The Lady Cougar basketball team closed out a very successful summer campaign with four wins, two on Saturday at Hopkinsville Central, and two more on Monday at Glasgow.
Head coach Daniel Pharris was very happy with the way his girls played over the summer as they lost just three of 20 games played at various sites against some pretty stiff competition.
On Saturday, the Lady Cougars beat the Todd County Central Rebels 44-31, then defeated a big Hopkinsville team 52-37. On Monday, in Glasgow, the girls defeated Larue County 53-32, then beat Green County for the second time this summer, 46-45.
TODD COUNTY CENTRAL
The Lady Cougars got off to a hot start against the Rebels, scoring the first nine points of the game and forcing Todd County to call a timeout at the 17:19 mark.
But the Lady Cougars cooled off, going empty on nine straight possessions and allowing the Rebels to climb back into the game, 11-9 with 11:38 left.
A lay-up by Allie Horton with 8:42 remaining gave Grayson County a six-point advantage, 15-9, but they would not score again in the half. They turned the ball over eight times down the stretch and the Rebels hit a three-pointer as time expired to take their first lead of the game, 17-15.
Whatever Pharris said during the half-time break must have registered because the Lady Cougars came out hitting on all cylinders again at the start of the second half.
Grace White opened the scoring with back-to-back baskets to put Grayson County back on top 19-17 at the 18:51 mark. The Lady Cougars would not trail again.
A basket by Hannah Saltsman at the 17:28 mark was followed by back-to-back three-pointers from Allie Horton, and suddenly the Lady Cougars had reeled off 12 unanswered points and led 27-17 with 16:54 left to play.
The Rebels cut the lead to four points, 29-25 at the 13:44 mark, but they would never be closer. The Lady Cougars responded with six straight to push the lead back up to 10 points and they never looked back.
White led all scorers with 15 points and also led the team with three assists and three steals. Horton scored 14 points and added six rebounds. Saltsman was the third Lady Cougar in double figures, finishing with 11 points and adding a team-high eight boards.
Shannon Smith and Sarah Pierce closed out the scoring with two points apiece.
The Tigers are a team with a lot of size, the type of team that traditionally gives the Lady Cougars a hard way to go, but Grayson County’s speed and quickness proved to be too much for them.
A Tiger three-pointer at the 14:42 mark gave them their only lead of the day, 8-7, but Grayson County answered with an 11-0 run, eight of which were scored by Saltsman, to take command of the game 18-8 with 11:44 left to play in the first half.
The Tigers closed to within six points, 27-21 with 52 seconds left, but Grayson County scored the last four points and led by 10, 31-21 at the break.
Hopkinsville closed to within six once again, 31-25 early in the second half but Grayson County responded with an 18-2 run to put the game out of reach, 49-27 with about eight minutes left.
Saltsman led all scorers in the game with 19 points, all of which came in the first half. Pierce had one of her best games of the summer with 16 points and four rebounds.
White finished with nine points and led the team with seven rebounds, four assists and five steals. Horton scored five points, and Smith had three to complete the scoring.
In something of a rarity for the Lady Cougars, they held a distinct size advantage over the diminutive Hawks and they quickly asserted their dominance. They scored the first 10 points of the game, eight of those coming from White.
A 10-2 run later in the first half increased the Lady Cougar lead to 15 points, 22-7 with 9:40 left in the half. They led by 16 points, 26-10 at the half.
Grayson County kept extending its lead until they led by 30 points, 51-21 with 6:51 left in the game. Pharris emptied his bench at that point and the Hawks were able to close out the game on an 11-2 run to make the final score a bit more respectable.
White led all scorers with 20 points and she added five rebounds, three assists and four steals. Saltsman joined her in double figures with 10 points. She led the team on the glass with seven rebounds, and she also had four steals.
Horton scored eight points and added five rebounds. Pierce finished with six points, Smith had four, Brandi Minton had three points and Kennedi Cave added two to round out the scoring.
These two teams are very evenly matched, as both their encounters have shown this summer. Grayson County defeated the Dragons 52-51 two weeks ago in Elizabethtown, and they managed to hold on for another one-point victory on Monday.
So it was fitting that the first half was a close one, with three ties and five lead changes. Trailing 16-14 at the 13:41 mark, Grayson County scored eight unanswered points, capped off by a Saltsman three-pointer with 4:15 left, to take a 22-16 lead.
The Dragons pulled back to within two points, 22-20 with 3:17 left, but back-to-back threes from Smith and White gave the Lady Cougars their largest lead of the half, 28-20 with 2:17 left to play. They led by four points, 30-26 at the half.
Grayson County still led by eight points, 37-29 at the 15:26 mark when they went on an extended scoring drought. They went more than seven minutes without scoring before Saltsman scored on a lay-up with 8:18 left to play.
Fortunately for the Lady Cougars, the Dragons were able to score just six points in all that time and and Grayson County still led by four 39-35.
A Green County three-pointer with 4:11 left to play tied the score 41-41. White buried a three with 1:20 left to play that put Grayson County in front 46-43.
Both teams had misses on their next possessions, but with 9.6 seconds left the Lady Cougars fouled a three-point shooter, giving the Dragons the opportunity to tie the game and maybe send it to overtime. But when the shooter missed the first shot and made the last two, the Lady Cougars were able to run the clock out for the one-point win.
White led all scorers with 19 points and also led the team with eight rebounds. Saltsman joined White in double figures with 11 points. Horton had finished with eight points, Pierce added five and Smith finished with three to complete the scoring.