For the second time in a week, the Green County Lady Dragons found a way to defeat Grayson County’s Lady Cougars.
Playing at South Warren’s holiday tournament the week before, Green County turned 23 Lady Cougar turnovers into 20 points and beat them by six points, 61-55.
Playing at Cougar Gym last Saturday evening, the Lady Dragons got 16 points off 22 Lady Cougar turnovers and hit 79 percent from the free-throw line to again beat the Lady Cougars by six points, 54-48.
Grayson County hit just 50 percent from the free-throw line in the game, but could manage just 2-of-8 from the line in the crucial fourth quarter with the game in the balance.
The lead changed hands twice before Cassidy Swift hit a three-pointer at the 5:22 mark of the first quarter to put the Lady Cougars in front 8-6. The Lady Cougars would maintain a lead from that point until late in the fourth quarter.
Swift’s three was the start of a 12-1 Grayson County run that saw them take a 10-point advantage, 17-7 with 3:16 left in the first period. They led by seven points, 21-14 heading into the second quarter.
The Lady Cougars pushed the lead back up to 10 points twice in the second period, the last time coming at 29-19 with 5:09 left. But the Lady Dragons responded with eight unanswered points to pull to within two, 29-27 with 43 seconds left in the first half.
Maddie Stewart then closed out the first half scoring with two free throws with 25 seconds left to give the Lady Cougar a four-point edge, 31-27 at the half.
A three-point play by Stewart at the 4:32 mark of the third quarter pushed the Grayson County lead back to seven points, 37-30, but the Lady Cougars then missed a number of opportunities to put more distance between themselves and the Lady Dragons.
Grayson County had eight straight empty trips, including five turnovers, allowing the Lady Dragons to pull to within a point of the lead, 37-36 with 2:32 remaining. Stewart then closed out the scoring with a lay-up with 27 seconds left to keep the Lady Cougars in front by three points, 39-36 at the start of the fourth quarter.
After allowing Green County to hang around, the Lady Cougars doomed themselves in the fourth quarter with some dismal free-throw shooting.
Green’s Kayla Bale scored opening the fourth quarter to make it a one-point game again, 39-38, but Stewart scored and was fouled at the 5:30 mark to make it 41-38. But she missed the opportunity to increase the lead by missing the foul shot.
Bale scored again with 5:10 left to cut it back to one before Grace White was fouled and went to the line for bonus free throws. WhitE hit the first, but missed the second to make it 42-40.
Green’s Laura Beth Houk then tied the game with a 15-footer with 3:51 remaining to be played. Stewart was fouled at the 3:41 mark and went to the line for two free throws. She missed the first and made the second, giving the Lady Cougars a one-point advantage, 43-42.
Rachel Marr hit a lay-up and was fouled with 3:08 left, putting the Lady Dragons in front for the first time since early in the first period. Her made free throw gave Green a 45-43 lead.
Stewart tied the game one last time with a lay-in at the 2:48 mark, but Green scored four straight to lead 49-45 with 2:16 left to play.
Kaylan Shull responded with a three-pointer with 1:42 left to make it a one-point game, 49-48, but those would be the last points the Lady Cougars would get. Green closed out the game with five unanswered points to secure the win.
Green County put two players into double figures, led by Bale with 18 points. Marr joined her in double figures with 11 points.
Stewart led all scorers with 19 points and added six rebounds and a pair of assists. Shull joined Stewart in double figures with 15 points and led the team on the boards with seven rebounds.
Swift scored eight points, all in the first period, and added six rebounds. White and Taylor Higdon had three points each to complete the lady Cougar scoring. White and Sarah Pierce both pulled down five rebounds on the night.