Trailing by as many as 17 points to South Warren in the third quarter Monday night at Cougar Gym, Grayson County used a 10-0, fourth-quarter run to get back into the game, but eventually fell to the Spartans 60-52.
In JV action, the Cougars led for most of the game, gave up the lead in the third quarter, but came on strong in the fourth to earn a 62-57 win.
The Cougars trailed by just two, 8-6 at the 4:36 mark of the first period, when the Spartans used a 7-0 spurt, capped off by an Austin Bybee three-pointer, to grab a nine-point advantage, 15-6. The Spartans still led by nine, 17-8 at the end of the period.
South Warren opened the second period on a 13-4 run to build an 18-point lead, 30-12 with 4:08 left in the first half. Grayson County kept battling back and when Talon Gary hit a three-pointer at the 1:14 mark which closed out the scoring, the Cougars had pulled back to within 11 points, 34-23 at the break.
Braxton Williams scored for the Cougars at the 7:36 mark of the third quarter to make it a nine-point game, 34-25, but the Spartans responded with six straight to build the lead back up to 15 points, 40-25 with 5:52 left.
The Spartans led by 17 points three times in the closing moments of the period, the last time coming at 48-31 with 1:08 left to play, but Cole Akridge closed out the period with a three-pointer at the buzzer to make it 48-34 heading into the final period of play.
Travis Hardcastle opened the third-quarter scoring for the Spartans with a short jumper that made it 50-34, but the Cougars reeled off 10 unanswered points, including threes by Williams and Rance Whobrey, to close the gap to just six points, 50-44 with 3:07 remaining to be played. Unfortunately, the Cougars would get no closer.
The Spartans put three players into double figures, led by Zach McDaniels’ 22 points. Bybee had 13 points, while Hardcastle had 10.
Williams led the Cougars with 13 points and also led the team with six rebounds. Whobrey hit double figures with 10 points, while Talon Gary had seven points and four rebounds. Cole Akridge added six points, while two players, Colton Williams and Bret Johnston had four apiece. Johnston led the Cougars with four assists.
Logan Ramsey finished with three points, Gage Akridge and Lane Rackley had two each, and Tanner Tyra had one to complete the scoring.
The Cougars scored the first seven points of the game, only to see the Spartans pull back to within a point, 12-11 with 2:40 left in the first period. But the Cougars outscored them 8-3 the rest of the period and led by six points, 20-14 at the start of the second quarter.
The Cougars still led by six, 26-20 with 1:44 left in the first half, when the Spartans scored seven straight to take their first lead of the night, 27-26 with 10 seconds left. Tristan Willis then closed out the scoring with a buzzer-beating three pointer to put the Cougars back on top, 29-27 at the half.
The Spartans grabbed a five-point lead, 38-33 at the 3:31 mark of the third quarter, but the Cougars answered with five straight to tie it 38-38 with 2:21 left.
South Warren then scored six unanswered to lead 44-38 with 35 seconds left, but Colton Williams stopped the run with a lay-up with 21 seconds remaining, and the Cougars trailed by just four, 44-40 heading into the fourth quarter.
A 6-0 Cougar run put them back on top 49-48with 3:49 left to play, but a three-point play by the Spartans’ Corbin Cowles put his team back up by two, 51-49 at the 3:34 mark. That would turn out to be the Spartans’ final lead of the night.
Gage Akridge’s hit back-to-back three-pointers to give the Cougars a 55-51 lead with 2:37 left to play and the Cougars never looked back.
The Spartans had three players in double figures, led by Wes King’s 16 points. Jordan Buchanan had 13 points, while Austin Moore had 12.
Cole Akridge led the Cougars with 16 points, while Tanner Tyra had 15. Colton Williams joined them in double figures with 11 points. Gage Akridge scored nine points, Wyatt Skaggs had eight, Willis finished with three points, and Lane Rackley had two to close out the scoring.