Grayson County’s Lady Cougar basketball teams had a busy time of it over the weekend. In five games, two JV contests and three varsity tilts, the Lady Cougars were winners four times.
On Friday night at Butler County, in the first game of the boy/girl doubleheader, the Lady Cougars thrashed the Lady Bears 60-44 in a game that wasn’t nearly as close as the final score might indicate.
Then, on Saturday at Meade County, the JV girls won the opener 39-34 before the varsity picked up probably its best win of the year, 64-49 over a tough Meade County Lady Wave team.
Monday night, the Lady Cougars hosted Owensboro Catholic, the top-rated team in the third region. After leading for much of the game, an exhausted varsity team finally fell to the Lady Aces 77-71. The JV Lady Cougars won their matchup 41-29 to move to 5-2 for the season.
The Lady Bears led just once on the night, 1-0 at the 6:30 mark. Leading 8-5 with 3:18 left in the first period, the Lady Cougars closed out the first period on a 12-2 run to lead by 13 points, 20-7 heading into the second quarter.
The Lady Cougars kept adding to their lead in the third period and led by 21 points, 37-16 at the half.
A lay-up by Kaylan Shull with 1:19 left in the third period gave the Lady Cougars their largest lead of the night, 27 points at 48-21. The Lady Bears closed out the period on a 7-0 run to cut the lead to seven points, 48-28 heading into the final period of play.
With mostly bench players on the floor for the Lady Cougars, Butler County put together a 13-1 run, including four straight three-point baskets, to cut the Grayson County lead to 13 points, 57-44 with 1:46 left but they would be no closer.
Shawna West led the Lady Bears with 13 points, while Allie Easley had 10.
The Lady Cougars put three players into double figures. Maddie Stewart had 13 points, Shull had 12 and Sarah Pierce finished with 11. Grace White and Jessica Johnson both finished with six, while Montana Woosley had four.
Allie Horton and Hannah Saltsman both scored three points, while Jodi Decker and Sloane Embry had one each.
Before the start of the season, these two teams were picked to contend for a regional title, but neither one had played up to expectations. The Lady Cougars came in with a 6-7 record while the Lady Waves were at 5-8.
Grayson County went up by three, 9-6 on a three-point play by Stewart with 5:27 left in the first period and they would never relinquish the lead. They led by six points, 17-11 after the first period and led by as many as 12 points in the second before taking a 34-27 lead into the halftime break.
The Lady Waves pulled to within a point of the lead twice in the second half, the last time coming at 46-45 at the 6:53 mark of the fourth quarter, but the lady Cougars responded with eight unanswered points to lead by nine, 54-45 with 4:46 left to play. The Lady Waves were never closer than seven points the rest of the way.
Meade’s Morgan Turner led the Lady Waves with 22 points, while Addi Lynch had 15.
Stewart led the Lady Cougars with 27 points and she added eight rebounds and three assists. Grace White finished with 10 points and just missed a double-double with nine boards.
Allie Horton scored nine points and added three rebounds, three assists and two steals. Shull finished with four points and seven rebounds. Jessica Johnson and Montana Woosley both had four points with Johnson adding five rebounds and Woosley pulling down eight.
Hannah Saltsman scored three points and Sarah Pierce had two to complete the scoring.
In the JV game, the two teams had four lead changes and a tie in the first half before the Lady Waves took a one-point lead, 21-20 into the break.
Grayson County trailed by six, 28-22 with 4:05 left in the third quarter but responded with a 17-2 run that saw them take control of the game 39-30 with 1:20 left to play.
Sloane Embry led all scorers with 13 points and added four rebounds and three assists. Saltsman had 10 points, Jodi Decker had eight, Shannon Smith scored six and Mackenzie Edwards had two.
The Lady Aces came into this game with a 12-2 record, but it was the Lady Cougars who held the advantage for most of the game. Grayson County took the lead 10-7 at the 4:30 mark of the first period and they held an edge until well into the fourth quarter, when they seemed to hit the wall and the Lady Aces went back on top.
Tie at 14-14, Grayson County closed out the first quarter on a 9-2 run to lead 23-16 heading into the second period. They led by three points, 42-39 at the half.
A rebound basket by White at the 2:08 mark of the third period saw the Lady Cougars holding their largest lead of the night, 12 points at 61-49, but the Lady Aces closed out the period on as 10-2 run and trailed by just four, 63-59 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Lady Cougars were scoreless in the first three minutes of the fourth quarter which allowed the Lady Aces to score six straight to take their first lead since early in the first period, 65-63 at the 5:23 mark.
Stewart scored at the 4:58 mark to end the drought and tie the score for the last time, 65-65. Catholic responded with six straight to lead 71-65 with 3:57 left and Grayson County would never be closer than four the rest of the way.
This was a game with a huge discrepancy at the foul line. Even though the Lady Aces aggressively pressed the length of the court throughout the game, the Lady Cougars never went to the line in the bonus. In the second half, they never did get into a bonus situation. Catholic finished the second half with just five team fouls.
Meanwhile the Lady Aces were parading to the line throughout the night. They shot 47 free throws to just 10 for Grayson County. They made only 21 of them, a woeful 45 percent, but it was more than enough to give them a big scoring edge. The Lady Cougars hit eight of their 10 but were still short 13 points at the line.
But that was not the whole story, as Grayson County turned the ball over 33 times in the game, which Catholic converted into 30 points.
Catholic put five players into double figures, led by Caroline Hayden with 18 points. Kaylynn Pearson had 15 points, Annabel Moore had 13, Haley Gervin had 12 and Mikayla Berry added 11.
An ailing Stewart led the Lady Cougars with 16 points while freshman point guard Allie Horton had 14 and added seven rebounds. White and senior Katie Hayes both finished with eight points, while Montana Woosley had six.
Shull finished with seven points and shared the lead on the boards with with Sarah Pierce with nine rebounds. Saltsman scored four points, while Pierce, Johnson, Decker and Embry all scored two to complete the scoring.
In the JV contest, the Lady Aces took an early 10-3 lead, but a 10-0 Lady Cougar run put them on top 13-10 at the 5:19 mark of the second period. Grayson County led by five, 23-18 at the half.
The Lady Aces got as close as three points, 25-22 at the 3:55 mark of the third quarter, but Grayson County closed out the period with a 7-2 run to lead by eight, 32-24 heading into the fourth quarter.
Shannon Smith opened the scoring in the final period with a three-pointer and when Decker scored with 2:50 left, Grayson County led by 13 points, 37-24. The Lady Aces were never closer than 10 points the rest of the way.
Saltsman led the Lady Cougars with nine points. Johnson just missed a double-double as she finished with eight points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Embry scored seven points and added six rebounds, three assists and three steals in a fine all-around performance.
Raven Shelton scored four points, Smith finished with three, while Bethany Harting and Leslie Swafford had two each to complete the scoring.