Playing in the opening round of the Rafferty’s-Double Dogs Caveland Classic at Edmonson County High School, the Lady Cougars came out on the short end of a very close game, 42-38 to the Lady Lakers of Russell County.
The difference in the game was on the glass, and the much bigger Lady Lakers dominated the rebounding stats, getting second-chance points throughout the game.
Neither team got much done in the opening period which ended with the two teams knotted at 6-6. The Lady Cougars could hit just 2-of-7 from the field and turned the ball over four times.
The shooting improved a bit in the second quarter. A three-pointer by Shannon Smith at the 3:57 mark gave Grayson County a four-point lead, 16-12. The Lady Cougars still led by four, 18-14 at the half.
Allie Horton opened the third quarter scoring with a lay-in at 7:12 to give the Lady Cougars their largest lead of the game, six points at 20-14, but the Lady Lakers battled back. Katey Coffey hit 1-of-2 at the line at the 4:16 mark that tied the score 22-22.
The score was tied three times after that, but the Lady Lakers scored the last four points of the period and led by two, 28-26 heading into the fourth quarter.
The two teams stayed within a point or two of one another at the start of the final period. A three-point play from Coffey gave the Lady Lakers a three-point edge, 36-33 with 2:45 left in the game, but Hannah Saltsman buried a three with 2:12 remaining that tied the score one last time, 36-36.
Coffey drained two bonus free throws at the 2:07 mark to put the Lady Lakers in front to stay, 38-36. She then hit 1-of-2 at 1:44 to make it 39-36, before Lashaya Carman hit 1-of-2 to make it 40-36 with 1:03 left in the game.
Carman missed two charity tosses with 26 seconds left. Allie Horton then shot a three with 13 seconds left that would have brought Grayson County to within a point, but the ball dipped down and came out. Russell County rebounded the miss and Horton fouled Coffey on the play, sending her to the line in the double bonus with 12 seconds left.
Coffey hit 1-of-2 to make it 41-36. Breana Minton hit a 15-footer with six seconds left to cut it to a three-point game, 41-38. The Lady Cougars then fouled Amelia Ackerman with four-tenths of a second left on the clock and she hit 1-of-2 for the final four-point margin.
Coffey led all scorers in the game with 23 points, while Carman added 10.
Grace White led the Lady Cougars with 11 points and she added five rebounds and two assists. Hannah Saltsman just missed a double-double game, finishing with nine points and nine rebounds.
Horton finished with seven points and led the team with four steals. Minton finished with five points, while Smith and Sarah Pierce had three each to round out the Lady Cougar scoring.
Reach Don Brown at 259-9622, ext. 2016.