By Don Brown
January 22, 2014
The Cougars put four players into double figures and broke open a close game at the half, on their way to a 62-51 Homecoming win over visiting Whitesville Trinity last Friday night.
With the game tied 24-24 at the half, the Cougars came out in the third quarter and outscored the Raiders 25-9 to take charge of the game. Junior Talon Gary had a double-double night for the Cougars, scoring 11 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. He also led the team with five steals. Sophomore Colton Williams just missed a double-double as he scored 10 points and had seven rebounds.
Grayson County started quickly, running out to a 12-1 lead following a Bret Johnston lay-up at the 4:48 mark of the first period.
But the Raiders started clawing their way back into it, scoring the next eight straight points and closing out the period on a 16-4 run to take a one-point lead, 17-16.
The two teams went nearly three minutes without scoring at the start of the second quarter before Dakota Wathen hit a three-pointer at the 5:14 mark to give the Raiders their largest lead of the night, four points at 20-16.
Back-to-back baskets by Johnston and Tanner Tyra tied the score 20-20 with 2:51 left in the first half. A Drew Mills lay-in with 1:01 left put the Raiders back up by three points, 24-21, but Johnston beat the halftime buzzer with a three-pointer to tie things 24-24 at the intermission.
Grayson County ramped up its defensive pressure in the third period, forcing 15 Whitesville turnovers, including five Cougar steals. Leading by just a point, 28-27 with 6:19 left in the third quarter, the Cougars roared out on a 15-4 run, capped off by an Alex Shellhart three-pointer, to take a 12-point lead, 43-31 with 2:17 left. Grayson County led by 16 points, 49-33 heading into the fourth quarter.
Cole Akridge hit a 10-foot, pull-up jumper with 2:22 left to play in the game that gave the Cougars their largest lead of the night, 21 points at 61-40. The Raiders then closed out the game with an 11-1 run to make the final score a bit closer.
Wathen led the Raiders on the night with 17 points, while Skyler Dickens added 11.
Shellhart and Johnston finished with 11 and 10 points respectively, with Johnston adding three steals. The Akridge twins, Cole and Gage, both finished with seven points. Tyra scored three points, Tristan Willis had two and Zac Williams added one to complete the scoring.