After leading nearly the whole game, a buzzer-beating three-pointer sent the Cougars’ game against Warren East into overtime before the visiting Raiders won the game by a single point, 65-64.
In the opening game, the Cougar JV squad trailed just once in the early going before going on to dominate the visitors 49-25.
This game was close nearly all the way until a 12-2, third-quarter run gave the Cougars a 10-point lead, 44-34 with a little over a minute left in the period.
Grayson County had the opportunity to salt the game away late in the fourth quarter, but missed free throws in the last 23 seconds of regulation left the door open for the Raiders to send the game into the extra period.
The game was tied three times in the early going of the opening period, but a 6-0 Grayson County run gave the Cougars a four-point edge, 13-9 at the 2:48 mark. The Cougars led by three points, 17-14 heading into the second quarter.
McKenzie Strange opened the second period with a three-pointer that tied things once again at 17-17, but the Cougars followed with a 7-1 run, capped off by a Trey Goff three-pointer, that put them in front by six points, 24-18 with 4:07 left in the first half. Grayson County led by five, 28-23 at the break.
The Raiders tied the game twice at the start of the third period, the last time coming at 32-32 with 5:01 left to play in the period.
The Cougars followed with a 12-2 run to take their largest lead of the night. Goff’s third triple of the game gave Grayson County a 10-point lead, 44-34, with 1:22 left in the period. Grayson County led by six points, 44-38 as the fourth quarter began.
A 7-4 Raider run opening the fourth period cut the Cougar lead to just three points, 48-45 with 4:17 left, causing Cougar coach Kelly Carwile to call a timeout. The Cougars then scored the next four points, lay-ins by seniors Tanner Tyra and Cole Akridge, to go back up by seven points, 52-45 with 2:40 left to play.
The Raiders closed to within two twice in the last 1:09, the last time coming at 54-52 with 46.9 seconds remaining. Two bonus free throws by Tyra with 37 seconds left made it 56-52 before the Raiders turned the ball over with 25 seconds left.
Goff was fouled with 23 seconds showing on the clock, and went to the foul line in the bonus, with the chance to put the Cougars up by six, pretty much assuring the win, but he missed the front end.
Strange answered with a lay-up with 15 seconds left to pull the Raiders to within a couple of points, 56-54. The Raiders then fouled Tyra with 12 seconds remaining. Tyra went to the line in the double bonus, again with the chance to salt the game away. Tyra made the first, but missed the second shot, leaving it a three-point game.
The Raiders brought the ball up the court and called a timeout with 5.1 seconds left in regulation. After a Cougar timeout, the Raiders brought the ball in to Strange on the far sideline. Strange took a couple of dribbles, stepped back and put up a shot from at least 30 feet away. As the buzzer sounded, the ball went cleanly through the net for the three-pointer that tied things again, 57-57 and sent it into overtime.
The Raiders opened the five-minute extra period scoring the first three points to lead 60-57. Tyra went to the line for double-bonus shots with 24.6 second remaining with the chance to tie again, but missed the second shot. Conner Schultz, though, grabbed the rebound for the Cougars.
A Cougar shot misfired, but Jack Davis, in as a replacement for Cole Akridge who had fouled out, grabbed the rebound and hit a 15-footer to give the Cougars a 64-63 lead with 16.7 seconds left.
The Cougars called a timeout with 15 seconds left on the clock. Back on the floor, the Raiders worked the ball around, looking for the last shot, but Cody Abney was fouled with 3.7 seconds left. Abney calmly swished both shots to put his team up by one, 65-64.
Grayson County called another timeout, but when play resumed, never got a shot off as they turned the ball over at the buzzer.
Strange led all scorers in the game with 25 points, while Kaleb Britt added 15.
The Cougars put four players into double figures, led by Goff’s 21 points. Cole Akridge scored 15 points and added five rebounds. Tyra finished with 14 points and had six rebounds and led the team with four assists. Gage Akridge scored 12 points and added a pair of steals.
Davis finished with two points, but grabbed five rebounds in his short stint off the bench. Schultz did not score in the game, but was the co-leader in rebounding with six.
Warren East’s Trey Briggs hit a three-pointer at the 4:50 mark of the first quarter to put the Raiders ahead 3-2. That would be the visitor’s only lead of the night.
A Spencer Sharp runner, a three-point play by Josh Embry and an Embry lay-up worked out to a 7-0 Cougar run to take a 9-3 lead and Grayson County never looked back. The Cougars led by eight, 13-5 beginning the second period.
A Sharp three-pointer at the 3:47 mark gave the Cougars their largest lead of the first half, 13 points at 21-8. Grayson County led by 12, 26-14 at the half.
Warren East got as close as 11 points, 30-19 with 2:40 left to play in the third quarter, but the Cougars put the game away after that. A Jordan Stallings floater and a Logan Majors three closed out the period, giving the Cougars a 16-point advantage heading into the fourth quarter.
The Cougars then opened the final period with eight straight to make it 13 unanswered points and they led by 24 points, 43-19 at the 3:18 mark, and the game was all but over.
Embry led all scorers in the game with 13 points, while Sharp had 12. Majors and Jack Davis both scored seven points and Davis added five rebounds. Beau Dennis finished with three points and added three rebounds.
Three players, Stallings, Caleb Ray and Seth Elmore each scored two points and Ray led the team with six rebounds and three assists. Rylee Shoemaker closed out the scoring with one point and he grabbed five rebounds.