The middle school boys basketball teams opened their seasons with a pair of scrimmage games in Cougar Gym against the visiting St. Romuald Rebels Monday evening.
Though the clock was cleared after each quarter of play, and no running score was kept, the Cougars came out on top in each scrimmage game. The seventh-grade game was no contest from the start as the Cougars held the Rebels scoreless in the first period on their way to an overwhelming 47-12 win.
The eighth-grade game was much closer, with first the Cougars taking a 10-point lead and then the Rebels coming back to tie things at the half. The Rebels then took a one-point lead into the fourth quarter, only to see the Cougars come back to take a two-point, 47-45 win.
Trailing 7-5 at the 5:34 mark of the first quarter, the Cougars scored the last 12 points of the period to grab a 17-7 advantage. Ethan Carter scored seven of his team high 12 points to spearhead the Cougar drive.
Things turned around in the second period as the Rebels’ Austin Phillips went to work. Phillips scored 13 of his game-high 22 points in the second quarter to help bring his team back into the game. The Rebels outscored the Cougars 18-8 in the period, leaving the game knotted at 25-25 at the break.
The Rebels led by as many as five points in the third quarter, but a 6-2 run, capped by Eli Thomas’ running jumper with 11 seconds left, brought the Cougars to within a point of the lead, 35-34 as the fourth quarter got started.
Grayson County then held the Rebels scoreless for the first four and a half minutes and took a lead they would not give back. Jack Davis started a 9-0 Cougar run with a three-point play at the 6:31 mark. Carter followed that up with a three-pointer at the 5:32 mark and Spencer Sharp added another three with 4:44 left and the Cougars were in charge.
St. Romuald closed out the game on a 7-2 run, but it was not enough to put them back in the lead. Jacob Haycraft hit three three-pointers for the Rebels and joined Phillips in double figures with 11 points.
In addition to his 12 points, Carter added four rebounds. Davis just missed a double-double night as he finished with nine points and a game-high 14 rebounds. He also had four assists and three steals on the night. Riley Shoemaker had eight points and added a team-high five assists and three steals.
Jordan Stallings scored six points and pulled down seven rebounds. Sharp came off the bench in the second half to score five points and add five rebounds and two assists. Bryson Lowe had three points, while Thomas and Jake Oller had two apiece to complete the scoring.
The Cougars dressed 19 players for this game and 14 of them reached the scoring column as they blew out the visitors right from the start. Spencer Sharp scored seven of his game-high 11 points in the first quarter, including a three-pointer, as the Cougars held the visitors scoreless and led 18-0 at the end of the first period.
Cougar coach Kevin Johnston went deep into his bench in the second period and the Rebels took advantage to outscore the Cougars 7-6.
The starters returned to the floor in the third quarter, which the Cougars won 10-2 to lead by 25 points, 34-9 heading into the fourth quarter. Seven different Cougars scored in that fourth quarter and the home team outscored the visitors 13-3 to bring the final margin of victory to 35 points, 47-12.
In addition to his 11 points, Sharp added three rebounds and a steal. Isaac Jarboe and Zach Parks both finished with six points and Jarboe led the team on the boards with four rebounds. Ryan Johnson scored four points, while Logan Majors and Lincoln Nichols had three apiece.
Six players, Josh Embry, Caleb Ray, Cameron Wells, Tyler Williams, Kyler Embry and Nolan Shartzer had two points each, and Wells led the team with three steals. Wyatt Schultz and Jude Oller had one point each to round out the Cougar scoring.