As has been their habit recently, the Cougar varsity came close Saturday night against visiting Owensboro Catholic, but their inability to hit key shots down the stretch prevented them from winning as the Aces held on 49-43.
This was a close game from the start, with eight points being the biggest lead by either team.
The Aces went out to an early six-point lead following a three-point play by Luke Hayden with 2:54 left in the first period that made the score 9-3. The Cougars then closed out the period with baskets from Cole Akridge and Bailey Logsdon that left them trailing by three, 9-7 heading into the second period.
The two teams stayed within three points of one another until late in the second period, when four straight Cougar points gave them their first lead of the night, 18-17 with 2:38 left. Gage Akridge hit a 10-footer at the 3:22 mark and Logsdon hit a pair of free throws to give Grayson County the lead.
Luke Reid answered with a short jumper with 1:39 left and the Aces were able to take a 19-18 lead into the halftime intermission.
The Aces went up by six, 26-20 at the 5:27 mark of the third period, but a Trey Goff 15-footer and a Goff three at 4:16 brought the Cougars back to within a point of the lead, 26-25.
The Aces expanded the lead back to five points, 30-25 with 1:34 remaining before Goff buried another three with 33 seconds left to cut it back to two, 30-28.
But Hayden closed out the third quarter scoring with a pair of free throws with 14 seconds left and the Aces were in front by four, 32-28 at the start of the final period.
Five straight Catholic points gave them their largest lead of the night, eight points at 41-33 with 4:07 left in the game, but the Cougars were not out of it yet.
Goff hit another three with 3:53 left, then hit a short jumper at the 2:32 mark to cut the deficit to just three points, 41-38.
After Catholic went back up by six points, 44-38 with 1:38 left, Cole Akridge scored on a lay-up and was fouled with 48 seconds remaining. His free throw cut the lead back to three points, 44-41
The Aces’ Max Reid missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 45 seconds left, but in perhaps the key play of the game, Hayden rebounded the miss and put the ball back in to make it 46-41. Hayden was fouled on the play and put in the free throw to make it 47-41.
Goff answered with a six-foot runner with 33 seconds left to make it 47-43. The Aces went to the free throw line six times in the final 24 seconds and were only able to hit two, but with the Cougars missing three shots in that time, the Aces were able to hang on for the win.
Hayden led all scorers in the game with 19 points. Goff led the Cougars with 18 points, including four three-pointers. Logsdon finished with nine points and led the Cougars on the boards with seven rebounds and in assists with three.
Tanner Tyra scored seven points, Cole Akridge had five and Gage Akridge added four.
Reach Don Brown at 259-9622, ext. 2016.