The Grayson County Cougars assured themselves of a place in next week’s 3rd Region Tournament with an 84-49, mercy-rule win over the Whitesville Trinity Raiders in the opening round of the 12th District Tournament last Tuesday at Butler County High School.
The Cougars were scheduled to play host Butler County for the District Championship on Friday. The Bears defeated Edmonson County 51-42 in the other semi-final on Tuesday.
The Cougars left little doubt about the outcome in this one. Cole Akridge’s 15-footer at the 1:13 mark of the first period capped a 20-0 run to start the game. The Raiders did not get on the scoreboard until there were 58 seconds left in the period when Dakota Wathen hit a short jumper.
Talon Gary scored 10 of his game-high 25 points in the first quarter and the Cougars led 22-4 heading into the second period.
The Raiders finally got their game going in the second period and outscored the Cougars 19-18. But that still left them trailing by 17 points, 40-23 at the half.
Grayson County held the Raiders scoreless in the first three-and-a-half minutes of the third quarter. A 12-0 Cougar run pushed their lead to 29 points, 52-23 at the 4:53 mark. Drew Mills broke the Raiders’ scoreless drought with a lay-up at the 4:39 mark, but the Cougars took a 30-point lead, 65-35 into the fourth quarter.
When Akridge converted an old-fashioned three-point play at the 6:11 mark of the final period, the Cougars went up by 35 points, 73-38, prompting the clock to start running continuously via the KHSAA mercy rule.
A Bailey Logsdon three-pointer with 1:55 remaining to be played gave the Cougars their largest lead of the night, 40 points at 84-44, but the Raiders scored the final five points of the night to make it a 35-point Cougar win.
Wathen led the Raiders on the night with 14 points. In addition to his 25 points, Gary added a pair of rebounds and five steals.
Alex Shellhart came off the Cougar bench to join Gary in double-figure scoring. Shellhart finished his night with 16 points and added six rebounds. Colton Williams scored nine points and pulled down five boards. Akridge finished his night with seven points, two rebounds and five steals.
Logsdon, an eighth-grader, came into the game late in the second half, but scored six points and actually led the Cougars on the glass with seven rebounds.
Dustin Woosley gave the Cougars some excellent minutes late in the game, scoring five points and grabbing three rebounds. Tanner Tyra and Bret Johnston both finished with four points. Tyra added four rebounds while Johnston led the team with three assists.
Beau Dennis scored three points, as did Gage Akridge. Zac Williams completed the Cougar scoring with two points.