Grayson County shot six free throws in the last two minutes of Thursday night’s game at Breckinridge County and hit just three, allowing the Tigers to come back from four points down and win 59-58.
The JV squad led nearly the whole game before giving up four points in the last 12 seconds of regulation, sending the game to overtime, where the Tigers prevailed 52-50.
In the first game of the evening, the freshman Cougars won 27-26 to stay undefeated on the season.
The two teams went back-and-forth against each other in the first half before a 7-0 Cougar run at the end of the second period allowed the Cougars to take a five-point advantage at the half.
There were five ties and five lead changes in the first period alone. After the score was tied the final time at 14-14 following a Gage Akridge lay-up with 2:21 left, the two teams exchanged the lead on three straight trips. Tanner Tyra hit a 10-footer with 3.9 seconds left to give the Cougars an 18-17 lead heading into the second quarter.
The lead changed hands three more times at the start of the second period with a Trey Goff three at the 4:21 mark giving Grayson County a 29-28 lead. Breck’s Kobe Poole hit 1-of-2 at the line to tie it 29-29 with 4:01 left, but the Cougars scored seven straight capped off by another Goff three, to take a 36-29 lead with 56 seconds left. Grayson County led by five, 38-33 at the half.
The Cougar defense dominated the third quarter, holding the Tigers to just five points as they expanded their lead to 12 points, 50-38 heading into the fourth quarter.
Breck opened the final period by scoring the first five points to cut their deficit to seven points, 50-43 with 6:51 left to play.Two bonus free throws by Tyra at the 4:27 mark pushed the lead back up to 10 points, 53-43, but the Tigers fought back.
Six straight Tiger points cut it to four, 53-49 with 3:28 to play. Tyra hit a pair of bonus free throws at 3:26 to make it 55-49, but Cody Mingus buried a three with 3:15 remaining to make it a three-point game, 55-52 and the Cougars called a timeout.
Conner Schultz went to the line in the double bonus with 2:07 left but hit just 1-of-2 to make it 56-52. A Matthew Rhodes lay-up followed to cut it to a two-point game, 56-54 with 1:52 left.
Tyra went to the line in the double bonus with 1:18 to play and could hit just 1-of-2 to make it 57-54. Following a Breck miss, Tyra went to the line again with 54 seconds remaining and again hit just 1-of-2 to make it 58-54.
Cody Critchelow hit a pair of free throws for the Tigers to make it a two-point game, 58-56 with 44.8 seconds left. After a Cougar turnover, Mingus tied the score 58-58 when Schultz was called for goal-tending.
The Cougars called a timeout with 36.9 seconds left to set up a final play, but missed a shot with 14 seconds left. The Tigers brought the ball up to their end and had three shots go astray before Sam Bland tipped up a rebound and was fouled with 2.7 seconds showing on the clock.
Bland made the first shot to put his team in the lead, but purposely missed the second shot. That allowed the Cougars only a last desperation heave from deep in the back-court which was not close.
Critchelow led the Tigers with 12 points, while Rhodes had 10.
Grayson County put four players into double figures, led by Tyra’s 17 points. Goff finished with 14 points, including four three-pointers, and led the Cougars on the glass with five rebounds. Twins Gage and Cole Akridge both scored 12 points, with Cole adding four rebounds.
Schultz rounded out the Cougar scoring with three points.
The Cougars started slowly in this one. Mason Chandler’s three-pointer with 1:30 left in the first quarter gave Breck a nine-point advantage 13-4. Breck led by eight, 15-7 heading into the second period.
After Tanner Whitworth’s three-pointer at the 4:06 mark put the Tigers ahead by nine, 18-9, the Cougars got things going and scored nine straight, the last seven from Spencer Sharp, to tie it at 18-18 with two minutes left in the half.
The Tigers then scored the final four points of the period and took a 22-18 lead into the half-time locker room.
Breck’s Clayton Burks opened the second-half scoring with a lay-up at the 5:40 mark to make it a six-point lead, 24-18, but the Cougars got hot. A Sharp three-pointer at the 5:10 mark kicked off a 14-0 Cougar run that saw them take an eight-point lead, 32-24 with 1:38 left in the third quarter. They led by five, 34-29 heading into the fourth period.
Jack Davis opened the fourth quarter with a 15-footer to put the Cougars up by seven, 36-29, but the Tigers responded with an 8-1 run that tied things 37-37 with 2:23 left in regulation.
Rylee Shoemaker made a pair of bonus free throws with 1:37 remaining before Davis buried a 10-footer to put the Cougars up four, 41-37 with 55 seconds left.
Breck’s Kobe Poole scored with 28 seconds left to make it 41-39, but Beau Dennis hit two bonus free throws to make it a four-point game again, 43-39 with 18.9 seconds left.
Poole scored again to make it 43-41 and was fouled with 12.5 seconds left. Poole missed the free throw, but the ball went out of bounds off a Grayson County player with 9.9 seconds showing on the clock.
Poole was fouled on the inbounds play and hit two free throws with 5.6 seconds left to tie it at 43-43. The Cougars brought the ball into their end looking for a winning shot, but turned the ball over. A last-second heave from the back-court that would have won the game for the Tigers bounced off the front of the rim to send the game into overtime.
Davis opened the scoring to make it 45-43 with 2:41 left but Poole answered with a short jumper to tie it again 45-45 with 2:28 left.
Josh Embry went to the line for the Cougars for bonus free throws with 1:41 remaining. Embry made the first, but missed the second. Austin Phillips followed with a lay-in at the 1:12 mark to put the Tigers on top 47-46, but Davis hit a 15-footer with 53 seconds left to send the Cougars into the lead, 48-47.
Phillips scored on a lay-in with 33 seconds left to give the Tigers a 49-48 lead, and the Cougars called a timeout. The Cougars came out looking to take the final shot, but instead turned the ball over.
Will Bland scored on a lay-up and was fouled with 10.9 seconds left and hit the free throw to give the Tigers an insurmountable lead, 52-48. Rylee Shoenaker scored for the Cougars with six seconds left, but the Tigers held on for the win.
Phillips and Poole both finished with 10 points to lead the Tigers.
Davis led all scorers in the game with 20 points for the Cougars. He also added three rebounds and a steal. Sharp joined Davis in double figures with 10 points.
Shoemaker finished with nine points and added three rebounds and two assists. Logan Majors scored five points, and Dennis had four. Embry finished with two points to complete the Cougar scoring.
Reach Don Brown at 259-9622, ext. 2016.