into the second period.
After that first quarter, Grayson County outscored Bowling Green 48-46 the rest of the way, but were unable to overcome their bad start.
The Lady Purples scored the first 11 points of the game before Saltsman put her team on the board with a lay-up off an Allie Horton assist at the 4:28 mark.
Saltsman scored again at the 4:05 mark to make it 11-4, but the Lady Purples reeled off eight straight to go up by 15 points, 19-4 with 2:56 left in the period.
A three-pointer by Dejia Moore with 2:10 left gave the Lady Purples their largest lead of the period, 16 points at 22-6.
Grayson County trailed by 15 points, 31-16 with 4:51 left in the second period when they scored eight straight, capped off by a three-pointer from Shannon Smith, to cut the lead to seven points, 31-24 with 2:00 left in the first half. But Bowling Green scored the last four points of the period to lead by 11 points, 37-26 at the half.
When the Lady Purples opened the third quarter with an 11-2 run, they led by 20 points, 48-28 and the game seemed to be in their hands. But the Lady Cougars refused to quit.
They put together an 11-2 run, including the last seven straight, to cut their deficit to 11 points, 50-39 with 2:11 left in the period. The Lady Cougars trailed by 12 points, 54-42 at the start of the fourth quarter.
Any thoughts the Lady Cougars might have had about a fourth-quarter comeback were erased when the Lady Purples opened the final period on a 7-2 run to go back up by 17 points, 61-44. Grayson County got back to within 11 points of the lead, 65-54 on a Horton lay-in with 2:34 remaining, but they would get no closer.
Keely Morrow led the Lady Purples with 20 points, including three three-pointers. Dreisha Turner scored 13 points, while Moore had 12 and Courtney DeWalt added 11.
Sarah Pierce hit a pair of threes for the Lady Cougars to finish with six points, and she added two rebounds and two steals. Three players, Smith, Breana Mionton and Mackenzie Edwards all finished with three points. Horton and eighth-grader Kenzie Renfrow scored two points each to complete the scoring. Horton added six rebounds and led the team with seven assists.
Reach Don Brown at 259-9622, ext. 2016.