In the most plodding fashion imaginable, the Lady Cougars held off the visiting Apollo E-Gals Monday afternoon 32-29 to move to 12-11 for the season.
In the opening contest, the JV girls made short work of the young E-Gals 52-31 in a game that was not really as close as the final score.
The varsity game was tied just once, at 9-9 in the second quarter, and though the Lady Cougars never trailed in the game, they just could not pull away. Cold shooting from the field and from the foul line thwarted their every effort to put some distance between themselves and the visitors
The Lady Cougars opened strongly at the start of the game, hitting their first three shots, including three-pointers from Kaylan Shull and Maddie Stewart, and building a 9-2 lead at the 3:56 mark.
But they went stone cold after that start, hitting just 1-of-10 the rest of the period. That allowed the E-Gals to come back and tie it with 1:35 left in the first quarter.
Sarah Pierce hit a 15-footer at the 1:12 mark to close out the period with the Lady Cougars in front 11-9.
The second quarter was dismal for both teams. The E-Gals played at a glacial pace and it seemed as though the period would never end. Both teams scored just six points in the period, three on each side.
Grayson County did not hit a field goal in the second period, going 0-19. Still, the Lady Cougars led by two points, 14-12 at the half.
Sloane Embry’s three-pointer at the 1:31 mark of the third quarter put the Lady Cougars up by seven points, 23-16, equaling their largest lead of the game, but Apollo’s Madison Bright closed out the scoring in the period with an old-fashioned three point play to cut the margin to four points, 23-19 headed into the fourth quarter.
Bright opened the scoring in the final period with a lay-in at 7:02 to make it a two-point game, but the E-Gals would never be closer. Stewart scored on a six-foot, turn-around jumper, then Shull scored on a put-back basket and the lead was six, 27-21, with 4:58 to play.
The Lady Cougars shot just 52 percent from the foul line for the game, but they hit 4-of-6 in the last 42 seconds to turn away the E-Gals. For the game, Grayson County made just nine of 51 attempts from the field, a polar 17 percent.
Bright led the E-Gals with 10 points. Shull led all scorers with 13 points, and added five rebounds.
Stewart scored nine points, and had five rebounds and three assists. Embry finished the day with three points, while Pierce and Breanna Fulkerson had two each.
Eighth-grader Grace White had a start in this game in place of Cassidy Swift who was out with an illness. White scored just two points, but led everyone on the boards with 11 rebounds. Jodi Decker had one point to complete the scoring.
This game was pretty much over by half-time as the Lady Cougars held the E-Gals to just nine first-half points to lead by 21 points, 30-9 at the break.
Grayson County steadily increased its lead in the third quarter. Allie Horton’s free throw with 31 seconds left in the period pushed the lead to 30 points, 43-13. The Lady Cougars led by 28 points, 43-15 as the fourth quarter began.
The E-Gals found success in the fourth quarter in pressing full-court, forcing 11 turnovers, including seven straight Grayson County possessions. That allowed them to pare the lead down to 16 points, 47-31 with 1:30 left to play, but the Lady Cougars scored the final five points to make it 52-31 at the end.
Grayson County got scoring from 10 different players, led by Katie Hayes’ nine points. Three players, Horton, Grace White and Hannah Salsman scored seven points apiece. Jessica Johnson and Kiara Brooks both had six points.
Jodi Decker, Sloane Embry and Sarah Pierce had three points each, and Breanna Minton had one to complete the scoring.