Lady Cougars fall in slugfest, 79-68
By Don Brown
In a hard-fought, physical game Monday night in Cougar Gym, the visiting Nelson County Lady Cardinals put together a 13-0 run late in the third quarter and the start of the fourth to come from behind and beat Grayson County 79-68.
In the opening game, the Lady Cougar JV team grabbed a lead in the third period and held on the rest of the way to win 48-45 in a game that was close from start to finish.
This was a game in which both teams marched to the foul line a total of 64 times. That number was certainly inflated as the Lady Cougars were forced to foul in the fourth quarter after falling behind.
Nelson County went to the line 42 times and hit 31 of them, a fine 74 percent. In the fourth quarter alone, the Lady Cardinals went to the stripe 26 times and hit 19.
Included in all those free throws were six shots following technical fouls. Lady Cougar head coach Brad Johnson was whistled twice in the game, meaning he will have to sit out Thursday’s game at Ohio County.
The other technical was called on Lady Cougar Grace White. Following a missed Nelson County shot, White grabbed the rebound and was hit across the face. When nothing was called, White protested to the referee, who promptly whistled her for the technical. The Lady Cardinals hit five of those technical free throws.
Nelson came into the game with 18 wins and may have been taking the Lady Cougars lightly. Grayson County took a 19-16 lead after the first period, then outscored Nelson 24-16 in the second period to lead by 11 points, 43-32 at the half.
When Sloane Embry hit a three-pointer at the 7:13 mark of the third quarter, the Lady Cougars held their largest lead of the night, 12 points at 46-34.
The Lady Cougars still led by eight points, 57-49 with 50 seconds left when the Lady Cardinals took control. They scored the last seven points of the third period then scored the first six of the fourth to lead 62-57 at the 6:52 mark and the outcome was pretty much decided.
On highly questionable calls, the Lady Cougars were whistled for traveling on their first three possessions of the final period. When Nelson’s Brianna Harmon appeared to travel on her way to a lay-in, nothing was called. That was when Johnson picked up his second technical and had to leave the game.
The Lady Cougars pulled to within two points, 62-60 on a three-point play by White. Nelson missed at the other end and White rebounded the ball and was hit with the technical.
Maddie Stewart, who returned to this game after missing the last two with an injury, scored with 4:13 left to make it 64-62, but the Lady Cougars would not get closer. Nelson scored seven straight to make it 71-62 with 1:29 left and the game was pretty much over.
Nelson’s Caitlin Hagan led all scorers with 33 points, while Kaylee Hall had 14, Marly Walls had 12 and Harmon finished with 10.
White and Stewart both scored 17 points to lead Grayson County and White made it a double-double night with 14 rebounds. Kaylan Shull had 13 points and 10 rebounds and Sloane Embry added 10 points.
Hannah Saltsman scored nine points, all in the first half, and Sarah Pierce had two to round out the scoring.
There were five lead changes and a tie in the first period before the Lady Cardinals scored the last four points to lead 14-10 heading to the second quarter.
The Lady Cougars then scored eight straight points to lead 18-14 with 2:29 left. But Nelson scored five unanswered points and led 19-18 at the half.
Two Jodi Decker free throws at the 3:15 mark of the third period gave the Lady Cougars a lead they would not give back, 24-22. They led by seven, 34-27 at the start of the fourth quarter.
When Grayson County scored the first four points of the last period, they held an 11-point lead, their largest of the night at 38-27.
But the Lady Cardinals refused to fold. Eight straight points brought them to within a point of the lead, 46-45 with 12.7 seconds left. Montana Woosley was fouled with 10 second left and hit a pair of bonus free throws to make it 48-45 and the Lady Cougars were able to hold off thevisitors to record the win.
Allie Horton led all scorers with 14 points. Sarah Pierce had nine and Woosley finished with eight points and six rebounds. Jessica Johnson added six points and six rebounds. Cortney Tomes scored three points and Raven Shelton completed the scoring with two.
Reach at or 270-259-9623.
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