Hosting the Apollo Eagles at Cougar Gym last Tuesday evening, Grayson County’s Cougar dropped both ends of a JV/varsity doubleheader.
In the first game, after leading at the half, the JV squad gave up a 12-0 Eagle run at the end of the third quarter and the start of the fourth that allowed the visitors to go on to a 54-40 win.
In the varsity tilt, the Cougars clawed tooth and nail to stay into the game, but a 15-1 Eagle run in the third period, and a 14-0 run later in the game saw the Eagles win it in the end. The final 90-59 score did not really indicate how well the Cougars played for most of the night.
The Eagles had a decided size advantage inside and they made the most of it on the night getting numerous second-chance opportunities that led to scores.
Despite that, the Cougars managed to stay close in the first half and well into the third period before the Eagles began to run away with things.
The score was tied twice in the first period before the Eagles took a five-point lead, 11-6 following a three-pointer by Sam Sergeant at the 2:10 mark. A 6-2 Cougar run was capped off by a Bret Johnston lay-up with 31 seconds left to pull the Cougars to within a point, 13-12. Sergeant then closed out the first period scoring with a lay-in to make it 15-12 heading into the second quarter
A three-pointer by Apollo’s Nick Wells with 1:22 left in the period gave the Eagles their largest lead of the first half, 10 points at 35-25. A 10-footer by Cole Akridge and a three-point play by Alex Shellhart cut the Cougar deficit to five points, 35-30 with 32 seconds left, but Sergeant closed out the first-half scoring with two free throws with three seconds left to make it a seven-point game, 37-30 going into the break.
Grayson County scored the first seven points of the third quarter to tie the game at 37-37. Following an Eagle basket, Gage Akridge hit a lay-in to tie it again at 39-39. That would be as close as the Cougars would be the rest of the night. The Eagles responded with a 15-1 run that put them ahead by 14 points, 54-40 with 2:32 left in the period.
The Cougars kept battling and cut the lead to nine points, 54-45 following a short jumper by Colton Williams with 1:43 left, but the Eagles scored the last five points of the third quarter and the first nine of the fourth and the Cougars were pretty much done, trailing by 26 points, 75-49 with 6:24 left to play.
The Eagles put four players into double figures, led by Eli Wright’s 22 points. Sergeant finished with 14 points, while Caleb Coomes had 13 and R. T. Sutherland added 10.
Cole Akridge led the Cougars with 15 points. Talon Gary and Bret Johnston both scored nine points, and Gary led the team on the glass with six rebounds. Johnston added three assists and two steals.
Williams and Shellhart with finished with seven points, Tanner Tyra had six, Gage Akridge scored four points and Logan Ramsey had two to complete the scoring.
It appeared Apollo would run away with this game in the first period as they raced out to a 12-point lead, 17-5 with 2:28 left. But the Cougars closed out the period by scoring nine straight to make it 17-14 at the start of the second period.
They then made it an 11-0 run by scoring first in the second period on a rebound basket by eighth-grader Bailey Logsdon to cut it to one, 17-16.
Logsdon scored again at the 3:55 mark to give the Cougars their first lead of the night, 20-19. A Tristan Willis three-pointer with 2:40 left gave the Cougars their largest lead, five points at 25-20. Grayson County still led by a point, 25-24 at the half.
The Eagles’ Zach Hopewell buried a three at the start of the third quarter to put his team back in front 27-25 and they would never trail again.
Dustin Woosley hit 1-of-2 at the line at the 3:02 mark to pull the Cougars to within two points, 36-34. Apollo closed out the period with six straight, then scored the first six of the fourth quarter. The 12-0 Eagle run put them in charge by 14 points, 48-34
Three-pointers by Logsdon and Trey Goff pulled the Cougars to within eight points, 48-40 with 2:25 left to play, but that would be as close as they would get.
Hopewell led the Eagles with 18 points, while Lex Smith added 14.
Shellhart led the Cougars with 18 points and added three assists and three steals. Logsdon joined Shellhart in double figures with 11 points, while Goff finished with seven. Willis finished with three points and Woosley had 0ne to complete the scoring. Woosley also led the team on the boards with five rebounds.