Playing on the road last Saturday at Daviess County, the JV Cougars dropped a 53-46 decision to fall to 1-1 early in the season.
After the the Panthers scored the first five points of the game, the Cougars never held the lead.
Sophomore Lane Rackley hit a lay-up at the 4:36 mark and was fouled. His made free throw made it 5-3, but the Panthers scored the next nine points to build an 11-point lead, 14-3 with 2:29 left in the first period.
Freshman Gage Akridge hit a short jumper with 10 seconds left in the period that cut the Cougar deficit to nine points, 16-7 heading into the second period.
Two free throws by freshman Tanner Tyra capped an 8-4 burst for the Cougars that cut the lead to five points, 20-15 with 3:37 left in the first half, but five straight Panther points pushed it back to 10 points, 25-15 with 2:00 left.
Grayson County got to within six points of the lead twice in the closing moments, the last time coming at 27-21 with 1:14 remaining, but the Panthers’ Michael Gilmer closed out the first half scoring with a pair of free throws with 53 seconds left to give his team an eight-point advantage, 29-21 at the half.
The Cougars opened the third quarter with a 7-2 run, capped off by a three-pointer from sophomore Wyatt Skaggs at the 4:48 mark, and suddenly the Cougars were back in it, trailing by just three points, 31-28.
But they would be no closer. The Panthers scored the next five points to lead by eight once more, 36-28 at the 4:04 mark. Sophomore Logan Ramsey buried a three-pointer with 3:54 left to make it 36-31, but the Panthers scored nine unanswered points to lead by 14 points, 45-31 with 1:36 left in the period. The Panther led by 11, 47-36 heading into the fourth quarter.
Daviess County maintained at least an eight-point lead until the final buzzer, when Zac Williams hit a three-pointer to make the final margin seven points.
The Panthers put two players into double figures, led by Casey Merritt, who finished with 15 points. Stewart Currie scored 10 points.
Rackley led the Cougars with nine points, while Skaggs and Lane Decker both had eight. Decker led the Cougars on the boards with four rebounds. Ramsey finished with seven points, while Tyra had five. Tyra led the Cougars with four steals.
Cole Akridge scored four points, Williams finished with three, and Gage Akridge had two to complete the Cougar scoring.