For the first time since the 2003-4 season, both the Butler County girls and boys teams picked up victories over the Grayson County Cougars in last Friday night’s boy/girl doubleheader in Morgantown.
In the first game of the evening, Butler County’s Katie Graham scored a basket with :00.9 showing on the clock to down the Lady Cougars 58-56.
The loss ended a streak of 57 straight district wins for the Lady Cougars since redistricting back in 2005. It also snapped a string of 20 consecutive Lady Cougar wins over Butler County, dating back to February 23, 2004, when the Lady Bears won 45-40 at Cougar Gym.
In the late game, the Bears led by as many as 13 points in the second half on their way to a 56-48 win. With the win, the Bears ended a long, 21-game skid against the Cougars, dating back to January 3, 2004, when the Bears won 40-38 on their home court.
This was a close game front start to finish with neither team holding a lead greater than eight points. There were nine ties and six lead changes during the game.
There were three ties and three lead changes in the first quarter. Sophomore Sarah Pierce hit a three-pointer at the 5:35 mark to put Grayson County up 7-4, but Butler’s Madeline Drake countered with a three to tie it 7-7 with 5:17 left.
Grayson County then scored three straight baskets to take a six-point lead, 13-7 with 3:28 left in the period. But Butler County’s Lynsie Clark and Drake hit back-to-back- threes to tie it again, 13-13 with 2:37 left.
Freshman Jodi Decker scored for the Lady Cougars at the 2:04 mark to give her team a two-point lead, but the Lady Bears’ Katie Graham closed out the period with back-to-back baskets to put Butler up by two points, 17-15 heading into the second period.
A lay-in by Drake at the 3:49 mark of the second period capped a 7-3 lady Bear run that saw them take a six-point lead, 24-18. Grace White ended the run with 1-of-2 at the line at the 3:17 mark to make it 24-19, but Butler County responded with three more points to take their first eight-point lead, 27-19 with 2:30 left in the half.
A three-pointer by junior Kaylan Shull brought the Lady Cougars to within four points, 27-23 with 2:07 left, but two Graham free throws and a Drake lay-in pushed it back to an eight-point lead, 31-23 with 1:03 remaining. White then closed out the first-half scoring with a six-foot runner with 48 seconds left and Grayson County trailed by six, 31-25 at the half.
Grayson County opened the third quarter on an 11-3 run, including nine straight, that saw them take a two-point lead, 36-34 with 1:47 left in the period. Butler County then closed out the period with a 4-1 run to take back the lead, 38-37 as the fourth quarter began.
The lead changed hands three times on the first three possessions of the final period before senior Cassidy Swift hit a lay-up at the 5:53 mark to give the Lady Cougars a three-point lead, 43-40.
Decker hit 1-of-2 at the line with 5:12 left to give Grayson County a four-point advantage, 46-42, but the Lady Bears answered with six straight to go on top by two, 48-46.
A lay-up by Graham and two Drake free throws gave the Lady Bears a five-point advantage, 56-51 with 42.9 second left. Sophomore Maddie Stewart scored with 36 seconds left to cut the lead to three points, 56-53. Butler’s Shawna West the went to the free-throw line for two shots with 32.7 second left, but missed both shots.
Shull was fouled with 30.9 seconds to go, hit the first to make it 56-54, but missed the second and the ball went out of bounds, back to the Lady Cougars. Stewart scored on a put-back basket with 27 seconds left to tie it again at 56-56.
The Lady Bears then worked the clock down until there were five seconds left and called a timeout. On the inbounds play from half-court, the Lady Bears got the ball to Graham near the top of the key, Graham turned, and splitting two Grayson County defenders, put the ball in off the glass and was fouled with :00.9 showing on the clock. Graham missed the free throw, but it didn’t matter as the Lady Cougars were unable to get off another shot.
Butler County put three players into double-figure scoring, led by Clark’s 16 points. Graham finished with 15 points, while Drake had 14.
Stewart led all scorers with 18 points, and she led the Lady Cougars with eight rebounds. Shull scored 14 points and added six boards. Decker was the third Lady Cougar in double figures, finishing with 11 points.
White had seven points, and added seven rebounds. Swift and Pierce both finished with three points, and Swift added four rebounds.
The Cougars were ice cold in their season opener, hitting just 27 percent in the game on 19-of-71 shots from the field. They committed 17 turnovers in the game, but the Bears could just convert six points from them.
Ethan Saltsman’s 15-footer at the 2:51 mark of the first quarter gave the Cougars a six-point lead, 8-2, but the Bears closed out the period on a 7-0 run to lead 9-8 heading into the second quarter.
The Bears led by as many as six points in the second period, but the Cougars came back to take a short-lived, 23-22 lead following Talon Gary’s three-pointer with 1:04 left in the first half. But the Bears’ Alex Hudnall countered with a three of his own with 50 seconds left, and the Bears enjoyed a two-point half-time lead, 25-23.
Grayson County could hit just 2-of-15 from the field in the third quarter and was outscored 12-6 as the Bears took control of the game and led by 12 points, 37-29 heading into the fourth quarter.
Senior Braxton Williams opened the scoring with a lay-in at the 7:24 mark that cut the deficit to six points, 37-31, but the Bears responded with seven straight to lead by 13 points, 44-31 with 6:17 left and the Cougars were never closer than eight points the rest of the way.
Senior Trevor Jenkins led the Bears in scoring with 19 points, while senior Elijah Flener added 12.
Saltsman led the way for the Cougars, also with 19 points, and also led the team on the boards with nine rebounds. Williams finished with eight points, pulled down five rebounds and added three assists and three steals.
Sophomore Logan Ramsey scored seven points, while Gary finished with five points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals. Freshman Tanner Tyra had four points, while junior Lane Decker and senior Rance Whobrey had two each. Whobrey added seven rebounds and four steals on the night. Sophomore Lane Rackley closed out the scoring with one points, but added four rebounds.