Despite playing their best basketball of the young season, the Cougar varsity suffered its third straight loss last Tuesday in Cecilia as the Central Hardin Bruins beat them 63-42.
In JV action, the Bruins scored the first 10 points of the game, led 24-7 after one period, and went on to an overwhelming 57-37 defeat of the Cougars.
The Cougars were in this game right up until the fourth quarter, when the wheels fell off and the Bruins turned the game into a rout.
Only four players scored for the Bruins, but three of those scored in double figures, led by Dillon Gregg’s 28 points. Jacob Barnes hit four three-pointers and finished with 20 points. Evan Payne hit three threes and had 11 points.
The Cougars held the early lead, going up by four points when Cole Akridge’s lay-up at the 5:13 mark made it 9-5. Six straight Bruin points gave them a 16-13 lead with a minute left in the first period, but a Colton Williams lay-up with seven seconds left cut the deficit to one, 16-15 heading into the second quarter.
When the Bruins opened the second period on a 10-2 run, they took a nine-point lead, 26-17 with 5:13 left in the first half. The Cougars responded with six unanswered points to cut their deficit to just three points, 26-23 with 2:24 left to play. They trailed by four, 30-26 at the half.
The Cougars missed a golden opportunity to take the lead at the start of the second half when the Bruins had six straight empty trips, including four turnovers. Unfortunately the Cougars could not get the ball in the basket in four tries.
The Bruins took advantage to outscore the Cougars 10-3 to take their largest lead to that point, 11 points at 40-29 with 3:08 left. But the Cougars fought back to close to within six points, 42-36 at the end of the period.
The Bruins then put the game out of reach by scoring the first nine points of the final period to go up by 15 points, 51-36 at the 5:26 mark. Grayson County was never closer than 11 points the rest of the way.
Junior Talon Gary led the Cougars with 17 points, adding six rebounds, three assists and a steal. Colton Williams just missed double figures with nine points, and led the Cougars on the boards with eight rebounds.
Three players, Tanner Tyra, Cole Akridge and Alex Shellhart scored four points each, with Shellhart adding six rebounds. Gage Akridge scored two points, while Zac Williams and Bret Johnston had one each to complete the scoring. Johnston also had five rebounds for the Cougars.
This game was decided in the first quarter after the Bruins hit five three pointers, scored the first 10 points and led 24-7 at the end of the period.
Grayson County scored the first four points of the second quarter to cut the lead to 13 points, 24-11, but the Bruins outscored them 7-2 the rest of the way to lead by 18 points, 31-13 at the half.
An 11-5 Bruin run at the start of the third quarter gave them their largest lead of the night, 24 points at 42-18, but the Cougars battled back with 10 straight points, including two three-pointers by Wyatt Skaggs, to close out the period trailing by 14, 42-28.
When the Bruins put together a 9-0 fourth-quarter run to push the lead back up to 23 points, it was all over but the shouting.
Central Hardin put three players into double figures, led by Jacob Kerr’s 15 points. DeBrian McNeil and Mason Rothrock both scored 10 points.
Skaggs was the lone Cougar in double figures, finishing with 10 points. Tristan Willis and Trey Goff had five each, while Alex Shellhart and Dustin Woosley each had four. Logan Ramsey added three points, Zac Williams and Bailey Logsdon had two apiece, and Beau Dennis and Dayton Blair had one each to complete the scoring.