With the summer basketball season rapidly coming to a close, the Cougars hosted Hopkinsville and Ohio County in a pair of games on Monday and came out on the short end of the score in both contests.
In the opening game, the Cougars faced Hopkinsville who came into this game undefeated in their summer season. The Cougars played them tough, though, before falling 49-35. Tiger coach, Tim Haworth, told Cougar coach Kelly Carwile the Cougars had played his team closer than anyone else this summer.
In the second game, the Eagles just nipped the Cougars 46-41.
The Tigers are a quick, deep, athletic team and they came out pressing the length of the floor, but the Cougars handled the pressure pretty well.
The Tigers held nine-point leads three times in the early going, the last time coming at 15-6 with 9:36 left in the first half. A three-pointer by junior Bailey Logsdon was followed by two driving buckets from sophomore Logan Majors to cut the Cougar deficit to just two points, 15-13 with 7:28 left.
The Tigers pushed the lead back up to six points, 19-13 with 6:06 left, but the Cougars closed out the half on a 6-2 run to cut it back to a two-point deficit, 21-19 at the half.
When the Cougars opened the second half by outscoring the Tigers 4-2, they had tied the score 23-23. The game was tied twice more in the next couple of minutes, the last time coming at 28-28 following a Conner Schultz three-pointer with 15:40 left to play.
The Tigers responded by scoring nine unanswered points to go up 37-28. Two Majors free throws and a three from sophomore Caleb Ray cut the lead to four points, 37-33 with 11:03 left to play, but the Cougars would never be closer. The Tigers reeled off 10 straight points to lead by 14, 47-33 with 2:43 remaining and they were out of reach.
Majors led the Cougars with eight points, while Schultz and Logsdon had seven apiece. Schultz led the team on the glass with eight rebounds, and Logsdon added five.
Trey Goff scored six points, and Ray finished with three. Jack Davis and Josh Embry both had two points to complete the Cougar scoring.
In a five-point game, free-throw shooting played a big part in the outcome. The Cougars shot just 42 percent from the line on 5-of-12 shooting. The Eagles were 10-of-15 at the line, 67 percent.
The two teams exchanged the lead four times in the opening minutes before the Eagles took a lead they would not give back.
A Schultz three with 13:54 left in the first half pulled Grayson County to within a point of the lead, 9-8, but that would turn out to be as close as the Cougars would get the rest of the way.
A 9-2 Eagles run put them in front by eight points, 18-10 with 6:45 left. Grayson County trailed by six, 22-16 at the half.
When Ohio County opened the second half on a 7-2 run, they had taken an 11-point lead, 29-18 at the 14:43 mark. Unhappy with the play of his starters, Carwile called a timeout and yanked the starters in favor of his younger bunch of players.
With four sophomores and junior Jordan Stallings in the game, the Cougars found a spark. After falling behind by 13 points, 34-21 with 9:20 left to play, the Cougar bench began to climb back into the game.
Following a put-back basket from Stallings, the Cougars got three-pointers from Spencer Sharp, Ray and Majors and suddenly Grayson County trailed by just two points, 34-32 with 6:19 left.
Embry hit 1-of-2 at the line with 3:15 left that made it a one-point game, 37-36, but the Cougars would get no closer. The Eagles closed out the game by outscoring Grayson County 9-5 to win by five.
Goff led the Cougars with 10 points, including two three-pointers. Sharp also hit a pair of threes and finished with eight points. Majors and Ray both finished with six points, while Schultz had four.
Three players, Davis, Stallings and Logsdon had two points each, and Embry had one to close out the Cougar scoring.
Reach Don Brown at 259-9622, ext. 2016.