Leading by 11 points with under three minutes to play in their GRVC semi-final game against Muhlenberg North, the Cougar eighth-grade squad allowed the Stars to tie the game at the end of regulation, then got outscored 12-1 in the overtime as their season came to a heartbreaking end.
Muhlenberg North led just once in regulation, 14-13 at the 2:45 mark of the second period. The Cougars led nearly the whole way until the Stars tied things 40-40 in the final two seconds to send the game into overtime.
After North’s Bren Ford scored to tie the game 2-2 with 4:03 left in the first period, the Cougar scored six straight to lead 8-2 with 1:29 left in the first period. North’s Conner Coombs closed out the scoring in the first quarter with a three-pointer with 28 seconds left to make it 8-5 heading into the second period.
A three-pointer by North’s Will Nofsinger with 2:45 left in the first half gave the Stars their first lead of the game, 14-13, but Gerritt Dennison hit a lay-in with 2:01 left, then added 1-of-2 at the line to put the Cougars back up by two, 16-14 with 1:23 left in the first half. The Cougars still led by two, 17-15 at the break.
The Cougars opened the third quarter with a 7-2 run that gave them their largest lead to that point, 24-17 at the 3:38 mark. The Stars closed to within four points twice, the last time coming at 26-22 with 2:43 remaining in the period, but the Cougars closed out the period on a 7-3 run to lead by nine, 33-25 at the start of the fourth quarter.
Dustin Woosley, who played great in the GRVC Tournament, had 11 of his game-high 18 points in the third quarter to help the Cougars take their big lead. Woosley made it a double-double night, his second of the tournament, by pulling down 13 rebounds, giving him 29 in two games.
When Woosley hit 3-of-4 free throws to give the Cougars their largest lead of the game, 11 points at 38-27, with 2:43 left in regulation, the game seemed to be in hand.
But the Stars had other ideas as they closed out the game on a 13-2 run to tie the game 40-40 at the end of regulation.
With the Cougars still leading by four points with 1:08 left, Conner Schultz went to the line for a pair of free throws, but could hit just one. After the Stars had tied the game 39-39 with 33 seconds left, Trey Goff was fouled with 23.7 seconds left and went to the line in the double bonus.
Goff buried the first free throw, but the officials nullified the shot when Schultz was called for being inside the circle around the foul line. After Goff made the second free throw, the Cougars should have been ahead by two, but instead led by just one, 40-39.
That turned out to be crucial when North’s Dondre Mitchell went to the line with two seconds remaining to be played. Mitchell hit the first shot to tie the game and could have won it with his second, but he missed. Instead of the Cougars winning by a point, the game went into overtime.
In the extra frame, the Stars dominated. They scored the first four points before Schultz hit 1-of-2 at the line to make it 44-41 with 1:28 left. The Cougars then had six empty trips as the Stars closed out the game with eight unanswered points to win going away. In the game’s final 2:43 and the three-minute overtime, the Cougars were outscored 25-3.
The Stars put two players into double figures, led by Austin Sailing, who had 16 points. Coombs finished with 11.
Dennison played well off the bench for the Cougars, scoring seven points and adding two rebounds. Goff and Schultz both had six points, with Schultz adding eight boards, four assists and five steals. Goff added five rebounds.
Beau Dennis closed out the scoring with two points. Grayson County finished the season with an outstanding 20-8 record.