The middle school boys basketball teams went on the road Thursday night and picked up two wins over the Caverna Colonels.
In the opener, after leading for much of the game, the Cougars had to overcome a four-point, fourth-quarter deficit to record a 29-27 win to move their record to 4-1 for the season.
In the eighth-grade game, the Cougars opened up a big lead in the second quarter and kept expanding it to blowout proportions as the defeated the Colonels 65-35. The eighth-graders improved to 2-3 with the win.
In a low-scoring first period, Hunter Shiarella hit 1-of-2 at the line with 1:22 remaining to give the Cougars a 6-5 lead, which they took into the second quarter.
Cougar point guard Hunter Young hit a pair of three-pointers in a 9-3 run to give the Cougars a seven-point advantage, 15-8 at the 3:53 mark.
Devon Paul scored for the Colonels with 3:16 remaining to make it 15-10, but the Colonels would not score again in the first half.
Grayson County closed out the period with seven straight points, but it could have been more as they missed five straight free throws at the end of the period. They led 22-10 at the half.
The Cougars opened up the third quarter on a 10-0 run, including another Young three and one from Trey Goff to lead by 22 points, 32-10 with 3:29 left in the period.
The Cougars stretched the lead to 28 points, 44-16 heading into the fourth period.
Head coach Shawn Majors cleared his bench in the fourth quarter, but his team still managed to outscore the Colonels 21-19 to make the final margin 30 points.
Paul led the Colonels with 12 points. Goff hit three three-pointers to finish with a game-high 17 points, and added four rebounds, five assists and two steals. Conner Schultz joined Goff in double figures with 14 points.
Young finished with nine points, all on threes, and added four assists and two steals. Shiarella had seven points and led the team on the boards with 11 rebounds.
Four players, Gerritt Dennison, Zac Haycraft, Bryce Horn, and Austin Basham scored four points apiece, and Dean Reed had two to complete the Cougar scoring.
The Cougars held the lead for much of the first period, but five straight Colonel points, capped off by back-to-back baskets from Sincere Page, gave them their first lead, 9-8.
But Spencer Sharp buried a three-pointer and Caleb Ray closed out the first-quarter scoring with a lay-in to give the Cougars a four-point advantage, 13-9 heading into the second period.
Grayson County opened the second quarter with a 7-1 run, including a Logan Majors three, to open up a 10-point lead, 20-10 at the 3:59 mark. The Colonels’ Tony Petrucci, who played for Grayson County last season, scored back-to-back baskets closing out the period to make it 20-14 at the half.
The Cougars were held to just a single point in the third quarter, allowing the Colonels to pull to within a point of the lead, 21-20 heading into the fourth quarter.
Josh Embry scored for the Cougars to open the fourth quarter to make it 23-20, but the Colonels responded with seven unanswered points, capped off by a Petrucci three-pointer to grab a four-point lead, 27-23 with 3:47 left to play.
Ethan Hayse hit a pair of free throws with 2:35 remaining to make it 27-25, then Sharp scored on a rebound basket with 1:00 left to tie it at 27 apiece.
Caverna had a chance to regain the lead with 54 seconds left when Page went to the line in the bonus. Page missed the first shot and Jack Davis grabbed the rebound. Embry then went to the line with 41 seconds left and hit a pair of free throws to give the Cougars the lead, 29-27.
After a Colonel turnover, Embry had a chance to ice the game with 22 seconds left, but missed the front end of the bonus. But Grayson County was able to hold off the Colonels in a wild, scrambling finish to win the game.
Petrucci led all scorers with 13 points. Embry led the Cougars with six points. Majors, Ray, and Sharp all had five points, while Davis and Bryson Lowe both had three. Davis also led the Cougars on the boards with 10 rebounds. Hayse closed out the Cougar scoring with two points.