The Owensboro Red Devils came into Cougar Gym Thursday night and went home with a pair of middle school basketball wins over the Cougars.
The Devils proved to be a well-coached, patient and unselfish bunch as both the seventh-and eighth-grade teams dismantled the Cougars.
In the seventh-grade game, the Cougars played with the visitors in the first period and took a lead in the second before a big Red Devil run took them out of it in a 52-34 loss. Owensboro finished with six three-pointers on the night.
In the eighth-grade game, the long-range bombing of Owensboro’s Lance Lewis proved to be too much for the Cougars as they went down to a 56-42 loss.
The visitors scored the first five points of the game, but the Cougars answered with five of their own to tie things at the 3:45 mark following a Spencer Sharp three-pointer.
Three free throws from Logan Majors gave the Cougars their first lead of the game, 8-7 with 2:36 left in the first period.
The two teams then exchanged the lead three times before a lay-up by Isaac Jarboe with one second left tied the game once more, 12-12 heading into the second quarter.
A lay-in by Josh Embry opened the scoring in the second period, and when Sharp buried another three at the 5:27 mark, the Cougars held their largest lead of the night, five points at 17-12.
Unfortunately, that would be all the scoring the Cougars could manage the rest of the period. The Red Devils ratcheted up their full-court press and forced nine Cougar turnovers leading to a 16-0 run to close out the first half. Owensboro led by 11 points, 28-17 at the break.
A three-point play by Majors with 4:30 left in the third quarter cut the Devils’ lead to 10 points, 30-20, but the Cougars would not get closer. Owensboro scored eight unanswered points, then led by 18 points, 40-22 heading into the final period of play.
The Devils pushed their lead to 21 points, 45-24 following a three-point play by Jamieson Jackson with 5:15 left to play, but the Cougars answered with six straight to cut their deficit to 15 points, 45-30 with 3:50 left. That would be the Cougars’ last gasp.
Jackson led all scorers with 17 points, while Dequante Bellamy added 10 for the Devils.
Three Cougars, Embry, Sharp and Jarboe scored eight points apiece. Jarboe just missed a double-double night as he led the team with 11 rebounds.
Majors finished with six points and Lincoln Nichols added four to complete the Cougar scoring.
Lewis shot the Cougars out of the game as he hit the first six three-pointers he took before finishing with seven threes on nine shots. He added a third-quarter lay-up for a game high 23 points in the game and the Cougars had no answer.
A lay-in by Jack Davis with 1:28 left in the first period pulled Grayson County to within four at 8-4, but the Devils scored the last seven points of the period, including a Lewis three to take an 11-point lead, 15-4 heading into the second quarter.
Owensboro opened the second period on a 7-2 run to take a 14-point lead, 22-8 with 2:52 left, but they led by 11, 24-13 at the half.
Davis opened the scoring in the third period to cut the lead to nine points, 24-15, but Lewis responded with back-to-back threes to run it up to 15 points, 30-15 with 4:35 remaining in the period.
The Cougars scored five straight to cut the margin back to 10 points, 32-22 at the 1:30 mark, but the Devils closed out the period with a 9-6 run to lead by 13 points, 41-28 as the fourth quarter began.
When the Cougars scored the first four points of the final period, they pulled to within nine points, 41-32, but the Devils went on a 9-1 run, which included Lewis’ last three of the game, to lead by 17 points, 50-33, and the game was pretty much decided.
Davis led the Cougars on the night with 17 points and he made it a double-double effort by pulling down 11 rebounds. Ethan Carter scored seven points and added five boards.
Riley Shoemaker, Jordan Stallings and Jackson Parker all scored four points, while Bryson Lowe, Eli Thomas and Josh Embry had two apiece to close out the Cougar scoring.