Through Thursday, the Lady Cougar basketball team had played a total of six games. Of those games, one was against the defending state champion, another was against the defending 3rd Region Champion, and a third was against the defending 2nd Region Champion.
Last Tuesday, the Lady Cougars opened up their summer schedule with games at Elizabethtown against Louisville Butler, the defending state champs, and Central Hardin. The Bulldogs beat the Lady Cougars easily, 51-25, but Grayson County got its first win of the summer, 34-23, over the Lady Bruins.
On Thursday at Owensboro Catholic, the Lady Cougars played very well in a 47-42 loss to the Lady Aces, the defending 3rd Region champ, then played poorly in a 54-31 loss to Henderson County, the defending 2nd Region champ..
The Lady Cougars trailed just once in this game, 3-2 less than three minutes into the game, but it was close the rest of the first period. It took an 8-0 run opening the second half to put Grayson County in charge of the game.
After the Lady Bruins hit a three-pointer at the 16:22 mark of the first half to lead 3-2, Grayson County scored the next seven points, capped off by two Allie Horton free throws, to lead 9-3 with 11:45 left.
The Lady Bruins pulled to within a point of the lead, 11-10 with 7:37 left, but the Lady Cougars scored six unanswered points to lead 17-10 with 4:45 left.
Central Hardin responded with a 6-2 run closing out the half to make it a one-point game, 19-18 at the half.
The Lady Cougars put the game away in the second half, holding the Lady Bruins scoreless for nearly 10 minutes and putting together a 13-1 run. Senior Shannon Smith’s three-pointer with 6:12 remaining to be played gave the Lady Cougars a 13-point lead, 32-19 and it was pretty much all over.
Horton and fellow senior, Grace White, led the Lady Cougars with nine points each. White led the Lady Cougars on the boards with four rebounds, while Horton led the team with five assists and four steals.
Junior Mackenzie Edwards scored seven points, Smith had five and junior Brandi Minton added four.
The difference in this game was free-throw shooting. In the format of the games, on a shooting foul, the player fouled would get one shot. If the shot was made, the team would get two points, if missed, none.In the final minute of play, teams had to hit both free throws on a shooting foul.
Grayson County took seven foul shots during the game and hit just two. Four of those shots were potential two-pointers, so that meant the Lady Cougars missed eight points on missed free throws in a game they lost by five points.
At the start of the game it looked as though the Lady Aces were going to run and hide as they scored the game’s first 12 points. Grayson County did not get on the board until the 15:30 mark of the first half when White buried a three off an assist from Horton to make it 12-3.
White’s three was the start of a 10-0 Lady Cougar run that saw them pull to within two points, 12-10 with 12:19 left in the first half. A rebound basket by sophomore Kaylee Masden with 3:17 left in the first half gave Grayson County its first lead of the game, 22-21.
The lead changed hands three more times in the remaining moments of the first half which ended with the Lady Aces on top by one point, 25-24. Horton scored all of her team-high 15 points in the first half.
The two teams battled back and forth in the opening minutes of the second half. A 15-footer by Smith with 11:53 left to play gave the Lady Cougars a 35-34 lead. Smith backed that up with a three-pointer with 10:00 left to give her team its largest lead of the day, four points at 38-34.
But the Lady Aces responded with six straight points to lead 40-38 with 8:00 left. A Masden jumper from just inside the arc tied it 40-40 with 5:48 left, but the Lady Cougars would not tie or lead the rest of the way.
Trailing by one, 43-42, White had a chance to put her team back in front with a free throw, but missed. Catholic’s Ellie Mitchell followed with a free throw for two points to make it 45-42 with 1:32 left.
The Lady Cougars turned the ball over on their next two possessions and the Lady Aces hit 2-of-4 at the line for the final winning margin.
The Lady Aces put two players into double figures, Emily Foreman with 15 points, and Ellie Mitchell with 12.
In addition to her 15 points, Horton led the team with four assists. White finished with eight points and five rebounds. Edwards scored five points, as did Smith. Masden finished with four points, Minton had three and Kenzie Renfrow had two to complete the scoring.
As they did against Catholic, the Lady Cougars gave up a big run to the Lady Colonels to start the game. Henderson County scored the first 15 points of the game, eight of them coming from their big inside player, Alisha Owens. Owens scored 12 of her game-high 18 points in the first half as Henderson led 27-9 at the break.
The Lady Cougars played much better in the second half, but could not overcome their big half-time deficit.
White and Edwards led the Lady Cougars with nine points each, while Horton added seven. Renfrow finished with four points, while Minton had two to close out the scoring.
Reach Don Brown at 259-9622, ext. 2016.