A three-pointer by Owensboro Catholic’s Ray Zuberer with just over a second left on the clock sent the Cougars down to a 60-59 defeat in summer basketball games played Thursday evening at Muhlenberg County High School.
The Cougars trailed by six points, 54-48 with under four minutes left in the second half, but came back to tie it at 57-57 with 1:25 left. Alex Shellhart hit a short hook shot with 24 seconds left to put the Cougars in front 59-57.
The Aces then moved the ball around the floor until Zuberer found himself heavily defended in the right corner. With time dwindling down, he put up a shot that seemed nothing more than a desperate heave, only to see it go through hitting nothing but net.
The officials put 1.3 seconds on the clock after the shot, but the Cougars were unable to get a shot off.
Playing 16-minute halves with the clock stopping at dead-ball situations, the game was close from the start. The Aces took an early 5-1 lead, but a basket and two free throws by senior Talon Gary tied it 5-5 at the 11:58 mark.
A Gary three at 10:55 put the Cougars on top 8-7. Four straight lead changes followed until the Cougars scored six straight to lead 16-11 with 8:11 left. Following a Catholic basket, Gary hit back-to-back shots to give the Cougars their largest lead of the night, 20-13 with 7:16 left in the first half.
Grayson County then went cold, going scoreless for nearly six minutes. That allowed the Aces’ Cameron O’Brien to score 10 straight points to give his team a three-point edge, 23-20 at the 5:42 mark.
Neither team would score after that until Alex Shellhart hit a hook shot with 1:36 left to pull the Cougars to within a point, 23-22. Grayson County trailed by six points, 31-25 at the half.
The Cougars opened the second half with a 10-2 run, including a Gary three, to grab a 35-33 lead at the 13:51 mark. Grayson County increased its lead to five points, 44-39 following a three-point play by Cole Akridge with 9:20 remaining.
Grayson County still led by five points, 48-43, when they hit another dry spell. The Aces reeled off 11 straight points to lead by six, 54-48 with 3:41 left to play.
The Cougars responded with a 9-3 run to tie things 57-57 and set up the game ending sequence of events.
The Aces put three players into double figures led by Ed Carter’s 18 points. Zuberer finished with 17 points, including three three-pointers, while O’Brien had 15.
Gary led all scorers with 27 points and he led the Cougars on the boards with seven rebounds. Cole Akridge scored 11 of his 12 points in the second half and added three rebounds.
Gage Akridge finished with nine points and three boards, and Shellhart scored eight points and pulled down six rebounds. Tanner Tyra scored two points and dished out a pair of assists. Zac Williams closed out the scoring with one point and also added six rebounds.