By Don Brown
Playing without Maddie Stewart , Jessica Johnson and Raven Shelton, the Lady Cougar varsity basketball team split a pair of summer games at Apollo High School on Wednesday.
In the first game, the Lady Cougars stayed close with the Franklin-Simpson Wildcats, but fell in the end 30-23. Against Larue County, the Lady Cougars grabbed a big early lead, then held off the Lady Hawks in the second half to win 30-25.
The JV squad played well, but fell to a much taller Daviess County team 27-24.
The Lady Cougars are learning they are going to have to adjust to teams being much bigger than they are as the Wildcats controlled the boards and made life tough for Grayson County.
Still, the Lady Cougars grabbed an early 9-3 lead on a basket by Breanna Fulkerson. Grayson County led by five, 15-10 with 3:57 left in the 20-minute first half, but the Wildcats scored the final seven points of the period to lead by two, 17-15 at the half.
The Wildcats pushed the lead to five points, 20-15, but a running jumper by Jodi Decker cut it back to three, 20-17 with 11:52 left.
Franklin-Simpson went back up by six points, 25-19 at the 8:14 mark, but a 10-footer by Sarah Pierce cut it to four at the 5:19 mark. That would be as close as the Lady Cougars would be the rest of the way.
Fulkerson led the Lady Cougars with seven points, while Taylor Higdon had six on two three-pointers. Fulkerson also led the team with three assists.
Five players, Decker, Pierce, Katie Beeler, Sloane Embry and Kaylan Shull, had two points apiece to complete the scoring. Shull led the team on the boards with five rebounds.
The Lady Hawks had a decided height advantage, but never really cashed in on it.
With three players hovering at or above the 6-foot mark, they seemingly had only to pound the ball inside to put the Lady Cougars away. Instead, they took one shot after another from the outside and the Cougars were able to take their advantage.
With just a few minutes having passed in the game, the Hawk coach unhappily replaced all his starters with JV players. Coach Brad Johnson countered with his JV squad and it was no contest. Grayson County scored 16 unanswered points to take a 16-2 lead with 11:20 left in the first half.
Larue brought their starters back and they reeled off 12 straight points before Higdon closed out the scoring with a three-pointer at the buzzer to give Grayson County a 19-14 lead at the break.
When Higdon opened the second-half scoring with another three, the Lady Cougars led by eight, 22-14. While the Hawks were able to pull as close as four points, 29-25 with 19 seconds left, they were never able to catch the Lady Cougars.
Jodi Decker led the Lady Cougars with eight points, three rebounds and three steals.
Higdon finished with six, Abi Powell had five, and Grace White had four, as did Shull. Embry had two and Fulkerson added one to complete the scoring.
JV vs DAVIESS COUNTY
The Lady Panthers scored the first six points of the game, then led 8-3 at the 11:43 mark before Grayson County came alive. Seven straight points, six of them from Decker, put them into the lead for the first time, 10-8 with 6:20 left in the half.
Daviess County went back on top 11-10 with 5:24 left, but the Lady Cougars hit two free throws down the stretch to lead 12-11 at the break.
With the score tied 16-16 with 8:05 left to play, the Lady Panthers took control of the game with a 9-2 run that saw them leading 25-18 with 4:32 left.
Sarah Pierce buried a three-pointer with 21 seconds left that pulled Grayson County to within three points, 27-24. After Daviess missed the front end of a bonus situation with 16.8 seconds left, Grayson Coyunty had the chance to tie it at the end, but could not get a shot to fall.
Decker led all scorers with 13 points and added three steals. Pierce finished with six points, while Embry had three. White and Katie Hayes had one point each to close out the scoring, and White led the team on the boards with six rebounds.