Hosting the Butler County Lady Bears last Tuesday, the middle school Lady Cougars came away with a pair of wins.
In the opening game, the seventh-grade girls never trailed as they improved to 9-1 on the season with a 47-29 win. Grace Gorby had a game-high 18 points and added seven rebounds. Hannah Salsman had seven points and led the team on the boards with 11 points.
In the eighth-grade game, the Lady Cougars trailed by as many as five points in the first half, and after taking an 11-point lead in the second half, had to hold off the Lady Bears at the end to take a 38-33 win and improve to 6-1 for the season.
The Lady Cougars raced out to a 6-2 lead with 2:46 left in the first period, but the Lady Bears responded with a 7-0 run to grab a 9-6 lead with 50 seconds left.
Leslie Swafford stopped the run for the Lady Cougars with a 15-footer with 24 seconds left, but Butler’s Allie Easley scored on a lay-up with 11 seconds left to keep the Lady Bears in front 11-8 heading into the second period.
Butler County twice led by five points in the second quarter, the last time coming at 15-10 with 3:45 left in the half, but the Lady Cougars scored the last four points of the half and trailed by just one, 15-14 at the half.
A three-pointer by Grace White at the 4:21 mark tied the score at 17-17.
Kennedi Cave scored on a rebound basket at the 3:46 mark to put the Lady Cougars in front for the first time since early in the first period. White scored again with 1:52 left to give the Lady Cougars a four-point lead, 21-7, but Butler’s Chloe Flener stopped the Cougar run with a basket with 1:45 remaining to cut it back to two.
Grayson County then closed out the period by scoring seven unanswered points to take a nine-point lead, 28-19 as the final period got under way.
Cave opened the scoring in the fourth quarter with a lay-up at the 4:52 mark to give the Lady Cougars their largest lead of the night, 11 points at 30-19.
Butler County refused to fold, though, and answered back with a 14-5 run that brought them back to within two points, 35-33 with 56 seconds left to play.
Grayson County turned the ball over with 32 second left, giving the Lady Bears a chance to tie or take the lead, but their next shot was off the mark and White rebounded the miss and was fouled with eight seconds remaining. She hit both free throws to make it a four-point game, 37-33.
On the next Bear possession, three girls collided at the ball and the Bears were called for a turnover with six seconds left. On the ensuing inbounds play, Shelby Pendergest was the victim of an intentional foul with :04.5 seconds left. Pendergest hit one-of-two free throws, and the Lady Cougars were then able to run out the clock.
Flener led all scorers in the game with 19 points.
Cave led the Lady Cougars with 11 points and added five rebounds. Alli Horton scored six for the Lady Cougars and added two rebounds, two assists and three steals. Salsman scored four points, while Pendergest had three. Swafford, Gorby and Shannon Smith all scored two points, and Smith added four rebounds, two assists and a steal to her line.
The Lady Cougars scored the first four points of the game and never trailed thereafter. Two Gorby free throws made it 13-5 with under a minute to play, then Gorby beat the buzzer with a lay-in to make it 15-5 heading into the second period.
A 6-2 run closing out the second quarter increased the Cougar lead to 15 points, 25-10 at the half. They led by 14 points, 36-22 as the fourth quarter began.
Grayson County scored the first four points of the fourth quarter to increase their lead to 18 points, which turned out to be the final margin.
In addition to her points and rebounds, Gorby added three assists and four steals. Salsman added five steals.
Brandi Minton finished with six points, as did Mackenzie Edwards. Shana Bradley and Kaylee Masden both scored four points, and Breanna Frank had two to complete the scoring.