On Saturday, Grayson County Middle School played host to the boys Green River Valley Conference Tournament, and both host teams earned opening-round wins.
In the tournament-opener, the Cougar seventh-graders took an early, first-period lead and never gave it up as they defeated McLean County 49-36 to advance to the semi-final round.
Later that afternoon, the eighth-grade boys got a huge day from Dustin Woosley on their way to a 47-28 blowout win. Woosley scored 32 points and pulled down 16 rebounds to spearhead the win.
On Monday night, the seventh-grade Cougars were eliminated in a close contest, 36-33 at the hands of the west number-one seed Muhlenberg North Stars.
7TH vs McLEAN COUNTY
McLean County opened the scoring just eight seconds into the game to take a quick, 2-0 lead. That would be their only lead of the day.
The Cougars responded with an 8-0 run to lead 8-2 with 56 seconds left in the first period. After Dylan McMahan hit 1-of-2 at the line with 47.7 seconds left, Ryan Johnson closed out the scoring for the Cougars with a three-pointer to give them an 11-3 lead heading into the second quarter.
Jack Davis opened the second quarter with a lay-up that gave the Cougars their largest lead of the first half, 10 points at 13-3. Rylee Shoemaker scored with 2:00 left to put the Cougars up by nine, 15-6, but McLean closed out the half on a 7-2 run and trailed by just four points, 17-13 at the break.
McLean County opened the scoring in the third quarter to pull to within two points, 17-15, but Grayson County scored nine unanswered points to build an 11-point lead, 26-15 with 2:44 left in the period. McLean’s Kennan Smith capped the third-quarter scoring with a buzzer-beating three-pointer to pull his team to within six points, 30-24 as the fourth quarter began.
Smith hit another three, then followed that up with two free throws to make it a three-point game, 32-29 with 5:08 left to play, but that would be as close as it would be the rest of the way. The Cougars scored six straight to build the lead back up to nine points, 38-29 at the 4:15 mark. The Cougars closed out the final 3:33 on an 11-3 run to pull away.
Smith led all scorers in the game with 22 points.
Ethan Carter led the Cougars in scoring with 19 points, and he added eight rebounds and six steals. Davis had 15 points and made it a double-double day with 11 rebounds. Josh Embry scored eight points and added five rebounds.
Johnson finished his day with three points and added five steals. Shoemaker and Caleb Ray both had two points to round out the Cougar scoring. In addition, Shoemaker had four rebounds and led the team with three assists.
8th vs MUHLENBERG SOUTH
This was a spectacular showcase for Woosley. In their earlier meeting with South, Woosley had a 12-rebound, 12-point game, but it was teammate Conner Schultz who had the big night, with 23 points.
“We knew South was going to make Conner their point of emphasis, so we just turned it over to Dustin,” said coach Shawn Majors after the game.
Woosley was so dominant that he recorded a double-double in the third quarter alone, with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Woosley had eight of the team’s 11 first-quarter points, then scored eight of nine in the second period as the Cougars built a four-point half-time lead 20-16.
Grayson County then outscored the Suns 15-6 in the third quarter to take complete command of the game, 35-22 heading into the final period of play. South pulled to within 10 points, 38-28 with 2:23 left, but the Cougars scored the final seven points to win going away.
Beau Dennis also had a fine game for the Cougars, scoring seven points and grabbing six rebounds. Three players, Hunter Shiarella, Dayton Blair, and Gerritt Dennison all had two points, with Shiarella adding six rebounds. Schultz and Bryce Horn both had one point to close out the scoring. Schultz led the team with six assists, and added four rebounds and three steals.
7th vs MUHLENBERG NORTH
The Cougars came into the tournament as the number-two seed out of the east, while the Stars were the number-one seed from the west. But it was the Cougars who held sway in the early going.
Caleb Ray’s three-pointer with 20 seconds left in the first period gave the Cougars a seven-point advantage, 13-6, but North’s Peyton Lipe hit two free throws with 10.9 left to cut it to five, 13-8 heading into the second period.
The Cougars scored the first three points of the second quarter to lead by eight, 16-8, but North came back to trail by six, 18-12 at the half.
The Cougars still led by six points, 26-20, when the tide began to turn. North scored the last four points of the period to trail by just two, 26-24. Then the Cougars turned the ball over three straight times opening the fourth quarter, allowing the Stars to score the first five points and grab their first lead since the start of the game, 29-26 with 5:38 left to play.
Both teams then went scoreless until the 2:24 mark, when Davis hit two free throws to pull the Cougars to within a point at 29-28. North’s Carter Taylor hit a put-back basket to push it back to a three-point lead before Josh Embry hit 1-of-2 at the line to make it 31-29 with 1:50 left to play.
Ethan Carter went to the line for two free throws with 1:04 left and the chance to tie the game, but he missed both shots. North’s Will Nofsinger then hit a pair of free throws with 50 seconds left that put the Stars on top by four points, 33-29,
Carter scored on a running jumper with 43 seconds left before Embry came up with a steal. Davis was fouled with 29.9 second left and he hit both shots to tie the game 33-33.
Nick Caudill put the Stars back on top with a 10-footer with 23 seconds left. The Cougars then turned the ball over and committed a foul, sending Caudill to the line for two free throws with 14.4 seconds left. Caudill hit 1-of-2 to make it 36-33.
The Cougars brought the ball up the floor and called a timeout with 5.1 seconds left, needing a three to send the game into overtime. But back on the floor, the Cougars mishandled the ball and never got a shot off as the Stars celebrated their win.
Nofsinger led all scorers with 16 points. Davis scored 10 for the Cougars and added five rebounds. carter finished with nine points and seven rebounds. Embry had six points and also added seven rebounds.
Ray and Spencer Sharp both had three points, while Bryson Lowe had two to close out the scoring.