The Owensboro Red Devils used an 11-0, third-period run to erase a halftime deficit and went on to a 61-52 victory over the visiting Grayson County Cougars last Tuesday evening.
For the Cougars, it was their disappointing sixth straight loss and another game that could have gone either way. Poor free-throw shooting and some untimely turnovers contributed to the loss.
The Cougars were unable to stop junior forward Ishawn Murphy who led all scorers with 27 points, including 15 in the crucial third quarter. Murphy scored just about every way imaginable: tip-ins, rebound baskets, mid-range jumpers and he hit three shots from behind the arc.
Grayson County put together a 9-0 run to grab a seven point lead12-5 with 1:59 left in the first period. Jeran Tinsley hit 1-of-2 at the line with 1:45 left to cut the lead to six, 12-6, but Tanner Tyra hit two free throws with 45 seconds left that gave the Cougars an eight-point lead, 14-6 at the start of the second quarter.
Tyra hit 1-of-2 at the line opening the second period and the Cougars held their largest lead of the night, nine points at 15-6. But when the Red Devils answered with six unanswered points to make it 15-12 at the 5:51 mark, Cougar coach Kelly Carwile called a timeout to talk over things with his team.
The Cougar lead see-sawed between three and five points until seven straight Owensboro points, capped by a Murphy three-pointer, put the Red Devils in front 21-19 with 1:48 left in the first half.
The Cougars then scored the final five points of the second period to take a three-point advantage, 24-21 at the half.
The Cougars worked a beautiful set play opening the third quarter, with Trey Goff scoring on a lay-up off a nice pass from Cole Akridge to give the Cougars a five-point lead, 26-21 just five seconds into the second half.
That’s when Murphy and the Red Devils took off on their 11-0 run. Murphy scored on a tip-in, then hit a 15-footer to pull his team to within a point of the lead, 26-25. Tavian Board then scored to put the Red Devils in front 27-26, and when the Cougars turned the ball over on their next possession, Carwile called another timeout.
Murphy scored off another tip-in, then buried a three at the 4:58 mark and the Red Devils held a six-point advantage, 32-26.
Gage Akridge stopped the Owensboro run with a lay-in with 4:25 left to cut the lead back to four points, 34-28. But the Red Devils closed out the period on an 11-4 run that saw them take an 11-point lead, 43-32 into the final period of play.
When the Red Devils opened the fourth quarter with six unanswered points, they held their largest lead of the night, 17 points at 49-32, and the Cougars called another timeout.
Grayson County responded by outscoring the Red Devils 16-4 and pulling back to within five points, 53-48 with 2:24 left to play, but they would get no closer. The Cougars had four empty possessions in the last minute and a half. On the night, they hit just 9-of-22 at the foul line, 41 percent.
Murphy was joined in double figures by point guard Jacoby Harris, who finished with 15 points.
Goff led the Cougars with 19 points, and he added six rebounds. Conner Schultz scored 11 points and led the team with four assists. Bailey Logsdon was the third Cougar in double figures, finishing with 10 points and adding four rebounds.
Gage Akridge finished with four points and added six rebounds. Tyra and Cole Akridge both finished with three points, and Tyra added five rebounds and Akridge four. Jack Davis scored two points to complete the scoring.
Reach Don Brown at 259-9622, ext. 2016.