The middle school Cougars took a pair of games from the visiting Butler Bears Monday evening in Cougar Gym.
In the opening game, Logan Majors’ 17 points led the way for the Cougars as they routed the visitors 50-20. In the second game, the eighth-graders gave up the lead with less than two minutes to play, but came back to take a 44-42 thriller over the Bears,
Behind the outside shooting of Caleb Ray, the seventh-graders raced out to a fast, 12-2 lead, forcing the visitors to call a timeout at the 4:12 mark. Ray hit a pair of three-pointers during the run.
The Cougars added two more buckets to lead 16-2 with under a minute to play before the Bears scored the final four points to make it 16-6 heading into the second period.
When the Cougars opened the second quarter on a 13-0 run to lead 29-6, coach Kevin Johnston went to his bench. That allowed the Bears to score eight unanswered points to close the gap to 15 points, 29-14 at the half.
It was all Cougars in the third quarter, with Majors scoring eight of his 17, including a pair of three-pointers. The defense held the Bears to just three points and the Cougars led by 29 points, 46-17 at the start of the fourth quarter.
Ray finished the night with nine points and added two rebounds, four assists and four steals. Josh Embry and Isaac Jarboe each had six points, while Spencer Sharp and Ryan Johnson both had four. Sharp led the team in assists, with seven, and steals, with six.
Tyler Williams had three points and Nolan Shartzer had one to complete the scoring.
Will Moore opened the scoring for the Bears with a lay-up at the 5:24 mark. That would be the Bears’ only lead until the 1:11 mark of the fourth quarter.
The score was tied twice in the first period, the last time coming at 4-4 at the 3:29 mark. Grayson county led by two, 11-9 heading into the second period.
The Cougars led by as many as six points in the second period, but led by just four, 22-18 at the half.
The visitors tied the score once more, 22-22 with 5:04 left in the third quarter, but the Cougars stretched their lead to seven points, 31-24 with 30 seconds left. Butler County’s Neil Bewley hit 1-of-2 at the line with 21 seconds left to make it a six-point game, 31-25 heading into the final period of play.
The Cougars led by six points twice in the final period, the last time coming at 39-33 with 2:43 left to play. But the Bears then went on a 9-2 run to take their second lead of the game, 42-41 on a 15-footer by Brennan Grubb with 1:11 left to play.
Following a timeout, the Cougars took the lead back when Riley Shoemaker drove along the baseline, under the basket, and passed to a wide-open Ethan Carter, who hit a six-footer to maker it 43-42.
Spencer Sharp added 1-of-2 at the line with three seconds left for the final margin.
Grubb led the Bears with 13 points, while Caleb Beasley had 10.
Carter led the Cougars with 14 points. Jordan Stallings had probably his best game as a Cougar, scoring 13 points and adding five rebounds and two steals.
Shoemaker and Jack Davis both finished with six points. Shoemaker made it an even better night by adding seven rebounds and leading the team with five assists. Davis led all rebounders with 14.
Jackson Parker added four points and Spencer Sharp had one to round out the Cougar scoring.