The middle school girls played host to the visiting Lady Cats of Edmonson County on Thursday and came away with a split of the two games.
In the opener, the seventh-grade girls got 15 points from Kaylee Masden as they overcame a first-half deficit to beat the Lady Cats 32-27, snapping a four-game losing streak in the process.
The eighth-grade game promised to be a good one as the Lady Cats came in with an undefeated, 10-0 record to face the 11-1 Lady Cougars. Grayson County trailed by just two at the half, but the Lady Cats made it a laugher in the second half as they outscored the home squad 30-9 to win going away.
Masden opened the scoring by burying a three-pointer at the 5:09 mark to put Grayson County on top.
The Lady Cats responded by scoring eight unanswered points to lead 8-3 with 1:46 left in the opening period. Masden hit another three with 24 seconds left, but Edmonson’s Chandler Logsdon scored on a lay-in with eight seconds left to make it 10-6 heading into the second quarter.
Logsdon scored on another lay-in to open the second period to put the Lady Cats on top 12-6, but Grayson County responded with a 10-0 run, capped off by a Kenzie Renfrow lay-up with 1:43 remaining in the half to give the Lady Cougars a 16-12 lead. They led by two points, 16-14 at the half.
The Grayson County defense held the Lady Cats to just two points in the third quarter and were able to expand their lead to eight points, 24-16 heading into the final period of play.
A Renfrow lay-in with 3:45 left in the game gave Grayson County another eight-point lead, 28-20 before the Lady Cats made a run. Back-to-back baskets by Hannah Meredith cut the lead to four points with 2:39 left.
On a tie-up under the Grayson County basket things got a little rough, and Lady Cougar Bailey Snyder was whistled for a technical foul, sending Logsdon to the line for two shots. Logsdon hit both to make it a two-point game, 28-26.
Madison Harrison went to the line with 1:24 left with the chance to tie the game. She made the first but missed the second, leaving Grayson County with a one-point lead, 28-27.
Masden was fouled and went to the line in the bonus with 1:23 left. Masden hit both shots, but the second was invalidated by a lane violation, making it a two-point game, 29-27.
Following a Lady Cat turnover, Keragan Collard hit two bonus free throws to make it 31-27 with 1:11 left.
On the ensuing inbounds play, the Lady Cats were called for a five-second turnover and called timeout. When play resumed, it should have been Grayson County’s ball under their own basket, but somehow Edmonson County was awarded possession.
But what could have been a pivotal call in a close game turned out to be inconsequential when the Lady Cats were whistled for an offensive foul on the inbounds play.
Masden hit 1-of-2 at the line to make it 32-27 with 1:07 to play and the Lady Cougars held the visitors scoreless the rest of the way to record the win.
In addition to her 15 points, Masden led the team with eight rebounds and added three steals.
Snyder played an aggressive game for the Lady Cougars and finished with seven points, six rebounds and two steals. Renfrow had another fine all-around game with six points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Collard and Laura Vincent had two points apiece to complete the Lady Cougar scoring.
Both teams came in with impressive records, but it was the Lady Cats who proved to be the soundest team. They showed themselves to be a well-coached, disciplined bunch who time after time took advantage of Lady Cougars mistakes, especially in the second half, to score easy baskets,
Edmonson’s lefty point-guard Peyton Martin led all scorers with 17 points and she was joined in double figures by center/forward Caitlin Simon, who finished with 12 points.
The Lady Cougars took an early 4-2 lead on baskets by Brandi Minton and Mackenzie Edwards, but the Lady Cats responded with seven straight to lead 9-4 with 54 seconds left in the first period. Edwards scored with five seconds left to make it 9-6 heading into the second quarter.
After the Lady Cats opened the scoring in the second period to make it 11-6, an Edwards three and a rebound basket by Hannah Saltsman tied things 11-11 with 4:04 left in the first half.
Edwards hit a short runner with 1:02 left that tied the game 15-15 with 1:02 remaining, before Kaitlin Collins scored with 50 seconds left to put the Lady Cats in front 17-15 at the half.
That would pretty much be it for the Lady Cougars. Edmonson County opened the third quarter by scoring the first 10 points to take a 12-point lead, 27-15 at the 3:18 mark.
Saltsman stole the ball and scored at the 2:42 mark to halt the Lady Cat run, but Grayson County still trailed by 10 points, 27-17 at the start of the fourth quarter.
It was all Edmonson County in the fourth quarter as the Lady Cats outscored Grayson County 20-9 to turn the game into a rout. In the second half, the Lady Cats forced 13 Grayson County turnovers and turned them into 15 points, many of them coming on uncontested lay-ups.
Since being tied 15-15 in the second period, the Lady Cats outscored Grayson County 24-2 to lead 39-17 with 2:53 left to play in the fourth quarter.
Saltsman led the Lady Cougars in scoring with 13 points and added five rebounds and four steals. Edwards scored nine points and had three rebounds. Minton completed the Lady Cougar scoring with two points.
Breanna Frank and Brooke Simpson did not score in the game, but Frank led the team on the boards with seven rebounds, while Simpson added four.