The Lady Cougars played two games last Thursday evening in the Farmers National Bank Holiday Bash at South Warren, and the two games were microcosms of their season so far.
In the first game, the Lady Cougars were spot on as they throttled Hart County 58-34, leading from start to finish.
In the second game however, they reverted to the team that has lost seven games, turning the ball over 41 times in a loss to Warren Central.
The Lady Cougars started fast, scoring the first seven points of the game and they never looked back.
Jodi Decker’s short jumper at the 3:58 mark pushed the lead to 10 points, 12-2, then a Kaylan Shull lay-in with 2:13 left gave the Lady Cougars a 13-point advantage, 16-3. They led by 11 points, 17-6 at the start of the second period.
Six straight Grayson County points near the end of the first half put the Lady Cougars up by 22 points. Taylor Higdon hit a three-pointer with 1:50 left, Maddie Stewart hit 1-of-2 at the line with 1:33 left, and Jessica Johnson scored off a Breanna Fulkerson assist and with 33 seconds left, Grayson County led 35-13. They led 35-14 at the break.
The Lady Cougar defense allowed the Lady Raiders just four points in the third quarter and by the time the fourth quarter got under way, Grayson County led by 33 points, 51-18.
Playing against Grayson County’s reserves, Hart was able to put together a 10-1 run closing out the game to make the score a bit more respectable at the end.
Shull led all scorers in the game with 14 points and she added six rebounds and two steals. Stewart had 10 points and led the team with eight rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Sarah Pierce had eight points, while Fulkerson and Johnson had six each. Decker and Grace White had four points each, and White added seven rebounds.
Higdon finished with three points, Katie Hayes had two, and Raven Shelton had one to complete the scoring.
It has been distressing this season to watch as the youthful Lady Cougars beat themselves time after time with poor ball-handling and sloppy execution.
That was a major factor in this loss to the Lady Dragons, but it was also painful to watch them get outhustled as well. Many times, it seemed Grayson County had chances to get to balls in the air or on the floor, and before they could even react, Central’s players already had the ball and were taking it to the hole.
But this game was lost mainly because of their lack of ball-handling. By half time, Grayson County had turned the ball over 23 times and the Lady Dragons had converted them into 22 points. For the game, Grayson County had an astounding 41 turnovers, which Central turned into 30 points.
The Lady Cougars led just once in the game, 4-3 after a Stewart lay-in at the 6:13 mark of the first period. The Lady Dragons then went on a 14-2 run to lead 17-6 with 2:53 left in the period. They led by 13 points, 23-10 heading into the second period. In the first period alone, the Lady Dragons had scored 16 points off 11 Lady Cougars turnovers.
The scoring margin fluctuated between 12 and 16 points in the third quarter, but Shull hit a three-pointer with 1:03 left, and the Lady Cougars trailed by just 11 points, 34-23 at the half.
Shull opened the scoring in the second half with a rebound basket to cut the lead to nine points, the closest Grayson County had been since the first period, but the Lady Dragons responded with seven straight to push the lead back to 16 points, and the Lady Cougars would not get that close again.
The Lady Dragons used a 9-0 run later in the period to push the lead to 20 points, 50-30 and they led by 17, 55-38 heading into the final period of play.
Stewart led the Lady Cougars with 12 points and added eight rebounds and five steals. Shull had 12 points and four rebounds, and White scored 10 points.
Decker finished with five points, Hayes and Breanna Minton had two each, and Sloane Embry had one to complete the scoring.