Grayson County’s Lady Cougars made their trip to Owensboro Thursday night a successful one as they defeated the Apollo E-Gals 53-46 in overtime.
In the early game, the JV Lady Cougars got a 17-point performance from sophomore Mackenzie Edwards as they defeated Apollo 32-20.
This was anyone’s game from the start, with neither team leading by more than seven points the whole evening. The Lady Cougars started quickly, getting a pair of baskets from Grace White and a three-pointer from Sarah Pierce to grab an early 7-0 lead at the 4:46 mark of the first period.
The E-Gals called a timeout at that point and came out gunning, scoring the next nine straight to take a 9-7 lead at the end of the period.
The score was tied three times at the start of the second quarter before Pierce hit another three-pointer to put Grayson County on top by three, 16-13 with 4:41 left.
Apollo responded with seven straight points to lead by four, 20-16 with 3:15 left in the first half. Apollo still led by four, 22-18 with 2:21 remaining before White hit 1-of-2 at the line to make it a three-point game, 22-19 with 1:43 left.
Pierce then hit her third three of the night with 1:23 remaining to tie it again, 22-22 and that’s how the first half ended.
When the Lady Cougars opened the third quarter by scoring six unanswered points to lead 28-22, the E-Gals called another timeout to talk things over.
Grayson County led by four points, 32-28 following a Pierce lay-in at the 2:55 mark, but the E-Gals closed out the period by scoring the last seven points, including a Lexi Payne three-pointer, to take a three-point advantage, 35-32 heading into the fourth quarter.
Apollo’s Jada Hall opened the scoring in the fourth period by hitting a short jumper to give the E-Gals their largest lead of the night, five points at 37-32. The E-Gals still led by five, 39-34 when the Lady Cougars put together a 6-1 run to tie the game once more, 40-40 with 3:44 left in regulation.
Following a Lady Cougar timeout, Hall scored on a put-back basket with 2:46 left to give her team a 42-40 lead.
Following a Grayson County miss, the E-Gals began holding the ball looking to run time off the clock. Apollo called a timeout with 1:10 left and back on the floor, continued to milk the clock.
With time running down, Hall drove to the basket to take a contested lay-up, which rolled off the rim. Hannah Saltsman outfought Apollo’s Ally Paige Kirk for the rebound and the Lady Cougars called timeout with 37.5 seconds left.
The Lady Cougars quickly brought the ball up the floor and got it to Saltsman in the lane. Saltsman, who was back in the lineup after missing several games with an ankle injury, made a move to the basket which could very easily have been whistled for traveling. But no whistle sounded and she banked the ball into the basket to tie the game 42-42 with 27.6 left.
The E-Gals worked the clock down to 8.7 seconds before calling a timeout. Back on the floor, Pierce was called for a foul on Payne with 6.2 seconds left. Payne then went to the line in a 1-and-1 situation with the chance to put her team in the lead, but missed the front end.
Saltsman grabbed the rebound and the Lady Cougars got the ball up the floor quickly. Brandi Minton had a wide-open look at the buzzer for the win, but left it short, sending the game into overtime.
White won the jump to start the four-minute extra period and Pierce scored on a short jumper at the 3:48 mark to put Grayson County in front to stay.
Allie Horton fed Breana Minton with a beautiful behind-the-back assist for a lay-in with 1:49 left and the Lady Cougars led by four, 46-42.
Apollo sent Horton to the line for bonus free throws with 50.6 seconds left and the junior guard hit both shots to give her team a six-point lead, 48-42.
After Kirk hit two free throws with :44.8 left, Horton hit two more charity tosses in the bonus to make it 50-44 with 33.9 left. After an Apollo miss, Saltsman hit 1-of-2 at the line to make it 51-44 with 16 seconds remaining.
Payne scored an uncontested lay-up with nine seconds left, and the E’Gals called one last timeout. But White went to the line with two seconds left and hit two more free throws to make the final score 53-46.
Hall and Payne both scored 11 points to lead the E-Gals.
White led all scorers with 17 points and she added seven rebounds, four assists and three steals. Pierce finished with 15 points, including three shots from behind the arc.
Saltsman just missed a double-double night, finishing with nine points and a team-leading 11 rebounds. Horton finished with six points, four of them coming in the overtime period. She added three rebounds, two assists and two steals to her totals.
Breana Minton finished with four points while sister Brandi had two to complete the Grayson County scoring.
The Lady Cougars led 8-4 after the first period of play, and Edwards scored all eight points. The Lady Cougars then got scoring from five different players in the second period as they increased their lead to seven points, 19-12 heading into the halftime break.
The Lady Cougars opened the third quarter by scoring the first seven points of the period to take their largest lead of the night, 14 points, 26-12, with 3:18 left in the period. They led by 12 points, 26-14 at the start of the fourth quarter. The two teams then traded baskets in the final period of play, with the Lady Cougars eventually winning by 12, 32-20.
In addition to her 17 points, Edwards grabbed six rebounds and added two assists and two steals. Kennedi Cave scored six points and added three rebounds. Shannon Smith scored five points, while Brandi Minton and Kenzie Renfrow had two apiece to round out the scoring. Renfrow led the team on the glass with eight rebounds.
Reach Don Brown at 259-9622, ext. 2016.