After trailing at the half, the Cougar varsity used a good third quarter to take a lead, then held off the visiting Whitesville Trinity Raiders down the stretch to grab a big 12th District win, 54-50.
The Cougars (10-12) put four players into double figures as they got a bit of revenge for an earlier loss at Whitesville on a buzzer-beating three-pointer by Trinity senior Eric Howard.
The Cougars took an early 5-1 lead, only to see the visitors come back to go in front 6-5 on a three-pointer by senior Dakota Wathen at the 3:48 mark.
The Cougars responded with seven unanswered points to lead by six, 12-6 with 1:22 left in the first period. The Raiders closed back to within three, 12-9 with 39 seconds left, but Trey Goff beat the buzzer with a three to push the lead back up to six, 15-9 heading into the second period.
Trinity opened the second period by scoring nine straight points to grab a three-point advantage, 18-15 with 3:29 left in the first half.
The Cougars pulled to within a point of the lead twice in the closing moments, the last time coming at 20-19 with 1:43 remaining. The Raiders (12-11) then scored six straight to lead by seven points, 26-19 with 32 seconds left. Senior Gage Akridge closed out the scoring in the first half by burying a 15 footer at the buzzer, and the Cougars trailed by five points, 26-21 heading into the halftime break.
Akridge scored on back-to-back baskets to complete a 7-2 run opening the third quarter that saw the Cougars tie the game 28-28 at the 3:50 mark. Akridge scored again with 2:35 left to tie the score one last time, 30-30. The Cougars then closed out the period on a 6-2 run to take a four-point lead, 36-32 at the start of the fourth quarter. Grayson County would not trail again.
Bailey Logsdon opened the scoring in the final period with a pair of bonus free throws at 6:05 and followed that up with a short jumper with 5:11 left that put the Cougars in front by eight points, 40-32, their largest lead of the night.
The two teams traded baskets until the Raiders put together four straight, capped off by a Blake Midkiff three-pointer to pull to within three of the lead, 46-43 with 2:09 left.
Another three by Wathen with 14.5 seconds left cut the lead to just two points, 52-50 and Trinity called a timeout. Back on the floor, the Raiders fouled senior Tanner Tyra, sending him to the line with 12.3 seconds left. Tyra had been making a steady march to the foul line in the last minute of the game and had hit 4-of-6 to that point.
The senior stepped to the line and hit both shots to make it a two-possession game for the Raiders. Trinity then missed its last shot, and when Goff grabbed the rebound, the Cougars celebrated their win.
Midkiff led all scorers in the game with 16 points.
Akridge and Tyra shared the team lead with 12 points apiece, with Akridge leading the team on the boards with eight rebounds. Tyra had a great all-around night, finishing with six rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Logsdon and Goff both finished with 10 points and Goff added five rebounds. Conner Schultz scored eight points and added three rebounds and three assists. Cole Akridge completed the Grayson County scoring with two points.
Reach Don Brown at 250-9622, ext. 2016.